2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 268 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

  • Being a Mercedes-Benz, you'd expect the 2008 SLK-Class to provide plenty of style, luxury features and brand cachet. That it does. But it also provides a surprising amount of performance capability as well.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Stylish design, sharp handling, powerful engine lineup, comfort and convenience of retractable hardtop.

  • Cons

    More expensive than rivals, big blind spots when top is up, steering a little lacking in feel.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class sees a couple of minor equipment changes, including the SLK350 now only being available with an automatic transmission. Also new is the Edition 10 package, which celebrates the SLK's 10 years in production and features a black or silver exterior with a black-and-red interior scheme, special 10-spoke wheels, and smoked headlight and taillight bezels.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (24 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

9 of 19 people found this review helpful

Missed the mark

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

While the SLK 280 is a fun convertible to drive, Mercedes missed the mark on a number of fine points. With top down, wind noise negates any conversation or music listening. The cup holders are poorly made and located in a position that blocks your view to the right. The weight (lack of) of the car makes it very dangerous to drive in the rain. It floats and hydroplanes in puddles. Storage is extremely limited and the glove box is filled completely with the cd-changer. Each oil change is over $300 (no options for less) and all they do is "inspect" the car and change the oil! The retractable roof worked perfectly every time and the neck scarf heater is the best feature of the car.

Love it, love it!

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Delighted with my Mercedes SLK 280, in Mars Red. I fell in love first with the styling, then with the drive. My favorite part is the air scarf and heated seats, that let you drive with the top down in cool weather (which in Texas is just about year round). The hardtop is leaps above having a rag top and works very well (and impresses anyone who sees it). I actually like the factory nav system, and it has worked well for me. I find the car very comfortable on road trips, and got about 32mpg on the highway with premium gas. My car has the DVD-based sound system - 4 GB of MP3's is a lot.

Blast to drive

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

I got tired of all the idiot lights coming on my BMW and bought one of these. I have had it 1 1/2 years and not a problem anywhere/anytime. Great acceleration and moves when you want it to in SF traffic. Car always gets looks and build/quality is excellent. You wont find cheap plastic or trim falling apart in this car. Also what I like best is the seat belt dosent rub no the leather (wear it out) BMW has this problem. Great handling car and 280 is enough power.

Fun car to drive

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

I was looking for a fun convertible car to drive, more interested in a good ride, but also some ponys under the hood to get 'er going. I found nirvana in the SLK! I test drove several others - Z4's, Boxsters but didn't like the ragtops.

Best benz i've ever owned

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

This is my 5th Mercedes, dating back to 1987. It's my first roadster, after enduring a 2003 CLK (awful) and a 2005 CLK (vastly improved). Fortunately, this car is wonderful. The finish, the interior trim level, the seats, the workings of the convertible hard-top, the little touches like "air-scarf" and the other details all combine to make this car a joy to drive and a pleasure to own. It's, by far, the best built Benz I've owned since, probably, the S class I had back in '89. After a year and 10,000 miles so far so good with the exception of the navigation system (see below)!

Superb automobile

by on
Vehicle: 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

I did the research on the sports cars. I test drove this car and loved it. Superior in many ways to competition. A bargain for the horsepower and design. This car turns heads. I love it.

Full 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class sees a couple of minor equipment changes, including the SLK350 now only being available with an automatic transmission. Also new is the Edition 10 package, which celebrates the SLK's 10 years in production and features a black or silver exterior with a black-and-red interior scheme, special 10-spoke wheels, and smoked headlight and taillight bezels.


The first-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster looked like a serious performance car, but in reality (apart from the hyper SLK32 AMG) it wasn't. That first SLK, which boasted a class-exclusive retractable hardtop, was more a boulevard cruiser than a canyon carver. And for a lot of buyers, that was fine. But for driving enthusiasts wanting a roadster with agility and speed, the SLK left something to be desired.

All of this changed when the second-generation model debuted a few years ago. This model received an extreme makeover to please all but the most demanding drivers. The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK is representative of the latest generation, and its stiff platform, powerful engine lineup, strong brakes and an available sport-tuned suspension allow it to be equally at home slicing up Mulholland Drive as it is cruising Rodeo Drive.

Competing against the likes of the BMW Z4, Nissan 350Z and Porsche Boxster, the SLK makes a strong showing thanks to its still unique-in-class retractable hardtop, classy cabin, distinctive looks and solid performance credentials. There is, of course, a premium to be paid for driving this sweetheart and some potential buyers may be put off by the Benz's higher-than-typical price. And others might prefer the Z4 and Boxster's still sharper handling dynamics. But those looking for a roadster that offers coupe-like comfort, plenty of performance and generous helpings of luxury and prestige should seriously consider the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is a two-passenger roadster that features a power-retractable hardtop. Three trim levels are offered: SLK280, SLK350 and SLK55 AMG. Standard equipment on the SLK280 includes 16-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control and a nine-speaker CD audio system. In addition to a larger V6 engine, the SLK350 adds 17-inch wheels and larger brakes. The V8-powered SLK55 AMG offers ultimate performance and comes with 18-inch wheels, high-performance tires, bigger brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, power and heated seats with driver-side memory, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, upgraded leather upholstery, and unique interior and exterior trim details.

Many of the AMG model's extra features are optional on the SLK280 and SLK350. Other SLK options include bi-xenon headlamps, a navigation system, a 380-watt surround-sound audio system, a glovebox-mounted CD changer, satellite radio, and an Airscarf system that directs heat through vents in the head restraints. There are also special "designo" color-themed packages based on exterior paint color and interior trim. The SLK280 and 350 can also be equipped with a sport package that includes a sport-tuned suspension, steering-wheel-mounted automatic transmission shift buttons and special wheels and exterior styling details.

To celebrate 10 years in production, there is the Edition 10 package, available on the SLK280 and SLK350. It features a black or silver exterior with a black-and-red interior scheme, special 10-spoke 17-inch wheels and smoked headlight and taillight bezels.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the SLK280 is a 3.0-liter V6 that makes 228 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The SLK350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 good for 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The SLK280 can be had with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control, while the SLK350 is automatic only. The high-performance SLK55 AMG comes with a 5.4-liter V8 that pumps out 355 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque; it's paired up with a seven-speed automatic. The AMG is a potent performer, with a claimed 0-60-mph time of 5.1 seconds. The more common SLK350 is also respectably quick, as we've timed it at 6.3 seconds for that drill.


Antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, knee airbags and side airbags (that provide head and chest protection) and the TeleAid emergency call system are all standard on the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class.

Interior Design and Special Features

With the hardtop up, the SLK provides the security and comfort of a traditional coupe. The only downside is partially obscured sight lines, as there are blind spots caused by the roof pillars. Transforming the SLK into an open roadster takes just 22 seconds. When lowered, that top takes up considerable space in the trunk, but there are still 6.5 cubic feet of space available for luggage.

The cockpit features plenty of handsome, soft-touch materials and even the plastics used exhibit the same high quality. The soft and supportive seats remain comfortable even after several hours of driving, and if you keep the windows up while the top is down, wind buffeting is minimal. Those who like to have the top down at every opportunity will love the optional "Airscarf" system that channels warm air to your neck and shoulders via dedicated ducts in the headrests. Although it may feel like having a wolverine breathing down your neck, it actually works quite well and when it's combined with traditional seat heaters, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK becomes one of the most useful all-weather convertibles on the market.

Driving Impressions

Mercedes-Benz isn't typically known for building true drivers' cars, but the SLK is an exception. It delivers solid performance in acceleration, braking and handling. Obviously, the AMG model has the most performance potential, and indeed it posts impressive numbers in instrumented testing. But one needn't spring for the AMG for an entertaining drive, as the 280 and 350 models provide plenty of fun for enthusiasts. Only when compared directly to this segment's athletic star, the Porsche Boxster, do the SLK's slightly less tactile steering and slower handling responses become apparent.

Talk About The 2008 SLK-Class

Read more about the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs