2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

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 18/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

  • While convertibles bearing the Mercedes-Benz name have always offered luxury, solidity and brand cachet, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class does them one better -- it's a genuine driver's car.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Compelling engines, versatile retractable hardtop, sharp handling, Airscarf heater.

  • Cons

    Pricey, substantial blind spots and high beltline, steering lacks feel.

  • What's New for 2010

    The Mercedes-Benz SLK carries over mostly unchanged for 2010. A very-low-production Diamond White Edition SLK300 is now available.

Full 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

What's New for 2010

The Mercedes-Benz SLK carries over mostly unchanged for 2010. A very-low-production Diamond White Edition SLK300 is now available.


Since being introduced in the 1990s, the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class has been best known for one thing: its retractable hardtop convertible roof. A revolutionary piece of automotive engineering at the time, it has since spread to other convertibles. Yet the 2010 Mercedes SLK-Class remains an appealing luxury roadster, especially given how much emotion plays on this sort of vehicle purchase. The current (second-generation) SLK may be getting on in years, but it's still an attractive little convertible that looks fresh.

The SLK has an impressive dynamic résumé as well. Unlike past Mercedes convertibles and roadsters, this SLK is actually quite fun to drive, with adept handling that doesn't impose on ride comfort. While it will never match the handling thrills of the superb Porsche Boxster, the SLK stays true to what a roadster should be like to drive. Backing up the driving enjoyment are your choice of two V6 engines or a mighty V8 that adds a whole new level to the car's character.

However, we would be remiss if we didn't mention the fully redesigned BMW Z4, which now utilizes the same grand-touring formula. The new Z4 has not only a retractable hardtop that provides better top-up visibility than the SLK, but also a better-sorted ride, more interior space, a more modern electronics interface and -- in twin-turbocharged trim -- more muscle than the SLK300 and SLK350 can muster.

But the BMW has nothing to match the mighty SLK55's hand-built V8, and there's always the matter of what tugs at your emotional heartstrings. Overall, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class remains an excellent choice for those looking for a premium roadster with grand-touring leanings.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is a two-seat retractable-hardtop roadster offered in three versions: SLK300, SLK350 and SLK55 AMG, each of which comes with a different engine.

Standard equipment on the SLK300 includes a fully automatic retractable hardtop, 17-inch wheels, front and rear foglamps, cruise control, dual-zone manual climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, eight-way manual front seats, leather upholstery, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker stereo with six-CD changer. The SLK350 adds a bigger V6, a standard automatic transmission and upgraded brakes.

The Premium I package adds remote roof operation, auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, eight-way power front seats (including lumbar adjustment), driver memory functions, a power steering column and an iPod interface. The Sport package adds 18-inch wheels, a sport suspension and various body kit items. The Diamond White Edition SLK300 (about 100 units only) will include 18-inch AMG wheels, a sport suspension, steering wheel shift paddles, metallic white paint, a two-tone interior and baseball glove-style leather upholstery stitching.

The SLK55 AMG adds a beastly V8 and the usual array of AMG-tuned items (V8 engine, brakes, suspension, exhaust, transmission, styling) plus a sport steering wheel, upgraded leather upholstery, heated seats and the Premium I package. The AMG Performance package adds upgraded brakes, a track-calibrated suspension, light-alloy 18-inch wheels, a higher top speed, a performance steering wheel and carbon-fiber interior trim.

The Multimedia package available on all SLK models includes the COMAND electronics interface, a hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic updates, digital music storage, satellite radio and HD radio. The Lighting package adds bi-xenon headlamps, corner-illuminating foglights and headlamp washers. The Heating package adds a cloth wind deflector, the Airscarf neck-level heating system and heated seats. Stand-alone options include dual-zone automatic climate control and an 11-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo.

Powertrains and Performance

The rear-wheel-drive 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK300 is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 228 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a seven-speed automatic is optional. Mercedes estimates a 0-60-mph time of 6.1 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with the automatic, and 18/26/20 with the manual.

The SLK350 gets a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 300 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic is the only available transmission. Mercedes estimates a 5.4-second 0-60 time. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 18/25/20 mpg.

The SLK55 AMG features a 5.4-liter V8 that pumps out 355 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. An AMG-tuned seven-speed automatic is standard. In Edmunds testing, the SLK55 went from zero to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Fuel economy estimates are 14/22/17 mpg.


Safety equipment includes antilock brakes, stability and traction control, knee airbags and side airbags that cover the head and thorax. The "mbrace" emergency telematics system is also standard. In Edmunds brake testing, the SLK55 came to a stop from 60 mph in a short 115 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

With its retractable hardtop in place, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is virtually indistinguishable from a conventional two-seat coupe. Leg- and headroom are acceptable even for tall drivers, though the new Z4 is still roomier inside. The only notable drawback involves the SLK's inferior sight lines, as the intricately constructed roof creates significant blind spots. Press the button to lower the top, though, and all will be forgiven, as al fresco motoring is just 22 seconds away. When lowered, the folded top naturally eats up trunk space, but a modest 6.5 cubic feet is still available.

Interior construction isn't quite up to the level of Benz's latest models, but still, you're unlikely to feel cheated by the SLK. The seats don't look like much, but they somehow manage to provide exemplary support and adequate long distance comfort. We highly recommend opting for the Airscarf system, which breathes warm air on your neck -- it sounds weird but it works. Add to that heated seats, a smart heating system and perhaps a warm hat, and all-season top-down motoring is easily accomplished.

Driving Impressions

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class's acceleration is strong even in the base V6 model, which is the only SLK to offer a manual transmission; the SLK350 is stronger still but automatic-only. The SLK's handling capabilities will put a smile on just about any driving enthusiast's face, while the ride quality remains comfortable and compliant enough to appeal to the average driver. Only in direct comparison with pure sports cars like the Boxster do the SLK's relatively uncommunicative steering and less tossable nature become apparent.

Even so, the SLK55 AMG will be hard for car lovers to pass up -- it's almost a modern-day Shelby Cobra, albeit with a thick layer of luxury slathered on top. The formula is virtually the same: Start with a capable compact roadster, stuff it to the gills with a giant V8, sharpen the suspension and proceed to stun people at traffic lights when you tear off down the road in a cloud of tire smoke. Handling is also improved thanks to its myriad AMG upgrades. The aging automatic transmission leaves much to be desired, however, as it is slow to respond and doesn't blip the throttle on manual downshifts. Indeed, this is an issue with lesser SLKs as well.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great around town

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

This is a great car to drive! For around town driving, it has the right compromise between comfort and performance. It's soft enough so that it is comfortable on the bump and pot hole ridden streets around where I live. However, when on twisty roads in the country, it performs wonderfully at any speed you would drive on public roads. The 300 HP 3.5L V6 gives this car impressive straight line performance. It's definitely not a Porsche, but it's not supposed to be... The retractable hard top is wonderful considering the amount of rain we get. Build quality is excellent - no squeaks or rattles to speak of and no other problems / issues after 1 year of ownership.

1 of 9 people found this review helpful

Good choice

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

I purchased the slk 300 in silver with chrome wheels with a lot of extras. I was ready to buy the bmw z 35i but changed my mind. The bmw is a nice car without a doubt as i just returned my 335i and can't complain about performance as it zoomed. But surprise surprise the slk 300 is just breaking in and it flys too. I was surprised when i hit it on the xway the other day i almost lost it. I live in Southern California so traffic is heavy and my 300 holds its own.

Z4 v slk

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

I just returned my 2007 BMW 335i which is every car reviewers baby. I bought the SLK 300 love it and would do it again. I was really thinking about buying the new BNMW Z4 35I with that twin turbo 300 HP like my 2007 335i BUT I could not justify the price difference of some $260 more a month to my wife and BMW would not deal with me despite my steller credit. I am not lead footed and don't street race so the difference in 1.1 sec from zero to 60 really doesn't matter. I would have bought the 350 but again it was the price difference. It is brand new with only a few miles on the car but I drove it enough to see what it has and I am happy with my choice. Good Choice in a Sports Car !!!

100% owner satisfaction

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

SLK 300 6M. Without doubt, I thoroughly enjoy owning this vehicle. The pleasure begins with looking at it in the driveway. The stability and cornering are remarkable. The engine power is a little tame in the 300, but I had to get this car with the manual transmission. A surprising power band between 4-6k rpm makes the twisty roads a blast. The retractable hard roof is effortless and sometimes I will put the roof down just to drive a few blocks.

More logic than a porsche

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

I bought this car because 1- The retractable hard top (I hate soft tops) 2- Better comfort on the very bad roads of Province of Quebec. Road handling is not as good as a Boxter but the SLK is faster than the standard Boster and not so far behind a Boxter S. I would have had to buy the Cayman S but it's $20,000 more than the SLK350 and it's not convertible. I can hardly wait to get the new 2012 SLK 63.

Better but not best

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

The obvious pluses concerning this vehicle is the style, image, and the retracting hard top. The selling feature for me was the hard top convertible. This year's model has some minor improvements, the engine and its improved horse power and 0-60 speed put it in the running with the entry level Porsche. Unfortunately, I've driven both and the Porsche is still the better of the two. My 350 SLK is sexy in a girly kind of way. The Porsche is way more sport car than Mercedes is capable of building. I regret that I didn't spend more to get the car of my dreams. My wife's vote (and veto of the Porsche) cinched the deal and the SLK won the deal.

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Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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