2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Convertible

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 228 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

  • The 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is a fun-to-drive roadster that combines the safety and security of a hardtop, the wind-in-your-hair fun of a convertible and the European-brand cachet of a Mercedes all in one powerful and attractively styled package.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Stylish interior design, sports-carlike handling, strong and sweet-sounding V6, comfort and convenience of retractable hardtop.

  • Cons

    Costs more than peers, big blind spots when top is up.

  • What's New for 2006

    A less expensive SLK280 model debuts, featuring a 3.0-liter V6 with 228 horsepower.

Full 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

What's New for 2006

A less expensive SLK280 model debuts, featuring a 3.0-liter V6 with 228 horsepower.

Introduction

Introduced in 1998 as an answer to the BMW Z3 and Porsche Boxster in the premium small roadster segment, the SLK's most unique feature was its retractable hardtop roof, which offered more security as well as a quieter ride than its competitors' soft tops. In less than 30 seconds, with the touch of a button, one could convert the Mercedes SLK from a closed coupe to a cool convertible without leaving the driver seat. Improvements over the years kept the car competitive, but after seven years on the market, the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class was ready for a redesign.

With a dramatic new design for 2005 inspired by Mercedes' Formula One racecars, the second-generation SLK is every bit as eye-catching as the original. It's also slightly larger and more powerful than its predecessor, and still has the fun-to-drive character that made it so likable in the first place. While the previous version had the feel of a leather-lined bobsled, the larger cabin of the new version gives you plenty of room to move about. Even more impressive than the added room is the redesigned dashboard with its more cohesive layout, cleaner gauge cluster and higher-quality materials. Overall, the improvements create a more upscale, tasteful-looking cabin that far exceeds the previous model's.

An innovative Airscarf system channels warm air to your neck and shoulders via dedicated registers in the headrests, making the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class even more comfortable with the top down in chilly weather. Improvements continue under the hood with 268 horsepower on tap, courtesy of a 3.5-liter V6. The SLK can sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 5.6 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz. Complementing the impressive power plant is a pair of transmissions that offers excellent flexibility and performance whether you go with the standard six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.

Other notable improvements under the skin include a new rack and pinion steering system and more powerful brakes. The recirculating-ball steering system used in the previous model was often chastised for its heavy feel and inconsistent feedback, but the new setup is both lighter and more communicative. The SLK now has the power to go head-to-head with a Porsche Boxster and the handling to keep pace with a BMW Z4, and its revamped interior is arguably better than both. Overall, the 20060 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class offers one of the most compelling combinations of style, performance and comfort available anywhere.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Mercedes-Benz SLK comes in one body style: a two-seat roadster with a power-retractable hardtop, in two versions: SLK280 and SLK350. Standard equipment on the SLK280 includes 16-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, sport seats, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and a nine-speaker CD audio system. In addition to a larger engine, the SLK350 adds 17-inch wheels. Should this not be enough, there are many options to consider, such as a sport package with a lowered suspension, bi-xenon headlamps, a navigation system, a 380-watt surround-sound audio system, a glovebox-mounted CD changer, satellite radio, power-adjustable memory seats, seat heaters and an Airscarf system that directs heat through vents in the head restraints.

Powertrains and Performance

The Mercedes SLK280 features a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 228 horsepower. The SLK350 offers a 3.5-liter V6 good for 268 hp. The SLK350 can sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 5.6 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz. A six-speed manual is standard, and a seven-speed automatic (with automanual shift capability) is optional.

Safety

Seat-mounted side airbags are standard equipment, as are four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control (called ESP) and the TeleAid system, which alerts emergency personnel if an airbag goes off and can also put you in touch with a live operator to summon medical or police assistance. The Mercedes SLK also has reinforced A-pillars, integrated roll bars behind each seat and emergency tensioning seatbelt retractors for enhanced rollover protection. BrakeAssist automatically applies full braking force when a panic stop is initiated.

Interior Design and Special Features

Good-looking soft-touch material covers the top of the dash, glovebox and doors, while plastics of similar quality fill in the rest. The climate control layout varies depending on whether you add a navigation system, but both arrangements use easy-to-decipher dials. The soft and supportive seats remain comfortable even after several hours of continuous driving. Keep the windows up while the top is down and there's minimal wind buffeting. If that's not enough, consider the Airscarf system that channels warm air to your neck and shoulders via dedicated registers in the headrests. It actually works quite well, and when combined with traditional seat heaters, the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class becomes one of the most useful all-weather convertibles on the market.

Driving Impressions

Power kicks in early with either V6 and remains solid throughout thanks to variable camshafts and a two-stage intake manifold. As an added bonus, the stout 3.5-liter V6 pours out a satisfying wail that inspires flat-footed runs to redline at every opportunity. Top up or down, the Mercedes SLK feels remarkably composed and solid. Ride quality is a bit firm with the optional sport suspension, but the resulting handling is worth the trade-off. The steering is light to the touch yet returns enough road feel to maintain the car's sporting demeanor during aggressive driving. The brakes are a tad touchy, but stopping distances are impressive.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Rain back washes into electrical

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK350 2dr Convertible (3.5L 6cyl 6M)

Defect w/battery. The rain overflows fm the right side, into the battery box. There is a tiny hole for the rain to exit. The hole gets clogged up causing the rain water to back up into the electrical. Ruined A/C, Heat, cruise control, radio, etc. A total nightmare. I pushed the little black rubber stopper in & don't have the problem anymore. This is a manufacturer defect. Cost me thousands. The front bumper is also defective. 9 out of 10 are cracked. 1. It's too low 2. It's too flimsy. 3. It's high enough to scrape the top of a yellow cement parking block. Hello! Now that USA owns MB... starting to turn into crap!



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Put zing into your life!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK350 2dr Convertible (3.5L 6cyl 6M)

I am 56, no I am not having a midlife crisis. But I did need a little zing , so i found the most perfect car to ram rod around in. I really love my car, It is fun, you get the looks, you feel like a million bucks, and the 06, was very reasonably priced. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!




Great car!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK280 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

This is a great car. Bought it used with under 15K miles, get better than rated mpg, quick, solid, turns heads, loads of fun convertible hard-top design is awesome.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Perfect convertible except...

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK280 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I test drove the Z4, Audi TT, and Miata, but found the SLK to be the best balance of practicality and fun. I love the way it corners while still eating bumps with the standard Mercedes THUD (this is my 3rd Mercedes). I think it has the best, most organic curves of the contemporary two seaters, plenty of power, firm but comfortable seats, and enough room for two weekend bags. My only gripe - and it's a big one - is the rattles and squeaks. I drove 3 SLKs and they all produced noises over bumps. I think it's a side effect of the hard top.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I love this car!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK280 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I bought this car because I had always wanted a convertible. What a great first convertible experience! This car turns heads everywhere I go. The pick-up is great! The fuel economy listed is less than the 25mpg I've been averaging. It handles really well no matter where you may be. Great for sharp turns or straight roads.




Nice convertible

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK280 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

We purchased this as a 3rd car, primarily for weekend use, but I find myself driving it evenings also, just tooling around. It's a blast, drives great, turns heads with the top up or down (and especially when it is being retracted). Solid engine, perfect "rumble," seats are comfortable, great stereo, nice handling, etc. It is a great-looking car, and a lot of fun!



Talk About The 2006 SLK-Class

2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Discussions See all Started By

merc1
merc1
02-01-2005
2006 SLK-Class - Will get the smaller 228hp V6 mentioned above as an entry-level SLK280/300 model. No 4-cylinder SLKs are coming to the U.S. this time around....


merc1
merc1
03-03-2005
"Engine initiative: new six-cylinder units in the C-Class, E-Class and SLK-Class...


topspin
topspin
10-08-2006
Lease Rates & Residuals – Effective 10/6/06...



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
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