UK CAR 
Used car review

Mercedes Benz SLK Kompressor

 

The first impressions of this car are very good. Its  very good looking in a chopped off stumpy kind of way. For a Merc its really quite compact and promises a sporting experience few other Mercs can suggest.  Mercedes SLK

 

But what is the SLK really like? does driving reality match the sophisticated looks?

This little car has a 2.3 dohc 4 cylinder water-cooled 16 Valve DOHC Supercharged engine which sounds like it might just keep you entertained.

Service Interval Insurance Group Safety Rating Smog Rating
9000 19 Band (D)
Engine BHP CC Fuel Inj.
16 Valve DOHC Supercharged 193 2295 Yes
Cyl Camshafts Valves/cyl Compressor
4 Double 4 Super Charger
Top Speed 0 to 60 BHP per Tonne
141mph 7.5seconds 147
MPG@Urban MPG@Cruise MPG@Speed Fuel Type
21.2mpg 40.4mpg 31.4mpg Unleaded

 

 Mercedes Supercharged 4 cylinder engine.

Plus it has Hydraulic operated roof, leather trim Anti Lock Braking, Traction control, Cruise control and lot’s of other gimmicks. 

Not to mention a Mercedes badge on the bonnet and this would almost answer the question of how it drives on its own.

 

 

The car has a power output of 193 bhp with a five speed automatic gearbox electronically controlled to turn this power into drive.

and the addition of  sports switching facility and an overdrive side to side motion on the gear selector.

Alloy Wheels
Alloy Wheels
Catalytic Converter
Catalytic Converter
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
External Temperature Gauge Fitted
External Temperature Gauge Fitted
Front Fog lamps fitted
Front Fog lamps fitted
Halogen Head Lights
Halogen Head Lights
Height Adjustable Headlight Aim
Height Adjustable Headlight Aim
Independent Suspension
Independent Suspension
Intermittent Wash Wipe
Intermittent Wash Wipe
Power Assisted Steering
Power Assisted Steering
Rev Counter
Rev Counter
Service Level Indicator
Service Level Indicator
Traction Control
Traction Control

It further has electronic traction control and just when you are thinking so what! It also has auto stability, to "assist" the driver?

Oh no I hear you say! LET ME have the control,

Well the  Mercedes will, it has a button on the dash to turn it off.

Oh yes I say.

Consequently you can drive this car as it was meant, that is quickly and without electronic interference.

The problem with the traction control is when you wheel spin at all, and this can be on gravel, leaves or indeed anything. The engine power is shut off briefly, which maybe good on a test bench but not on a road because when you have indeed put your throttle down for killer power there and then. And not later when the computer has decided it is safe to do so, a bus may have run into you and your SLK by then.

The road holding does have a great deal to comment on,

It is simply amazing; the small wheelbase with big wheels and tyres gives a tremendous feel, superb balancing and reassuring response, which would be very difficult to surpass.

The car certainly gives the impression of being much larger and it instills confidence to the driver.

The Mercedes engineers should be complemented on this. In many ways they have taken a small car and made it feel like a much bigger Merc.

 

 

The interior of the one tested was Black & Red Leather trim. Something a child would  choose maybe?

But I must say the colour scheme along with the retro dashboard clocks is very aesthetic and pleasing.

The switchgear is very easy used and at fingers reach including the cruise control.

The leather trim is very good quality and the cockpit has electric operated windows front, the small back ones are also electric but they only drop with the roof.

Antilock Braking System
Antilock Braking System
Engine Immobiliser
Engine Immobiliser
Front Side Air Bags
Front Side Air Bags
Front Twin Airbags
Front Twin Airbags
High level brake Light
High level brake Light
Locking Fuel Cap
Locking Fuel Cap
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Remote Central Locking
Remote Central Locking
Side Impact Protection
Side Impact Protection
Visible Identification Number
Visible Identification Number

 

Safety includes twin front, side air bags with side impact beams, anti lock braking and sturdy rear supports behind the head rests just in case you decide to drive this car upside down.

The SLK almost gives the impression you could do so.

Work of Art

Onto the roof. This by the way is not a hot tin roof. The SLK’S roof is simply HOT!

What can be said?

Innovative, stylish, smooth, effective, efficient and more.

It is powered by an electric motor and hydraulic pressure system, which is very smoooooottthhh!!!!

The seals are of near perfect quality when down, and inside the cockpit even at high speed.

The car gives a similar feel to a fixed roof coupe with no wind noise or more essentially water leakage.

The two way opening boot lid is a joy to watch as it lifts upward and outward.

With the roof down the car takes on an entirely different shape which is very elegant indeed.

The over all finishing is typically Mercedes with very good component fitting and a superior finishing for such a small car. 

It is not however a cheap small car I hear you say.

But it is a non-essential car i.e. if it was a biscuit the VAT man would treat it as a luxury and say it was chocolate coated and therefore liable for tax.

It is not a practical car in a sense that you can just fit the golf clubs in the boot of the SLK but you’ll have to meet your opponent at the other end. And you will not be able to drop the roof on a good day with the clubs in the boot. Mercedes have not developed the roof rack yet for this convertible. The boot space with the roof down is very small indeed the one major drawback of the SLK. 

Use a Volvo estate for your day to day shopping and rubbish removal the SLK is certainly not assembled for such work.

 

If this makes it sound like a thoroughbred pain in the butt, it probably is, but it does have its own design purpose and that is to gives maximum pleasure and feel good factor. The SLK delivers this in bucket loads.

Driving SLK is very impressive the steering and suspension is very precise if not a little on the hard sprung side.

The power output from the supercharged engine is very good with typically lots of power at low rpm.

Thus developing acceleration as needed very smoothly and consistently. Use of a supercharger over a turbo charger allows a smoother unlagged power output from this 2.3 four-cylinder engine from very low revs.

The automatic gearbox is switchable and very efficient in it’s role in making the SLK very pleasant to drive, in and around town, as well as being excellent on open roads and even better than an average saloon on the motorway for those unfortunate enough to have to use them frequently.

Servicing is variable according to the style of driving and time-distance run. The car computer will advise when required. Servicing costs are very reasonable the only doubt I would have would be the super charger.

Historically they are not reliable but there have been no detrimental reports of the SLK,s compressor so it may be just my prejudice in knowing how unreliable former superchargers have been in comparison to a turbo charger.

Fuel consumption is average if not a little poor considering the body weight of the SLK. The most frustrating aspect is the size of the fuel tank it holds a relatively small amount of fuel and if you are like myself in not wanting to spend too much of your life at the filling station then send someone else to fill it.

The SLK has one certain German competitor and that is the Porsche Boxster, which is your choice?  The Boxster is certainly more pure sports, but the SLK is just as good a pose.

 

 

 

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