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

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Convertible

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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.

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.

Introduction

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.

Safety

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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


3 of 3 people found this review helpful

What's not to like?

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK350 2dr Convertible (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

I purchased the car because I was tired of looking for "safe" parking for my Porsche Boxster. The hard-top convertible gives me peace-of-mind so I can park on-street. For the first few weeks, I really missed the Porsche. But now I wouldn't go back. After adjusting to the different ride characteristics, I feel it handles as well as the Boxster and is far superior for longer drives. The AMG sport package is a must if you want a sports car experience. I've owned MG's, Triumphs, 240Z, 260Z, Porsche 911 Carrerra, Porsche 944 and Porsche Boxster (yes, I'm now an old guy.) This car is as much fun as any of my past cars, and as fast as anything I've driven.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Wife's car. my mid-life toy.

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK280 Edition 10 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

My wife has the Edition model with a 7- speed automatic. Silver on black. This car looks cool and is a blast to drive. Off the line, it's not especially quick. But once the RPM get above 2500, look out! This car really moves. You can accelerate to 80 MPH (and much higher)in the blink of an eye. And it sounds like a sports car. Terrific fun. The wife used to have a '03 SLK320. The '08 280 is a much better car. It has a much better ride and is much more fun to drive.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Defect in radio mercedes won't

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK280 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

My 2008 Slk Mercedes, purchased Sirius Radio service and I started losing stations. I notified Mercedes, they looked at my car 3 times, told me all 08 & 09 Mercedes where the sat. in sky is positioned, certain stations have weak signals. Called Sirius Radio, they said that is not true, antenna or cable in car. Then Mercedes told me since Sirius merged with Xm some of the 08 & 09 radios will not work, because there is a Bug in the radio preventing it from picking up some radio stations, because the radio was built before the merger. Called Sirius,they confirmed in writing, a merger takes 5 years, and Sirius sat. are running off sirius, xm off xm. Notified Mercedes of this, and they refused




My wife's dream car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK280 Edition 10 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

We enjoy this special car because of its unique appearance and build quality. The car is very stable on the highway and absorbs road imperfections well. The black metallic paint is of superior quality and shines beautifully (if clean). The gear shifter feels industrial in strength but the sun visors are very small and cheap. Seats are firm but comfortable for long distance cruising. Road noise can be heard from the rear when driven above 40 mph. The sound of the engine via the tail pipe is second only to the Porsche in the roadster class. Great safety is a given as is its long term durability. Learning the features of the car and the interior buttons may take time.




The perfect machine

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK280 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

The lease was up on my 2006 E350 so I jumped into a 2008 SLK 280. The E350 is flawless but I needed more of a "wow" factor. The black exterior with the tan and black interior is stunning. This car is the perfect blend of performance and luxury. My SLK has Premium III (navigation) with the appearance package. The retractable hardtop is provides the "wow" factor. The fun of driving a convertible without the downside of a ragtop. My only other convertable was a 2003 Z4. The SLK provides more convenience, safety and luxury than the Z4. Remember, it's not how fast you go, it's how well you go fast.




Just what i wanted.

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK280 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

Choosing between the Boxster, Z4, Sky, and the SLK I chose the 280SLK with the Premium 1, appearance package, heating package, 7-speed automatic, & 6 CD changer. The others did not have the retractable hardtop, and other than the Boxster all felt like tin cans compared to this car. The SLK fits the bill I wanted for driving; not a race car but handles very well, not an economy car but who cares, and performs everything I ask it to do very well. At 6' and 240# I have no problem entering and exiting, no problem with interior room, and am extremely comfortable on local or long distance drives. I am extremely happy the dealer, the salesman, and most of all the car. Great purchase.



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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