The Mercedes SLK is currently on its third generation as the brand’s roadster. Today it’s sporting a classic look yet revives some classic elements from the 1950s 190 SL model. The 190 SL is known among fans as the predecessor or original version of the SLK. The First SLK was released in 1996 with a hard folding roof controlled by pushing a button. In 2004, the next generation introduced the heating system called Airscarf, which is responsible for warming the neck and shoulders while the roof is placed down. The latest model has introduced the Magic Sky Control. This can switch the atmosphere by shifting between the roof’s light or dark. But how else does the SLK fare, beyond these recent new additions?
The 2011 Mercedes SLK sports a more advanced design that combines form and function according to road tests. There are no awkward engineering issues with the SLK’s folding hardtop and the overall look is able to satisfy the image-driven market of this vehicle. The car comes with coil springs, multi-link suspension, and passive dampers as standard equipment, but you can enhance these features via a “dynamic handling pack” that includes active dampers. This feature is included in the AMG Sport Trim. This addition offers the Sport setting on the dashboard, allowing for a firmer response on the dampers and for better steering responses. You can also activate the brakes for cornering via the torque vectoring system. The AMG Sport Trim also includes a 10mm suspension drop.
The SLK excels in its interior design. While seated on the cockpit, you are treated to a luxurious view of the brushed aluminum switches and vents. Leather abounds on almost every surface, apart from the coloured screen or metal-based areas. Mercedes doesn’t hold back in assuring you of prime car status. Including the optional vario-roof, a clear glass panel set that’s placed on the folding electric roof, can enhance the cabin’s ambience. No other competitor includes a similar feature. The boot has enough capacity at the maximum 335-litres when the roof is up. The space retains 225-litres once the roof is down. Visibility is assured all around even until the end of the bonnet. You will have some trouble, however, looking by the door mirrors when facing the forward direction at an angled junction. Nonetheless the Mercedes SLK assures a good view both forward and rearward.
Refinement is a major issue in this model. Although the roof is well engineered, wind noise is heard when going at faster speeds. There are quieter cabins among the SLK’s competitors. Driving is also better handled on the BMW Z4 or Porsche Boxster. Even though the SLK is agile and fast, you tend to feel displaced from the road. The steering also tends to be light and gets in the way of enjoying the drive. It’s definitely the vehicle to take along seaside roads, but it could still use improvement on grip for cornering. The Sport mode helps in this problem, but steering continues to be lacking in spite of this feature.
What do you think?(Average rating: 5 , Total rates: 3 )