Mercedes Benz SLK300 2009 Pictures
The SLK280 badge is no greater degree, with “300″ taking its place to more good represent the 3.0L V-6 that was always under the hide; horsepower corpse at 228. The front full glass gets a nosejob, now split in Formula 1 worship, and the entire SLK lineup receives Mercedes’ new direct-steer system, that alters the steering ratio depending on input. When mated to the SLK, the result is a pad that’s easy to drill through twisty roads and dead solid on the freeway. Though mechanically operated — different BMW’s Active Steering unit — the Mercedes system provides too little feedback through the wheel. It’s slow off center and takes too much edge distant from the driving actual feeling.
The same need not be said toward the engine, which provides 221 lb-ft of torque from 2500 to 5000 rpm. It propels the SLK300 to 60 mph in 6.1 sec and through the quarter mile in 14.5 sec at 96 mph. The six-speed manual’s trickster is easy to work, and the clutch takeup is easy and linear. This V-6 sounds good, too; the consume note is more tenor than the burbling baritone of the V-8 SLK55 AMG. Listening to the wail reverberate off canyon walls with the top down makes for good tunes — unblemished thing, too, because the iPod integration is so frustrating that you’ll leave the stereo off. It was never designed to scroll through thousands of artists and songs. Better to ignore the radio and keep any eye on that 6500-rpm redline, as it’ll smack you in the face with a harsh fuel cut-off as you cross it.
The SLK300’s biggest challenge is price. While it bases $850 below its most expensive competitor, the Porsche Boxster, adding common options sends the price soaring. Our tester came equipped with power seats, lumbar support, the aforementioned iPod integration, satellite radio, bi-Xenon headlamps, and Sport and heating packages. The total? $54,745, bound it could have been higher. Want nav? The Multimedia Package (including Mercedes’ COMMAND rule and 6.5-in. display) will adorn you upper part $2980; a seven-speed automatic an extra $1460. Get too frisky with the accessories and your SLK300 could cost well in a high place the MSRP of the more powerful SLK350, and many other competitors, too. Yet the sticker won’t worry some, as they’ve already rationalized the only in-class retractable hardtop, which can exposed and shut in 22 seconds, has a built-in tonneau cover, and provides a measure of quiet and security that a ragtop be possible to’t.
For ardent driving, cruising the Pacific Coast Highway, or motoring home in stop-and-go traffic, the SLK300 not at all feels out of place. It’s not for example sporty as the mid-engine Boxter, but is more so than the front-drive, sedan-derived Audi TT. If previous sales numbers are any indication (Mercedes has sold more than a half-million SLKs since 1996), we’re sure the SLK300 will receive a warm welcome.