Getting in and out of the SLK is an easy affair, the doors open wide and the sills are low to step over.
Safety and Security
The following safety & security equipment is standard on the Mercedes Benz SLK 350:
Driver and front passenger airbags, head/thorax sidebags for driver and passenger, alarm system with immobiliser and interior protection, ABS (anti-lock braking system) with BAS (brake assist), automatic child seat recognition sensor (works in conjunction with Mercedes Benz child seats fitted with transponder), brake-pad wear indicator, ESP (electronic stability program) with ASR (acceleration skid control), fog lights, high-level third brake light, locking wheel bolts, remote central locking, roll-over protection, passenger safety cell and seatbelt pre-tensioners.
The SLK also benefits from drive away locking, where the doors are automatically locked as you drive off.
Mercedes Benz have not fitted deadlocks for safety reasons.
Comfort and Refinement
The new car is slightly larger than the outgoing model, the body is 72 mm longer and 65 mm wider, providing the SLK's occupants with more interior space.
Leg room is very good as is lateral space. Head room with the roof up is very good and with the roof down infinite - taller occupants depending on their seating position will find their hair ruffled with the roof down even with the standard wind deflector in place which does an excellent job keeping the wind at bay. Getting in and out of the SLK is an easy affair, the doors open wide and the sills are low to step over.
The wind deflector is a net which is suspended between the rear head restraints, acting as a windbreak by breaking up the airflow around back of your neck. The net can prove awkward at night as it can be difficult to see through when reversing, especially with the roof up - it can be easily removed.
The optional leather sports seats are comfortable and supportive - featuring integral head restraints. Both the driver’s and passenger’s seats are electrically adjustable; the driver’s seat has a three position memory function, which also remembers the steering wheel position and mirror settings. This can be tied into the remote control, which will alter the settings to match the driver’s individual key (i.e. his and hers). The steering wheel can also be programmed to move away when the key is removed to aid exit and return to it’s set position when the key is inserted.A multi-function leather trimmed steering wheel with trip computer and gearshift buttons (for automatic transmissions) is standard throughout the SLK model range.
Although we tested the SLK during June it was cold enough in the evenings to make use of the optional AIRSCARF (£340 option) and the three-stage heated seats (£310 option) which worked well. AIRSCARF works by emitting warm air from special vents in the head restraints at the touch of a button acting as an invisible scarf flowing around the head and neck of both the driver and passenger. This option is perfect for topless night driving or those cold winter days unfortunately it doesn't work with the air-conditioning on hot summer days.
Our test car was equipped with luxury automatic climate control (£425 option) which does an excellent job of regulating the individual temperature of both the driver and passenger.
The interior lighting package is standard on all SLK models and includes centre-console lighting, illuminated sunvisors, footwell and exit lighting as a well as a reading light fitted in the interior mirror.Further features include electric windows, electrically operated and heated door mirrors - our test car featured folding mirrors (£190 option which was helpful when parking the SLK on the street), cupholders, tinted glass and an outside temperature gauge.
How It Looks - Exterior
One word of caution - we wouldn’t recommend that you buy a Mercedes Benz SLK if you are a shrinking violet. It might have been the gorgeous designo Mauritius Blue metallic paint work (£600 option) or maybe the £2,550 worth of AMG body styling, topped off with the £1,200 AMG 18” wheels - but one thing is for sure you are going to be noticed. We attended a wedding with the car and the bride took second place to the car which attracted a lot of attention.
Roof up or down the SLK is a work of automotive art with great road presence - add the body kit and wheels into the equation and you would put a huge grin on the Mona Lisa.
The new roadster has been given more masculine lines which not only show that it is more powerful but also that it has grown up. The front symbolises the car’s sporty attributes enthusing power and performance by means of a long bonnet with a wide, slightly raised central axis, which tapers towards the striking front section and gives the roadster a new but familiar face. In this way the SLK echoes a stylistic feature of the successful Mercedes Silver Arrows from Formula 1, while demonstrating unmistakably that it possesses the genes of the legendary Mercedes racing sports cars.
Other styling features of the SLK include two chrome oval exhaust tailpipes and striking LED tail and brake lights.
We prefer the SLK’s exterior proportions to that of its bigger brother the SL - a passing SL owner in a petrol station in Liverpool, said that he preferred the SLK with an AMG body kit to his own car and who are we to disagree.
Mercedes Benz SLK-Class Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mercedes Benz SLK 350|
|Colour||designo Mauritius Blue Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||5.6 Seconds|
|Top Speed||155 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||36.2 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty|
MobiloLife is Mercedes Benz guarantee to keep you mobile for up to 30 years. Renewed after each service performed by a Mercedes Benz authorised dealer and remains valid until the next service is due
|Price (when tested on the 16/07/05)||£ 34,930 OTR|