You don’t even have to know your way around Mercedes designations too well, when you read “350” and “AMG package” you instantly thing about the open road. However, we didn’t take this car outside city borders immediately, as it felt extremely nice in urban areas. Eventually, we realized that we had to do this – here’s what we found out.
The 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 likes to rev and has enough muscle to make the 3,395 lbs (1,540 kg) of the car one fast contraption. The first hundred arrives in about 5.5 seconds, which makes the car almost as fast as the AMG version of the 1st generation SLK. And yes, you’ve guessed it – the top speed is electronically limited at155 mph (250 km/h).
However, the 7G-Tronic transmission has skipped certain gear changing classes, so the superb advantage of an instant response, offered by the naturally aspirated engine, almost disappears, as you only get to enjoy it during in-gear acceleration.
The weak point of the SLK is clearly its braking system. The brakes of the SLK 350 we tested disappointed us, both in terms of stopping power and fading resistance. Trying to stop the SLK 350 when travelling fast is like being on roller skates and literally having an Achilles’ heel.
We don’t recommend using the SLK as a long distance partner, at least not in the configuration we tested. First of all, the Vario roof (a transparent panel in the roof) has a negative effect on the soundproofing, bringing this to a point situated halfway between a metal folding and a canvas roof.
Then, there’s the optional adaptive suspension, which doesn’t even need long trips to hurt your back. Not only is this setup (which also included a 10 mm lower ground clearance, brought by the AMG trim) uncomfortable, but it can also give you a feeling of unsafe handling, as the car bounced around on irregular roads, even when in “comfort” mode.
Handling wise, the SLK does what you ask it to. The direct steering, which, together with the aforementioned suspension, is included in the dynamic driving package, is sharp and has the right weight, but doesn’t offer the best feedback. Like we said, the car will listen to you. But that’s all it will do – you won’t become involved in the driving experience.
And there's more bad news. The luggage in the boot is almost impossible to access when the protection that allows you to lower the roof is in its place.
The SLK doesn’t feel so good on the open road as it does in the city, due to issues like disappointing soundproofing, suspension rigidity and difficult luggage compartment access. However, the car does offer sweet acceleration, as well as fair handling.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
A man needs to be educated, he has to know what to do in order to make a lady happy. You guys got off to a bad start, but it seems that you managed to get things straight after all. You’ve finally offered me a car that is perfect for my personality. I shall accept this SLK. What? Wasn’t this the purpose of autoevolution, to find THE car for Mary? I’m sorry, but this is it people. You have to close the business and go home!
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