2009 Mercedes Benz SLK-Class Review
The SLK hardtop roadster impresses reviewers with its sporty yet easy-to-live-with handling dynamics, as well as its sleek exterior design.
Available since 1996, the Mercedes Benz SLK has always been a classy sports roadster. While its 2005 redesign smoothed out a few kinks, its 2009 refresh makes it even better. "The second-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK has always been a quick, good-looking, and luxurious sports car," writes Motor Trend. "By freshening the SLK for the 2009 model year, with revisions to the body, interior, and engine, Mercedes is attempting to make its sporting convertible that much better."
On balance, reviewers report Mercedes succeeded. While its SLK350 holds reviewers' hearts for its powerful 300-horsepower engine, test drivers find that both models handle marvelously. What's more, its restyled exterior design calls to mind such sporty rides as Formula 1 racers and the exotic SLR McLaren. The SLK's interior suffers a bit in terms of comfort and fit and finish, but most find that the roadster's positives outweigh its negatives.
For a sexy sports roadster with even greater performance abilities, check out the Porsche Boxster. If, however, you value luxury over all else -- and have the means to pay nearly double what you would for the SLK -- it's hard to go wrong with the Mercedes SL. Still, those on a budget can find plenty of thrill in the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
The SLK is available in two trims, the SLK300 and SLK350. A performance-tuned SLK55 AMG is also available.
- "With its 2009 refresh, the SLK continues its march toward macho with styling and engineering changes that turn it into a far more sporting-and thus, likable-proposition." -- Car and Driver
- "If you're a performance enthusiast and a roadster fan, it's hard not to enjoy the zippy Mercedes-Benz SLK, especially the much-improved SLK350. For those familiar with sporty two-seater convertibles, the SLK's faults shouldn't come as any surprise: limited luggage space (especially when the top is down), a smallish cockpit, and the lingering question of whether or not you should have perhaps bought something a touch more practical." -- About.com
- "Now in its fourth year of production, the current-generation SLK continues to offer sports-carlike handling, broad-shouldered power and the all-weather convenience of a retractable hardtop. Blessed with numerous updates for 2009, this aging model remains one of the most capable and desirable cars in its class." -- Edmunds
- "For what it is, the SLK hits on all the important notes with a standout look, good drive dynamic and luxury amenities that you expect from a Mercedes." -- AutoWeek
- "Beyond the SLK's gorgeous exterior, stunning interior and enthusiast-inspired performance and handling capabilities, the car's most attractive feature is its price. With a sticker starting around $45,000, the SLK is well within reach of luxury car buyers seeking a fun second vehicle for weekend getaways or romantic moonlight drives." -- Kelley Blue Book