Mercedes-Benz SLK (2011 – 2016) Review

Mercedes-Benz SLK (2011 – 2016) At A Glance


+High quality interior. Three roof options. Offered with 250 CDI diesel engine. Also available with 5.5 litre V8.

-Not as good to drive as competition. Optional automatic isn't quick or decisive enough. High list prices. Avoid 18-inch wheels.

Insurance Groups are between 41–45
On average it achieves 71% of the official MPG figure

The Mercedes-Benz SLK has carved out a very clear niche within a niche for itself as the classy grand tourer among the more compact and affordable roadsters from premium manufacturers. Where the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z4 are more about driving thrills and the Audi TT Roadster is design-led, the SLK provides comfort and quality as its keynote benefits.

Much of this is down to the folding metal roof, which Mercedes pioneered with its first SLK back in the mid-1990s. This model, which is the third generation of SLK, continues this idea but improves on it with the options of a panoramic glass roof and even one with glass that can be dimmed to screen its occupants from the sun.

With the roof up, the SLK is very much a closed coupe and offers much greater refinement than its fabric-roofed rivals. At the touch of a button, the roof folds away, with some considerable theatre, under the rear boot deck to leave a classy convertible to enjoy.

The SLK may be more about cruising and enjoying the journey, but it can still offer keener drivers some fun when the road ahead clears. It’s not as honed as the BMW or Porsche, but the SLK is swift enough for most needs.

Power comes from a pair of 1.8-litre petrol engines with 184PS or 204PS in the SLK200 and SLK250 respectively. There’s also an SLK350 with 3.5-litre V6 petrol motor and a turbodiesel SLK250 CDI. The two smaller petrol engines can be ordered with a six-speed manual gearbox, but most SLK customers opt for the seven-speed auto that is standard with all of the other models.

For those who want more power, speed and noise from their small Merc roadster, the SLK55 AMG packs a 421PS 5.5-litre V8 engine. It’s sufficient to see the AMG model from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph.

Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz SLK (2011 – 2016)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

22–56 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

Help us with the Honest John Satisfaction Index now

Ask Honest John

Will short journeys in a diesel car cause issues?
"I have a 2014 Mercedes SLK diesel roadster. Will making multiple short journeys of 5-10 miles cause a problem with the exhaust system? If so, would some longer or faster journeys prevent the problem? If so, how long or fast and how frequent would these journeys need to be?"
Yes, short journeys will inevitably cause issues as diesel cars aren't intended for this kind of use. Diesel engines produce a lot of soot - also called particulate matter (PM) - when they burn fuel. The job of the DPF is to filter and store this soot - which can cause harmful health issues - in order to reduce emissions from diesel cars. But because they have a limited capacity, this soot has to be regularly burned off to regenerate the DPF. If the soot blocks the filter, this can stop the engine from running and leave you with a hefty repair bill for either cleaning or replacing the DPF. Going for a 40-minute motorway drive should your DPF filter in good condition as it'll get hot enough to burn off this soot and prevent it getting blocked up, but I would also suggest reading this guide for a better overall understanding of how to keep your car and your DPF running well:
Answered by Georgia Petrie
Could blocked drain vents be causing door lock problems on my SLK?
"My Mercedes SLK has a faulty driver's door lock. The door won't open straight away and takes many pulses of the key fob button. I had used WD40 on the locking solenoid, this worked better for a time, but is now just as difficult as before. I read recently of a similar problem on an SLK and they advised it could be blocked drains from the scuttle in front of the windscreen. If so, what's the remedy?"
Blocked vent well drains are a different problem entirely and would only affect the locking if the receiver for the remote was situated on the bulkhead where it gets flooded with rainwater that cannot escape. These blockages are common at this time of year because of the large numbers of dead leaves getting into the scuttle.
Answered by Honest John
My Mercedes-Benz SLK has had various faults recently - should I extend the warranty?
"I have a four year old Mercedes-Benz SLK with 19,700 miles on the clock. I've owned it for a year and it has been covered by a warranty, which has now just expired. So far, it has had a new RPM sensor, NOx sensor, heater box (involving removing the dashboard) and aerial (which involved a new windscreen). These faults have all occurred within the last two months. I'm very disappointed that these faults occurred in a marque I'd perceived to be of high quality. Have you heard of similar issues in a car of this age and is it worth taking out another warranty or have most of the major things likely to have gone wrong already happened?"
Yes, I'd take out more warranty either with MotorEasy or with WarrantyWise. But they will only give you a restricted warranty for the first three months in case there is an existing problem. You can't insure a house against fire if it's already burning.
Answered by Honest John
The paintwork is blistering on my Mercedes-Benz SLK - what should I do?
"I bought a 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK in Fire Opal Red five months ago. There is micro blistering of the paint which is worse at low temperatures and then disappears when it is hot.The blistering looks like raindrops but feels to the touch like an attack of measles just below the paint. I have read this defect is not uncommon on red Mercedes manufactured between 2011 and 2015 and some people have reported continuing problems even after a full bare body respray. Do Mercedes have a solution to the problem or will a respray only make it worse? Do I have the right to reject the car while it is under the dealer 6 month warranty or am I better off claiming from Mercedes under their 3 year warranty and paintwork warranty. Will the micro blistering get worse over time or will it improve once the car is hot over the summer ?"
Yes, you can reject the car because it has a fundamental fault that was present or developing on the date you bought the car. Cite Clegg v Olle Andersson House of Lords 2003. You reject it to the dealer you bought it from. See:
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Mercedes-Benz SLK (2011 – 2016) cost?