The SLK has the kind of personality for which 1+2 equals exactly three. In other words, SLK The Third is an evolution of the previous generations, focusing on the same assets and upping the ante on these fronts.
So, what does this mean? You get smart looks – the SLK now tries to impersonate a robot and the AMG package makes it an impressive looking piece of machinery. You receive an efficient engine that lets you cruise without feeling guilty. You get an interior that makes you write “premium” in the bubble speech that rises through the open top once you get in and fold the roof. In the 350 version, you get enough muscle to please the bad boy inside of you and the efficiency is pretty good too.
But the weather in the SLK isn’t always sunny. First of all, the brakes let you down, whether you want to freeze things or just try to lose some speed multiple times in a row. The handling is satysfying, but you’ll never be able to become a link in the chain. However, this lack of a “driver’s car” aura hasn’t been a problem for the SLK’s target audience so far.
The SLK is a good car. What it needs to become an excellent one is a bit of soul. Something to make you feel special. Yes, special, not premium, not fast, not the center of attention, but special.
If you want to play this instrument the way it’s meant to be played, it’s best to perform in the city. Here’s where the toy-like nature of this car can really be exploited. You see, the SLK makes the most sense when you use it like an instrument of play.
However, the thing that really scares you is the price. Actually, the price’s structure. The vehicle we tested, which was a heavily-loaded 350 version (the beefiest non-AMG engine) had a sticker price of almost EUR 80,000. But this is the part that you could’ve expected. What wasn’t so predictable, is the fact that we were driving EUR44,000 of car and over EUR35,000 of optional extras.Continue reading