The Mercedes Benz SLK-Class is the smallest Mercedes 2-seater sports car roadster which means that it is a wonderful weekend car. The SLK was first introduced in 1996, but the first generation SLK is now both old, and relatively unreliable. It’s also worth mentioning that the 1st gen SLK does not look all that particularly handsome.
The best SLK model to buy is probably the 2006 SLK55 AMG. This is because this SLK combines the very best attributes of modern-era Mercedes cars and those are design, power, reliability, and style. This makes the SLK55 AMG from 2006 one of the best SLK models out there, at least as far as value retention is concerned.
If you are more interested in newer SLK models, you should also check out the 2015 SLK55 AMG because it offers more or less the same experience as the 2006 model, but with the added benefits of the modern-day auto industry such as safety, luxury, and performance features.
When it comes to buying cars like the SLK, you need to keep in mind that these are bought by heart, and not with your head. At first glance, these cars are unpractical, troublesome, way too small, and potentially even overpriced. However, they are a blast to drive, and that is why so many people love them.
2006 Mercedes SLK55 AMG
The 2nd gen 2006 SLK55 AMG is likely the best SLK model you can go for at the moment because it offers a legendary engine, a relatively decent price tag, and a dynamic chassis that is likely to keep you entertained for a long time. The SLK55 AMG comes with a 5.0L V8 with 302hp and a decent 5-speed automatic that fits the car’s character.
People seem to love the design of the 2nd generation of the SLK which is a good thing because the mechanics are there to back it all up. It is a small, 2-seater sports car that can be used both in town and on coastal roads. The transmission is smooth when you want it to be, but also responsive enough when you put the power down.
The engine sounds wonderful, especially with the roof off. The interior of the 2006 SLK has all the bare essentials which is both a good thing and a bad thing. The bad thing is that you will not find any 21st-century technologies here, but the good thing is that fewer things are going to distract you from the driving experience.
2015 Mercedes SLK55 AMG
If you deem the 2006 model to be a bit too archaic and you are willing to spend a bit more money, you should check out the 2015 SLK55 AMG which is more or less identical to the 2006 model, but with the added benefits that come from the modern-day automotive industry.
The 5.5L AMG engine produces 415hp which makes the 2015 model a lot more serious. The driving experience is not all that different from the 2006 model, but it is more sophisticated, especially with the roof up. The 2015 model feels like it can be used as a daily driver while the 2006 model is more of a weekend cruiser.
Of course, the 2015 model is way more expensive, but it has lost a fair bit of value since it was first released. Another huge difference between these two is the interior because the 2015 model has a fair bit of modern-day technology and an overall jump when it comes to quality, fit, and finish.
Why do people love the Mercedes SLK so much?
The internet is brimming with people arguing about the appeal of the Mercedes SLK, but we will present a few facts about the car that no one can argue with. First, the SLK offers a relatively lightweight chassis, a short wheelbase, a huge array of gasoline and diesel engines, and the option to go for either a manual or an automatic.
Secondly, the SLK uses a factory-installed hardtop roof which insolates the car perfectly during the winter while also enabling you to enjoy the wind in your hair during the summer. The SLK also offers lavishly equipped interiors that are way better than anything BMW, Mazda, Toyota, or Fiat have ever offered in this price range.
The SLK indeed suffers from an identity crisis because the image it portrays to some people is not the best. Either way, it is a 2-seater luxury sports car with a Mercedes badge that does not cost all that much, and that is why people love it as much as they do.
Which is the worst Mercedes SLK ever?
The 1st generation 1996 SLK never really made a dent in anyone’s world. This is because the 1996 SLK was the very first attempt toward making a 2-seater compact luxury cruiser done by Mercedes which means that reliability and usability are indeed a problem. That is why the 1st gen SLK never really made it, but thankfully the newer models did.
It’s also worth mentioning that the 2011 model or the 1st year of production for the 3rd generation of the SLK has also seen lots of issues, no matter the model, no matter the engine. Some people even named the 2011 SLK the least reliable car they have ever experienced. Words so strong are only reserved for the worst models.
Should I buy a Mercedes SLK?
If you are in the market for a 2-seater sports luxury car and you like the way the SLK looks, you are probably going to enjoy it. First, be sure to find a relatively low-mileage example with a full-service history, especially if you are after a V8 model.
Even though some of these are affordable to buy, they are expensive to run.
Why did Mercedes discontinue the SLK/SLC?
Yes, Mercedes has announced back in 2019 that the SLK/SLC is officially dead. This is because the segment was dwarfed by the rise of the crossover/SUV popularity craze and cars such as these were the first ones to go. To be frank, cars such as these were never popular to begin with as they are not all that practical, nor logical for most people.
Either way, there are no indications that Mercedes is going to revive the SLK/SLK anytime soon, but they have recently revealed the new SL.