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2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK has a luxurious interior, but most rival luxury sports cars deliver better performance, more interior space and just as much comfort and luxury.

For most critics, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class tries to balance sport and comfort. The SLK250 and 350 deliver competitive power and acceleration, but few test drivers are blown away by their performance. For a more exhilarating drive, they say the V8-powered SLK55 AMG is the best bet. The SLK250 earns an EPA fuel economy estimate of 23/33 mpg city/highway, which is average for the class. Overall, if you’re looking for one of the best-handling cars you can find, most reviewers say you’re probably better off with a Porsche Boxster. But if you’re looking for a comfortable weekend cruiser that is neither too sporty nor too soft, the SLK is a fine choice.

Reviewers agree that the Mercedes-Benz SLK’s cabin is crafted with premium materials that live up to its Mercedes-Benz badge. Still, some say that while it is high-quality, the cabin feels less spacious than similar rivals like the BMW Z4. As with most convertibles with retractable roofs, the SLK’s trunk space shrinks when the top is lowered. The SLK-Class comes with a competitive array of standard features, which include leatherette seats and Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system. Optional features include navigation, a glass pane in the primary roof panel, leather seats and an 11-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo.

  • "If ever there was a sensible luxury roadster, the Mercedes-Benz SLK may be it." -- Edmunds
  • "At the same time, the SLK remains less of a pure sports car than the Porsche Boxster, stressing comfort and prestige over pure driving dynamics. But few SLK buyers will take issue with that." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Since the Mercedes-Benz SLK made its debut, its styling has been writing checks the rest of the car couldn't cash. The 2012 redesign has improved the SLK in many respects. Driving enthusiasts will still lean toward a BMW Z4 or Porsche Boxster, which outperform the SLK at the extremes, but the gap is closing. ... Styling and cabin quality alone should sell the car." -- Cars.com (2012)
  • "Finally, the SLK350 is stunningly beautiful - sleek, muscular, diminutive, yet unmistakably powerful - the motorized equivalent of an attractive woman in uniform. That's my take, anyway. I love this car. I returned it to Mercedes-Benz reluctantly." -- The Washington Post (2012)

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Other Sports Cars to Consider

The 2013 BMW Z4 is also a two-seat, retractable hardtop roadster, but it gets generally higher marks from reviewers for its performance. Critics also say its cabin is a bit more spacious and comfortable than the SLK's.

The Porsche Boxster is regarded by reviewers as one of the most performance-oriented and fun-to-drive roadsters on the market. In addition, the soft-top Boxster offers more cargo space when the top is lowered.

Compare the SLK-Class, Z4 and Boxster »

Details: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK is a two-seat roadster with a retractable hardtop. Three models are offered: SLK250, SLK350 and SLK55 AMG. A number of option packages that add to the SLK’s list of features and amenities are available. The SLK was last redesigned for 2012, so this review uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 and 2013 model years.

See full 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class specs »

Review Last Updated: 10/8/13

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