Mercedes-Benz SLK (2004 – 2011) At A Glance
In its day, the SLK was probably the most exquisite piece of street jewellery you can buy. It's a ‘must have' ‘want one' kind of car on its looks alone. A bit girly, if you had to get critical, but Clarkson smoked an SLK55 so it must be okay for blokes too.
It has all the bits of the original SLK, most importantly the electric folding hardtop. But it looks vastly better. A bit like a shrunken Mercedes McClaren SLR with better proportions. Come to think of it, personal preferences aside, there probably isn't a better-looking car than the new SLK anywhere on the planet.
Mercedes Benz SLK280 2006 Road Test
Mercedes Benz SLK350 facelift 2008 Road Test
What do owners think of the Mercedes-Benz SLK (2004 – 2011)? Check out our Owners' Reviews
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Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz SLK (2004 – 2011)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
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Reviews for Mercedes-Benz SLK (2004 – 2011)'s top 3 rivals
Ask Honest John
How is water getting into my Mercedes-Benz SLK?
"I have a 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK 200, which I bought last year for some much-needed fun after the first pandemic lockdown. Recently, I have noticed a large amount of water in the boot (spare wheel well) with the carpets soaking wet. After some head-scratching, I could only put it down to the high-pressure hose used by a car wash attendant in a supermarket car park a few days before.
However, for some weeks now it has been in the garage and not been out in bad weather or been washed. On checking the boot prior to releasing it from the garage for the warm weather I found the spare wheel covered in droplets of water. My only explanation could be severe condensation. Is this likely or a known issue?"
Unlikely to be condensation, most likely a leak somewhere. The easiest way to find the source is to dry the boot out and then use a watering can or hose to pour water over the rear of the car (when the boot is shut) to find the ingress point. Check the two drains that lead from the lower edge of the rear windscreen to drains inside the boot (one on each side). If the rubber has perished or developed a hole then this may be the cause.
The subframe of my car is cracking from corrosion. Does the manufacturer have any responsibility?
"I've owned a 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK from 2006. It's done 100k miles and is generally reliable. However, it needed the brake pipes replaced due to corrosion and, while doing this, the garage discovered cracking in the subframe from corrosion. They say it needs replacing as it's dangerous. No issues with previous MOTs. Never had this on any car before. Mercedes refuses to help out, saying the car is too old and not maintained in the dealer network. It seems like a problem on this model from the owners' forums. Does Mercedes have any responsibility?"
I'm sorry to read about the problems you're experiencing with your SLK, but Mercedes-Benz has no legal responsibility for a 15-year-old car (the statute of limitations ends at six years in England).
Should I buy a Mercedes-Benz SLK or a Mazda MX-5?
"I'm looking to buy either a Mercedes-Benz SLK or a Mazda MX-5. My budget is £2500. What are the pros and cons of both, please?"
Pros and cons of the MX-5: https://classics.honestjohn.co.uk/reviews/mazda/mx-5-mk2-nb/buying/
And the SLK: https://classics.honestjohn.co.uk/reviews/mercedes-benz/slk-r170/buying/
We'd recommend the Mazda. They're mechanically simpler and are very cheap/easy to maintain. There's also an excellent support network and more on the market – so you can be picky about condition. Watch out for rust, though. As an alternative, look at the excellent Toyota MR2.
What are the risks of buying a 10-year-old Mercedes-Benz SLK diesel?
"I am thinking of buying a 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK. I am finding a number diesel cars for sale. Do you think a diesel SLK would be a good choice over petrol? If not, which petrol engine would you recommend?"
The SLK's diesel engines are strong, but if you often drive at low speeds you may encounter problems with the DPF (diesel particulate filter) which needs regular long runs on the motorway to stay in peek condition. The SLK200 and SLK250 supercharged petrols won't suffer from this issue and won't cost the earth to run, or you could go for the SLK350 which is quick and has a howling soundtrack you'll enjoy when the roof's down.
Answered by Russell Campbell