The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK Class Roadster is a two-door, two-seat, hard-top convertible, designed for the individual who wants a comfortable car that is sporty on demand.
This eye-catching, luxury sports car is a mixture of quality and fun. The SLK's three models are the SLK 250, the SLK 350, and the SLK 55 AMG. The difference lies in the engine and type of wheels. Each model is engineered to be rigid, safe, efficient, and provides fun.
|Vehicle Type: Roadster||Base Price: $42,500.00|
|Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gallons (70 l)||MPG: 23 city / 33 hwy|
|Length: 162.8 in. (413.5 cm)||Wheel Base: 95.7 in. (243 cm)|
|Height: 51.2 in. (130 cm)||Width: 71.5 in. (181.6 cm)|
|Curb Weight: 3308 lbs (1500 kg)||Ground Clearance: NA|
|Luggage Capacity: 10.1 cu ft||Maximum Seating: 2 people|
|Engine: 1.8L Inline-4 DOHC||Compression Ratio: 9.3: 1|
|Horsepower: 201 HP||Max RPM: 5500 RPM|
|Torque: 229 lb-ft @ 2000-4300 rpm||Transmission: 6-Speed Manual|
|0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds||Maximum Speed: NA|
|Option:SLK 350||MSRP: $54,800; MPG: 20 city / 29 hwy|
|Option:SLK55 AMG||MSRP: $67,500; MPG: 19 city / 28 hwy|
The SLK 250 is powered by a 1.8-liter turbo-4 cylinder engine with 201 horsepower, 229 lb-ft torque, and can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds. The SLK 350 has a 3.5-liter, V6 engine with 302 horsepower, 273 lb-ft torque, accelerating from 0-60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds; while the 55 AMG model roadster has a 5.5-liter, V-8 engine, 415 horsepower, 398 lb-ft torque, and can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in just 4.5 seconds for the sportiest driver.
Direct fuel injection is used, giving the engine more power, with cleaner emissions. The advanced, rapid-multi-spark ignition, fires the engine up to four times in a mere millisecond.
The 55 AMG model has been designed by Aufrecht, Melcher, and GroBaspach, and is built for sheer performance. The AMG engine provides crisper and quicker shifting, with greater efficiency, with its featured paddle shifters, offering a true Manual mode. The SLK 250 has a short-throw, six-speed manual transmission that comes standard.
A seven-speed automatic is optional on both the SLK 250 and the SLK350. The SLK 250 does 22-mpg in the city, and 32-mpg highway driving. The SLK 350 gets 20-mpg city and 29-mpg highway, and the SLK 55 AMG gets 19-mpg city, and 28-mpg highway.
The SLK body is made of high-strength steel, aluminum, and magnesium. The iconic cross-blade grill and muscular fenders give it the Mercedes-Benz look. It has an aerodynamically developed body with a deep front air dam, and mesh air intakes. Sculptured side sill, the rear valance, and polished chrome tailpipes finish the look. LED daytime-running head and taillights are provided, along with a power-retractable, hard-top roof, which folds into the truck in just twenty seconds.
The two power seats are equipped with deep, side bolsters. Hand-fitted upholster, or soft, Premium leather can be chosen, with black, ash wood, or burl walnut wood accents. Metallic trim is used for the gauges, controls, and round air vents, giving the SLK a sporty look. The console and doors are outlined using direct, ambient, Solar red lighting. The seats are heated, and AIRSCARF neck-level heating, and AIRGUIDE, wind deflectors are available options.
There is a 5.8-inch LCD screen; included are High-Definition radio, Bluetooth, and a USB input. Premium 1 package adds an eleven-speaker, 500 watt Harman/Kardon stereo system, SiriusXM, and iPod interface. The Multimedia package adds to this hard-drive navigation, with a 7-inch widescreen, and SiriusXM Traffic and Weather. Magic Sky Control is used to block harmful infrared light from the sun through the sunroof, keeping the cabin cooler.
Safety & Reliability
Adaptive braking to decelerate, and Predictive Brake Priming technology is used. Predictive Brake Priming applies the brakes periodically in wet conditions, to sweep away any water condensation. Hill-Start Assist is provided to prevent unwanted rollbacks, and the Hold feature makes high-traffic stopping and starting easier.
The SLK's four-wheel, multi-link suspension maintains ideal balance between sharp handling, smooth transitions, and precise control. The Direct-steer system offers easier maneuvering at low speeds, and quicker cornering responses. Its exceptionally rigid, high-strength-steel, aluminum, and magnesium body is equipped with dual roll bars, which are reinforced with fiber, for additional safety. Eight airbags are provided, along with Attention Assist to alert drowsy drivers of lane changing. The SLK comes with a new-car, 4-year or 50,000 mile warranty.
Pros & Cons
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK is a very comfortable and stylish car for the person who doesn't need excessive power all of the time, but can have fun once in awhile, and show off this sporty-looking car. It has a luxurious interior with high-quality materials used, and the detail to match. It is a safe car to drive, and although the gas mileage is not the best, it can be driven economically.
The throttle response may be a little touchy for some, or the handling may not be as sharp, but it is rated very favorably in the luxury sports car category.
Competitors such as the BMW Z4 (MSRP $48,650) are equal in its class, yet at a higher starting price. The Porsche Boxster (MSRP $65,200; 19 city / 26 hwy) may be better at handling, and more horsepower, but you have to like soft tops. For the price, and all of the luxury, performance, and safety features, the SLK is really worth a close look.
People who enjoy the wind and sun always opt for a convertible, along with the SLK Class, other attractive vehicles include the Audi A5 (MSRP $43,350; 24 city / 31 hwy), the BMW 1 (MSRP $36,900), and the Saab 9-3 (MSRP $39,990; 20 city / 29 hwy).
73 out of 100
What others say:
“It's still snug around the feet and shoulders, but the SLK has some soft-side luggage space and swell fit and finish.”Car Connection
“SLK strikes a better balance between handling prowess and ride comfort than most similar premium-class 2-seat convertibles. This Mercedes carves corners with excellent grip and minimal body lean. Solid steering feel is marred by a small on-center dead spot (an area where turning the steering wheel slightly results in no movement of the front wheels). The brakes erase speed quickly with excellent pedal feel.”Consumer Guide
“The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK is redesigned with styling cues from the SLS AMG, LED running lights, new powertrains, and a retractable hardtop that opens or closes in 20 seconds and offers Panorama Roof and MAGIC SKY CONTROL.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports
“Mercedes-Benz has worked hard to build sports car credibility into the new SLK, which is the third generation of the car.”KBB
“The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK carries on its predecessor's strengths, while improving in a number of areas to make it an even more desirable luxury convertible.”Edmunds