No doubt that Chrysler had an influence on the design of this car. The parts inside the car were very cheaply made and looses its shine and color. The car is a lot of work to maintain its look and ride. I would try to get the SL class or the CLK first before buying the SLK. It's really more of a barbie doll car, definitely not a man's vehicle.
I bought my '99 SLK230 new. It is the base model and my favorite commuting car. I now have over 110K on it and it has been a very good car. I have had what seems to be pattern failures on the vehicle. MAF sensor right around 70K miles, K40 Relay failed at 78K and I found and re-soldered the melted connection and it has been good ever sense. I did encounter a noisy camshaft variable timing unit which was the most expensive part I've replaced, part cost was close to $400. and I'm a Euro car tech so fixed it myself. The electrical connector on the transmissions leak fluid about every 5 year/50K miles. I've replaced one plastic shift bushing and think the second one is now due.
Looks good, quiet and dry for a convertible, sporty driving with plenty adequate performance, yet good fuel economy from 25-28 mpg.
Great A/C too and it still looks way better than one would think for a 15 year old car.
I bought and sold a couple of higher mileage SLK230's and they both returned to very presentable cars with only cosmetic and small repairs.
think these cars are real bargains if one can do any work themselves.
Nice comfortable for short or longer drives.
My vehicle is the automatic yet it required
I choose a standard shift model.
The painted plastic on the interior is well below expectations for MB, or anyone else for that matter.
It is also a fairly big job to remove and refinish properly, but holds up well afterwards.
The staggered tires wear at different rates and the rears always wear out first and get painfully noisy not befitting the vehicle.
The exhaust note is pitiful and not sporty sounding at all.
Cool car, but the top can be very troublesome (and expensive to fix). If you are considering buying, make sure top is in good working order. Fun to drive, but 4 cylinder is a little weak and doesn't sound great. Bose stereo is terrific. Ride is harsh, but to be expected. No mechanical problems in the 10k miles I've had the car (90k-100k), seems reliable. Also, be careful you don't close the top on something rigid - you will shatter the rear window glass. Ask me how I know.
Two tone interior, classic styling, heated seats, Bose stereo.
Power top reliability, 4 cylinder engine sounds rough.
Manual transmission linkage feels horrible -- rubbery and vague.
I bought my SLK in 2006 with 110,000 miles on it. I've owned six Benzes, all used when I bought them. The SLK is the most expensive to maintain and worth every penny. One reason I bought this car is the manual transmission, something SLs haven't had in the US since 1972. It's way too easy to get a speeding ticket with this car. I actually prefer a soft top with seasonal hard top (as on my 190 SL and 230 SL) The retracting top is OK too but needs maintenance.
Looks great from all angles. The metallic blue is outstanding. Good balance between go-power and mileage (mine averages 27). Great stereo and good AC.
Should have a full size spare tire, or at least one you don't have to inflate before installing.
I bought my 1999 SLK used in September 2008 with only 25,000 miles on the odometer, which is very low miles for a 9 year old car. This model has a timeless style that still looks new....everyone who see's it cannot believe its not just a couple years old instead of 9. It's definitely an attention getter, mine is black on black. I now have 38,000 miles on it and all I've had maintenance wise is oil changes and tires. At 52, I plan on this being the last car I own, I'd never get rid of it!
Retractable hardtop, timeless styling,
Better quality interior assembly for an almost $50,000 car. Dash and console paint peels off, and door panels are glued, not screwed into the door frame, and can separate.