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Thread: Mercedes SLK

  1. #1
    Master pinpull's Avatar
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    Mercedes SLK

    I have a hankering for one of these as a second car for a bit of open air motoring in the summer months. I've found a low mileage 2.1d for sale, from 2012, which looks nice and is in my price range.

    Could any current/previous owners please enlighten me as to the pro and cons of owning one, the delights and frustrations of doing so, the costly side of it and the things to look out for?

    I'm keeping an open mind by considering other makes and models of two seater, open top cars, but I'm currently leaning in the direction of the Merc.

    Many thanks in anticipation
    Ricky


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  2. #2
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    My wife had the 3.2 version and used it for commuting. She racked up over 360 thousand miles with it and apart from usual wear and tear items ( alternator, bushes brakes etc) had zero issues with it.
    I thought it was a stunning car for everything apart from really long journeys such as the south of France and Spain, where we were in it driving for most of the day. Mind you, on the longer stuff i got sore buttocks as the seats are not sofa like and the suspension is firm. Any thing up to 3 hrs was no issue.
    I am 6'2" and had no issues with driving it or legroom.
    The fold down roof was in its own class and was superb giving you a good sized usable boot that you can get two full sized suitcases in.
    The gearbox was also superb and smoth as you like with the option of tiptronic change at the steering wheel. If you drive one you will see how good they are.
    Changing headlight bulbs was interesting unless you have multi jointed wrists and i had to take the wheel, then the wheel well liner off to change one when it went.
    We were changing tyres every 6 thousand miles, no doubt you could squeeze more out of them but we both like to drive and we did not spare the horses!
    A bloody good car.
    Last edited by Carl.1; 10th February 2019 at 10:16.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl.1 View Post
    My wife had the 3.6 version and used it for commuting. She racked up over 360 thousand miles with it and apart from usual wear and tear items ( alternator, bushes brakes etc) had zero issues with it.
    I thought it was a stunning car for everything apart from really long journeys such as the south of France and Spain where. We were in it driving for most of the day and i got sore buttocks as the seats are not sofa like and the suspension is firm. Any thing up to 3 hrs was no issue. I am 6'2" and had no issues with driving it or legroom.
    The fold down roof was in its own class and was superb giving you a good sized usable boot that you can get two full sized suitcases in.
    Changing headlight bulbs was interesting unless you have multi jointed wrists and i had to take the wheel, then the wheel well liner off to change one when it went.
    A bloody good car.
    Brilliant, many thanks Carl.1 - just the helpful sort of info I need to know!


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  4. #4
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    Wifey just told me i am a muppet...it was a 3.2!

    Did a quick edit about tyres and gearbox.

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    Depends on your expectations, and what you want from it. As above solid car but a bit uninspiring to drive, if you want a well balanced great handling car for spirited b road blasts this may not be the one. If you just want some occasional top down fun and your not too fussed about the above then this will tick the box.

  6. #6
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    If itís a 2nd car is it wise to even contemplate a diesel? Iíd be looking for petrol with a nice sound when the top is down?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmATeaf View Post
    If itís a 2nd car is it wise to even contemplate a diesel? Iíd be looking for petrol with a nice sound when the top is down?
    Errr it is a petrol!

  8. #8
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    Had an old 1.8 that leaked like a sieve at the boot lid top and above the wing mirrors from the window. Changed seals etc all to no effect.
    Also had a 3.5 which was as dry as a bone and went like a train. One of the best cars I've owned. Mechanically the only problems I had was noisy fans on both cars which were easy enough to change myself and solved the problem. Look at getting a trickle charger as slks are heavy on the battery when not used and need to be kept charged.
    I'd buy another in a minute.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl.1 View Post
    Errr it is a petrol!
    The OP is looking at the 2.1 diesel so either a 220d or 250d

  10. #10
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    SWMBO had a 250 and i ended up with it and in truth a nice easy car to drive the roof works very well had no issues in any respect all in all a good solid piece of kit really nice when the sun is shining do not expect s—- of a shovel performance but did me ok in leafy country lanes the paddles will not compete with a manual but can add to the driving experience.
    Just as an aside you need a full head of hair, a permanent tan and some chunky jewellery to complete the look.
    Last edited by mart broad; 10th February 2019 at 11:40.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    The OP is looking at the 2.1 diesel so either a 220d or 250d
    Fancy that, i was thinking about mine, they only made them petrol, did not realise they had now diesel models.
    I agree....go petrol, i would not like the smell of a diesel cat when sat stationary.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itizme View Post
    Depends on your expectations, and what you want from it. As above solid car but a bit uninspiring to drive, if you want a well balanced great handling car for spirited b road blasts this may not be the one. If you just want some occasional top down fun and your not too fussed about the above then this will tick the box.
    Thank you!

    As Iíve put on the years and lived with my little Toyota iQ for the past 7, Iíve generally become a relaxed old potterer in a car (although the iQ is remarkably capable and good fun in the twisty stuff), and get my adrenalin kicks when Iím out on the motorcycle now.

    The Merc will earn itís keep relaxing and pottering in the sun!


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mart broad View Post
    SWMBO had a 250 and i ended up with it and in truth a nice easy car to drive the roof works very well had no issues in any respect all in all a good solid piece of kit really nice when the sun is shining do not expect só- of a shovel performance but did me ok in leafy country lanes the paddles will not compete with a manual but can add to the driving experience.
    Just as an aside you need a full head of hair, a permanent tan and some chunky jewellery to complete the look.
    Thanks Mart, much as I had expected in terms of performance.

    I shall don a wig, plaster on the orange stuff and rattle the change in my pocket when I see the dealer - in case he refuses to sell me it otherwise! Lol!


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by alas58 View Post
    Had an old 1.8 that leaked like a sieve at the boot lid top and above the wing mirrors from the window. Changed seals etc all to no effect.
    Also had a 3.5 which was as dry as a bone and went like a train. One of the best cars I've owned. Mechanically the only problems I had was noisy fans on both cars which were easy enough to change myself and solved the problem. Look at getting a trickle charger as slks are heavy on the battery when not used and need to be kept charged.
    I'd buy another in a minute.
    Great advice, Iíll look out for those points! Thanks alas58!


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl.1 View Post
    Fancy that, i was thinking about mine, they only made them petrol, did not realise they had now diesel models.
    I agree....go petrol, i would not like the smell of a diesel cat when sat stationary.
    Thanks guys, I would prefer a petrol for all the obvious reasons, but they are few and far between in my price range. This one ticks all the other boxes, so a bit of a compromise.


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    Quote Originally Posted by pinpull View Post
    Thank you!

    As I’ve put on the years and lived with my little Toyota iQ for the past 7, I’ve generally become a relaxed old potterer in a car (although the iQ is remarkably capable and good fun in the twisty stuff), and get my adrenalin kicks when I’m out on the motorcycle now.

    The Merc will earn it’s keep relaxing and pottering in the sun!


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    so you like Japanese and high revving, It may be worth a test drive first as it may leave you cold. With that statement a Honda S2000 may be more up your street, much nicer looking, rarer and better performance....imo of course
    Last edited by Itizme; 10th February 2019 at 13:14.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itizme View Post
    so you like Japanese and high revving, It may be worth a test drive first as it may leave you cold. With that statement a Honda S2000 would be more up your street, much nicer looking, rarer and better performance....
    Yep, agree with the S2000, however I donít necessarily prefer Japanese. The iQ was bought purely because it was cute and very economical. Also because thereís only the two of us and itís adequate for all our needs.

    Before that there was a couple of LR Discos, and 3 Mercedes saloons - so European is probably my preference, and even the motorcycle is German!

    Iím also pretty used to the hard, but extremely supportive seats in the Mercs, which I quite like!

    Thanks for the alternative choice however... not dismissed by any means!


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itizme View Post
    so you like Japanese and high revving, It may be worth a test drive first as it may leave you cold. With that statement a Honda S2000 would be more up your street, much nicer looking, rarer and better performance....
    For pottering and relaxing in the sun, I can't think of many worse alternative options. A stiffly setup, high revving sports car with an old looking plastic interior.

    For what the op seems to be after, an slk is a vastly better option in every respect (bar residuals).

  19. #19
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    No problem
    Its got to work for you at the end of the day, your money your choice.
    Whatever you choose when the sun's out and roofs down it'll put a grin on your face, which is the end result.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenVrs View Post
    For pottering and relaxing in the sun, I can't think of many worse alternative options. A stiffly setup, high revving sports car with an old looking plastic interior.

    For what the op seems to be after, an slk is a vastly better option in every respect (bar residuals).
    Yep but with his bike riding back ground the slk performance wise may leave him cold, I found it rather boring to drive.... But as my above post it's got to work for the individual.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmATeaf View Post
    If itís a 2nd car is it wise to even contemplate a diesel? Iíd be looking for petrol with a nice sound when the top is down?
    About sums it up

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmATeaf View Post
    If itís a 2nd car is it wise to even contemplate a diesel? Iíd be looking for petrol with a nice sound when the top is down?
    You're probably right! If one comes up with the right credentials I'd certainly be on it like a shot, as it would be my preference. Sadly there ain't many about, or so it seems up here in bonny Scotland!


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  23. #23
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Mercedes SLK

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl.1 View Post
    Errr it is a petrol!
    2.1d?

    Quote Originally Posted by pinpull View Post
    You're probably right! If one comes up with the right credentials I'd certainly be on it like a shot, as it would be my preference. Sadly there ain't many about, or so it seems up here in bonny Scotland!


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    For what might be the right car Iíd certainly be willing to travel? I live in NW London and I got my car from Manchester, my wifeís car from Oxford and my sons from Bristol.

  24. #24
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    They are out there if you look

  25. #25
    I ran an SLK55 for 8 years, i loved it. That engine is mental in a car that size. Not cheap to run though, 8 MPG on a track day!

    Generic SLK problems are few, I believe. The roof is ££££s to fix if it goes wrong but they rarely do. Early V6s can be affected by the well known M272 timing chain issues. 4 cylinder ones aren't particularly fast but probably enough for real world day to day. The diesel? Not my thing at all, and I think it was Autocar that said "competes with the Audi TT diesel for the title of world's most joyless sports car". But there's plenty of people on the Mercedes forums who are happy enough with them, and it seems 50 MPG is a regular thing. The diesel has a narrow powerband though, so you might find it swaps cogs a lot if you're "making progress".

    I found the ride OK even in the AMG, if you want to go around with the top down in cold weather make sure you get one with heated seats and the air scarf. I found the COMAND sat nav was rubbish although mine was a 2006 model so hopefully they've improved over time. Mine also had the Harmon Kardon stereo upgrade which was the best sounding stereo I've ever had in a car.

    Cheers,

    Plug

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plug View Post
    I ran an SLK55 for 8 years, i loved it. That engine is mental in a car that size. Not cheap to run though, 8 MPG on a track day!

    Generic SLK problems are few, I believe. The roof is ££££s to fix if it goes wrong but they rarely do. Early V6s can be affected by the well known M272 timing chain issues. 4 cylinder ones aren't particularly fast but probably enough for real world day to day. The diesel? Not my thing at all, and I think it was Autocar that said "competes with the Audi TT diesel for the title of world's most joyless sports car". But there's plenty of people on the Mercedes forums who are happy enough with them, and it seems 50 MPG is a regular thing. The diesel has a narrow powerband though, so you might find it swaps cogs a lot if you're "making progress".

    I found the ride OK even in the AMG, if you want to go around with the top down in cold weather make sure you get one with heated seats and the air scarf. I found the COMAND sat nav was rubbish although mine was a 2006 model so hopefully they've improved over time. Mine also had the Harmon Kardon stereo upgrade which was the best sounding stereo I've ever had in a car.

    Cheers,

    Plug
    Thanks Plug, terrific resume and very helpful!

    Understand re the diesel, however I feel thereís a big difference between the hyper critical opinion of a motoring journalist, and the real world of the man in the street. I remember motorcycle journalists at one time saying that the BMW boxer engined bikes only suited old blokes with pipes and slippers!

    Iím a world away from an AMG, but will keep an open mind at my lower end! Thanks again, Plug!


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  27. #27
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    I'm on my 5th SLK. Had a slk230K, slk350, a mental 352bhp slk32, back to a slk230 and currently a slk250 cdi. I think they are great cars, really under rated but suits my style of driving perfectly, ie lazy one hand one foot cruising and I've been all over Europe in one.
    The diesel does have the diesel rattle but it does not bother me in the slightest. I get 600 miles to a tank, 200bhp and the figure of 500nm of torque beats a E92 M3 V8! At nearly three years of ownership the car I have currently is the longest I've ever kept a car so that says something.

    I've also fitted a IWC clock to mine to combine both of my interests :)

    I'm near Glasgow if you would like a drive of mine to see if you like before you buy with no pressure of the sale hanging over you.

    Here's my one.




    Just noticed you in Fife, I'm 20 minutes from the Kincardine Bridge, so you're probably not too far away.
    Last edited by billymac; 10th February 2019 at 22:02. Reason: To add a bit

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by billymac View Post
    I'm on my 5th SLK. Had a slk230K, slk350, a mental 352bhp slk32, back to a slk230 and currently a slk250 cdi. I think they are great cars, really under rated but suits my style of driving perfectly, ie lazy one hand one foot cruising and I've been all over Europe in one.
    The diesel does have the diesel rattle but it does not bother me in the slightest. I get 600 miles to a tank, 200bhp and the figure of 500nm of torque beats a E92 M3 V8! At nearly three years of ownership the car I have currently is the longest I've ever kept a car so that says something.

    I've also fitted a IWC clock to mine to combine both of my interests :)

    I'm near Glasgow if you would like a drive of mine to see if you like before you buy with no pressure of the sale hanging over you.

    Here's my one.




    Just noticed you in Fife, I'm 20 minutes from the Kincardine Bridge, so you're probably not too far away.
    Hi Billy - many thanks for your very useful comments, but mostly for your extremely kind and generous offer to allow me a drive in your lovely car! I might well take you up on that!

    What a fantastic clock addition - love it!

    Will pm you in the next day or so. Yes, I'm an East Neuker, so very close by!

    Best
    Ricky


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  29. #29
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    Guys - thanks for all you help, advice, experiences and comments. All taken on board!

    All in all, everything I've read from you is very encouraging about the quality and reliability of the car in general, and your satisfaction with it. So, it all reinforces that the make and model is indeed right for me and is what I will go for!

    Keeping that mind of mine open, I'll still take a drive in the diesel, but try to also find a petrol version that I can drive and compare the two.

    I have been looking at all combinations and location for a while now and would indeed be happy to travel to find the right car.

    Thanks again, one and all, just shows how great this forum and it's members are!

    Ricky


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  30. #30
    Isnít the default answer to this thread ĎMX-5í?


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  31. #31
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    Nice car. Wife loved hers until someone smashed into the back of it.
    Had an approved repair done. Looked perfect. But got rid shortly after.
    That power roof is a work of art.

    But after the not insignificant shunt, we didnít want to take the risk of anticipated roof problems.

    Understand itís rather a complicated system.

  32. #32
    Just to comment on the command question... itís still s&@t.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobDad View Post
    Isnít the default answer to this thread ĎMX-5í?


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    Haha! Youíre right! Iím probably as surprised as you that itís taken so long for that comment!

    Reasonable... but not for me!


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  34. #34
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    I drove a few SLKs when in the trade and thought the roof intruded on the boot space, I think they are more of a GT (long distance cruiser) than a sports tourer, if thatís what you want then theyíre hard to beat, me, Iíll stick to my S2000, yes it can be a firm ride, noisy and the windíll ruin your hair, Woohoo.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitfitter View Post
    I drove a few SLKs when in the trade and thought the roof intruded on the boot space, I think they are more of a GT (long distance cruiser) than a sports tourer, if thatís what you want then theyíre hard to beat, me, Iíll stick to my S2000, yes it can be a firm ride, noisy and the windíll ruin your hair, Woohoo.
    Thanks Pitfitter and I take your point re. the roof/boot, and youíre right, itís more a leisurely GT Iím after.

    Enjoy your S2000 - Iíd have no problem about having my hairstyle ruined, I could sort it out afterwards with a duster!


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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalic Mud View Post
    Nice car. Wife loved hers until someone smashed into the back of it.
    Had an approved repair done. Looked perfect. But got rid shortly after.
    That power roof is a work of art.

    But after the not insignificant shunt, we didnít want to take the risk of anticipated roof problems.

    Understand itís rather a complicated system.
    Yep, the roof does seem to be quite a fantastic piece of engineering, and by default, complex and expensive to put right!

    When I had an Alfa Spider, I chose the manual hood version over the powered one for that very reason - less to go wrong, particularly as it was Italian!


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