2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

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2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

Swank and sporty roadster introduces special anniversary editions.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

In honor of its decade on the road, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class comes in two special Edition 10 models featuring distinctive paint, lights, and interior details. Otherwise, the sporty two-seat convertible is largely unchanged from 2007. With its unique power-retractable hard top, handsome cabin, and solid performance record, the SLK-Class is one of the most entertaining Mercedes models to drive.

For 2008, the SLK-Class is available in three trim levels: the SLK280, SLK350, and SLK55 AMG. In addition to its regular standard features, the first two trims are also available with a special Edition 10 package. The SLK-Class gets its athleticism from a stiff chassis, sport-tuned suspension, and three powerful engines. The base SLK280 comes equipped with a three-liter, V-6 engine, the mid-level SLK350 with a 3.5-liter V-6, and the performance-oriented SLK55 AMG with a 5.4-liter V-8.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6, 3.5-liter V-6, 5.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed manual, seven-speed shiftable automatic
Models: Mercedes-Benz SLK280, Mercedes-Benz SLK280 Edition 10, Mercedes-Benz SLK350, Mercedes-Benz SLK350 Edition 10, Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG

What's New

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is offered in two special 10-year anniversary editions: the SLK280 Edition 10 and SLK350 Edition 10. Both models come with black or silver exterior paint, a black and red interior, smoked light bezels, and 10-spoke wheels. The SLK350 trim is no longer available with the lineup’s six-speed manual transmission, leaving a seven-speed automatic as the only choice.

Exterior

Most notably, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class features a power-retractable hard top that provides the appearance and security of a fixed-roof coupe when raised. Opening and closing the top takes approximately 22 seconds. While mostly convenient, the roof can impede visibility with its large pillars.

Standard exterior equipment on the base SLK280 includes 16-inch alloy wheels, performance tires, speed-sensitive windshield wipers, a rear defogger, and heated power-adjustable mirrors. The SLK350 gains 17-inch wheels and bigger brakes. Both models are available with an Edition 10 package, which adds special silver or black exterior paint, 10-spoke wheels, and smoked headlight and tail lamp bezels.

The top-of-the-line SLK55 AMG comes with 18-inch wheels, high-performance tires, a sport suspension, improved brakes, and special AMG exterior details. The SLK280 and SLK350 can be upgraded with most of the AMG’s features, as well as a sport package that adds special wheels and details. All models are eligible for bi-xenon headlights and special color packages.

Interior

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class boasts a comfortable and classy cabin constructed with high-grade materials. Standard amenities on the SLK280 and SLK350 include leather height-adjustable sport seats, a leather shift knob, a leather tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, alloy interior trim, power locks, power windows, retained accessory power, cruise control, 12-volt power outlets, interior air filtration, dual-zone climate control, a trip computer, an external temperature display, a TeleAid emergency communications system, and a nine-speaker sound system with CD player. Edition 10 models replace standard interior colors with a red and black color scheme. The SLK55 AMG adds premium leather, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated seats, driver’s memory settings, and unique interior details.

Individual options include a navigation system, a CD changer, satellite radio, a 380-watt surround-sound system, and an innovative ""air scarf"" system, in which warm air is directed around occupants’ shoulders from ducts located in the headrests. The two lower trims can also be upgraded with steering-wheel-mounted transmission shift buttons. With the top up, the trunk offers 9.8 cubic feet of room. Lowering the top reduces storage space to 6.5 cubic feet.

Performance & Handling

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is available with three engines. The SLK280 gets its power from a three-liter V-6 making 228 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, while the SLK350 comes equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 offering up 268 horses and 258 lb-ft. The SLK280 comes with the choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission; the SLK350 is only offered with the automatic. Opting for the SLK55 AMG gets you a 5.4-liter V-8 churning out 355 horsepower and 376 lb-ft, enough to send the 3400-pound SLK55 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. The V-8 engine is matched to the seven-speed automatic gearbox.

Compared with Mercedes’ powerful SL-Class hard-top convertible, the smaller SLK-Class is less quick off the line but boasts even more agile driving dynamics.

Safety

All 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class models come equipped with front side-mounted airbags with head protection chambers, knee airbags, height-adjustable headrests, stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, emergency braking assist, electronic brake force distribution, tire pressure monitoring, and a post-collision safety system.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz SLK280 (automatic): 18/24 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz SLK280 (manual): 17/25 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz SLK350: 17/23 mpg city/highway
Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG: 14/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Sporty design
  • Precise handling
  • Powerful engines
  • Retractable hard top

You Won't Like

  • High price tag
  • Limited top-up visibility

Sum Up

Swank and sporty roadster introduces special anniversary editions.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Porsche Boxster
  • BMW Z4
  • Nissan 350Z

See the New 2014 SLK-Class.

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