Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class offers a luxury convertible that can actually be used all year round due to its steel top. The car has a good design, as you'd expect from Mercedes-Benz, and even with the roof retracted it, offers 6.4 cubic feet of luggage space. This might not sound particularly amazing, but after all, it is a roadster.

More on the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Origins

Mercedes-Benz introduced this luxury roadster in 1998, and the SLK-Class represents the first modern convertible to use a power-retractable roof top made out of steel panels rather than fabric. Although the panels prove more bulky, and the design more complex, it does have several advantages. The SLK-Class benefits from having a hardtop during bad weather, making the car a more versatile and better year-round choice.

Initially, the SLK-Class didn't get everyone's approval, as many driving enthusiasts found it somewhat uninspiring. Later models have benefited from a better design, creating a more serious sports car. It offers an ideal choice for an all-weather car, while the Mercedes-Benz badge automatically brings luxury and prestige. Its competitors include the Porsche Boxster and the BMW Z3, but it wins over both of these models due to its hardtop roof, which provides greater security and a quieter ride. Drivers can close the roof completely in 30 seconds flat, without even getting out of the car.

About the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

This roadster offers all-round solid performance and handling, although it can be slightly slower to respond than others in its class. When the SLK-Class first came out, it only came with a supercharged, 2.3-liter engine, paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. The lack of a manual gearbox dismays driving enthusiasts. In later years, Mercedes-Benz put this right, making a manual transmission standard, and the automatic an option, and introducing more powerful engines.

Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Features

In 2012, the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class received a complete redesign. It comes in two different trims: the SLK250 and the SLK350. The SLK 250 contains a 1.8-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that produces 201 hp. It pairs with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission. The SLK350 has a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine, producing 302 hp, and it only couples with the automatic transmission.

The retractable metal roof comes standard, but a panoramic glass roof provides an optional extra, and owners can tint the glass darker with the flick of a switch. The cabin still has an attractive design with much more intuitive controls than in previous models. The sporty seats give good support, and the car remains comfortable even on longer drives.

With the top down and the windows up, the wind has minimal effects, but if you suffer from the cold, then it's worth considering the optional warming system, which provides channels of warm air to your neck and shoulders through registers in the headrest. When combined with the heated seats, the system works extremely well and makes for a comfortable ride, even on the coldest days.

Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Evolution

1998 marks the first year of production for this model. Its main strength lies in its retractable hardtop roof. Although initially only available with one transmission, Mercedes quickly remedied this the following year, introducing a manual gearbox as a standard feature. In the year 2000, Mercedes introduced several different editions featuring unique colors such as Electric Green and Copper combined with a unique interior. In 2001, Mercedes-Benz pleased enthusiasts by introducing a 3.2-liter, V-6 engine for the SLK320, and replacing five-speed gearboxes with six-speed units. The following couple of years saw no significant changes to this model.

Mercedes-Benz revamped the SLK-Class in 2004, bringing out a special edition that includes napa leather trim for the sport seats, chrome accents around the windows, a color-keyed front grille and rear spoiler, and 17-inch wheels.

In 2006, the SLK-Class received a makeover, resulting in a powerful and eye-catching car which measures slightly larger than the original model while remaining just as much fun to drive. A better steering system combines with a better braking system that feels lighter and more responsive.

2007 saw no real changes to the SLK-Class, and only very minor changes appeared in 2008. These include the SLK350 only coming with automatic transmission and the introduction of a new package to celebrate 10 years of production. This package includes smoked headlights and taillights, special 10-spoke wheels, and a red and black interior scheme.

In 2009, Mercedes-Benz made several changes to the SLK-Class, including making the base level the SLK300, while the SLK350 became more powerful. Steering gets more responsive, and an iPod integration kit provides an optional extra. 2010 models remain largely unchanged.

Some optional equipment became standard for both the SLK300 and SLK350 models in 2011, and Mercedes-Benz introduced an optional pre-paid maintenance program.

Select a Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Year

2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

The SLK-Class was heavily redesigned last year, introducing the third generation of the roadster.

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is all-new for the 2012 model year, taking styling cues from the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190SL.

2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

So far, there’s no word of an AMG version of the SLK for 2011. That leaves two V-6 models, the 300 and 350, and the manual is only offered with the smaller engine. The SLK350 receives new 18-inch split five-spoke wheels. Both models get sport body styling and black inlays in the headlights for no charge.

2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

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.

2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

As would be expected of a convertible, the 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class has presence.

2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

The 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class represents the brand’s entry in the premium small roadster class.

2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

The original Mercedes-Benz SLK was introduced for the 1998 model year as the company’s entry into the premium small roadster segment.

2004 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

The 2004 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class cars are two-seat roadsters with varying degrees of engine size and power.

2003 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class was originally offered in the 1990s as an answer to the various European roadster convertible options available.

2002 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class was introduced to the U.

2001 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

The 2001 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class has always been an attractive convertible with a fun drive.

2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class was first introduced in 1997.

1999 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

The 1999 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, despite its high performance, generally places more emphasis on luxury than raw performance.

1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Convertible, Sports

The 1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is a compact roadster that was launched in 1996, and it enters the North American market this year.