Enough power to satisfy customers who aren't seeking ultimate performance in this class. The SLK isn't as quick as a BMW Z4 sDrive35i or Porsche Boxster S, but it certainly isn't slow. Handling is respectable but, again, not top of the class.
Aside from a jumpy throttle that requires unnecessary attention, the SLK's dynamics are fairly benign. It'll handle a canyon run if you're not trying to keep up with a capably driven Boxster. Very good brake feel.
The SLK's base suspension is comfortable relative to other offerings in the class. An adjustable two-mode system is optionally available. Overall, this is a relatively comfortable car.
Quiet for a convertible, the SLK still isn't the quietest car on the road, but its hardtop does a remarkable job of sealing out the racket compared to a cloth top.
With the exception of the awkwardly placed cruise control stalk, most controls are found in intuitive locations. COMAND's multi-control interface is well placed and works well once you get the hang of it.
Forward visibility is excellent in the SLK; a low hoodline and relatively vertical seating help. Rear visibility is better than expected as the top's rear window is well placed and drivers sit back far enough to have an adequate rear-quarter view.
Seat Access & Space
Lower than most cars, the SLK requires some work during ingress and egress. Our 6-foot 2-inch test driver lacked legroom, especially on the passenger side, and the seats squeaked when all the way back.
Cargo & Storage
Don't buy a SLK for cargo or storage space. This is a small car with trunk that is compromised by the needs of its retractable hardtop. Good for little more than two soft bags if you plan to lower the top.
A superb example of what Mercedes does well, the SLK's build quality is top notch. Assembly and materials are among the best in the business. Paint quality is high and everything a driver touches operates with precision.
Top lowering: 17 seconds. Top raising: 22 seconds. Fully automatic.