The Mercedes SLK 250 (R172) BlueEfficiency is the smallest Mercedes 2-seater sports car roadster made between 2011 and 2015. The R172 represents the third generation of the SLK which is also one of the most successful and most popular SLK models ever. Moreover, the R172 SLK 250 is still a really popular car on the 2nd hand market, but is Mercedes SLK 250 a good car?
If you are after a used stylish 2-seater compact roadster with a premium badge, the R172 SLK 250 is a perfect choice. It may not be the most practical car in its price range, nor is it the most luxurious one, but no one can deny that the SLK delivers a lot in its segment. Therefore, if you like this sort of car, the R172 SLK 250 is indeed a good car.
The SLK 250 comes with a relatively small 4-cylinder engine, but one that is enough for the car’s size. The R172 comes with a 7-speed automatic gearbox and permanent rear-wheel drive. The design of the SLK 250 is sleek, but some people say that it is too small to look good.
Reliability is decent, but maintenance can be tricky. Value is excellent as there aren’t many cars such as the SLK 250 at this price point that can do the same. Finally, practicality is where this car suffers the most because it is small, has a tiny trunk, and it only comes with two modestly proportioned seats.
Mercedes Benz SLK250 – The powertrain
As far as the powertrain is concerned, the SLK250 is not really an AMG car which means that it does offer a punch, but nothing that will get your blood pumping. The 1.8L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine offers 204hp and 228lb-ft of torque which is enough for the SLK250 to sprint from 0 to 60mph in a respectable 6.6 seconds.
This engine is mated to the trusty Mercedes 7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic torque converter gearbox that suits the engine really well. The gearbox is smooth and it shifts seamlessly, plus it’s fairly robust as it can take a lot more than 228b-ft of torque.
All SLK models are RWD cars which means that you can’t go for an AWD SLK. All in all, this powertrain combination suits the SLK 250 really well. It may not be the most exciting engine out there, but it certainly does the trick. Furthermore, it also returns about 35-40 miles to the gallon which is far better than any AMG SLK model can.
Mercedes Benz SLK250 – Design and chassis
It’s no secret that the SLK’s design is splitting hairs ever since the car first came out. Some say that the SLK is a certified women’s car, others say that the SLK is the car you buy when you want to tell the world you got money, but in reality, you do not. However, the SLK250 is a through and through Mercedes 2-seater roadster which means something in the automotive world and therefore can’t be downplayed.
The interior of the SLK250 is a bit more dated than the exterior but it does come with a fair bit of modern amenities. The driving experience is extremely fun as the SLK offers a short wheelbase and not too much body roll. The SLK is also a relatively comfortable car which means that it will not punish you over rough roads.
Mercedes Benz SLK250 – Reliability and common issues
The R172 is known to be a really dependable car because it relies on MB technology that was available before the R172 ever came out. It may not be as cheap when it comes to maintenance, but if you do everything right, the bills aren’t dreadful.
The most common issues are associated with the fuel system, the convertible roof, electrical issues, issues with the transmission, and suspension bushings.
Mercedes SLK250 – Value and practicality
The SLK is a car usually produced in large quantities, yet it isn’t a car most people tend to keep for a long time. The reason why the SLK is not as expensive as most people think is that the supply has long surpassed the demand. That is why these are relatively easy to find, buy, and live with.
Practicality is where this car suffers the most as it only has space for two passengers. The roof also takes up quite a bit of space when tucked in the back which hampers trunk space. This is a fairly substantial issue because the trunk space in the SLK was never good to begin with. The car is also tricky to get in and out of and you’d think that a car as small as the SLK should have better all-around visibility.
Should I buy the Mercedes SLK250?
As mentioned in the intro of this article, if you are in the market for a used compact 2-seater roadster with a premium badge, the R172 SLK250 is actually a great choice. It combines the style, ruggedness, and luxury Mercedes usually offers with more attainable prices and more reasonable running costs.
It may not be as exciting as the Porsche Boxster, but the Boxster costs a lot more money. It offers a lot more than the MX-5 Miata which has always been known to be a non-nonsense relatively barebone sports car while the SLK is a luxury car.
Why is the Mercedes Benz SLK so cheap?
The SLK is a car with a three-pointed star on the front which means that it will always be desirable by people. However, there are simply too many of these around and that is why the demand for the SLK is nowhere near as strong as supply is.
Moreover, this entire segment isn’t popular anymore. Since the SUV/crossover era began, sports cars and convertibles have slowly died out and there aren’t all that many of them left, at least not from new.
Is the Mercedes SLK a girl’s car?
Calling a car a girl’s or a man’s car is nonsense. The internet indeed deems cars such as the SLK and the Audi TT to be women’s cars. However, this should not play a role in your buying decision as you are the one who buys the car, not the internet.
Therefore, your SLK is what you make of it and it does not matter what anyone else says.