2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class

MSRP range: $49,950 - $64,650
Edmunds suggests you pay$52,647

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2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class Review

  • Retractable hardtop reduces interior noise
  • Distinctive glass roof panel
  • Less engaging to drive than rival convertibles
  • Antiquated technology interface
  • Snug interior, even by convertible standards
  • New SLC 300 and AMG SLC 43 Final Edition packages
  • Part of third Mercedes SLK generation introduced for 2011 (renamed SLC Roadster for 2017)

It's fair to say that the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC, at least in automotive terms, is now receiving AARP enrollment letters in the mail. The current-generation car debuted all the way back for the 2011 model year. While there have been some updates over the years, it's still the same basic car underneath.

Rival luxury roadsters such as the BMW Z4 and the Porsche 718 Boxster have undergone full redesigns since then. Even compared to other Mercedes-Benz cars, the SLC feels as if it was plucked from a different era.

It isn't all bad news. The SLC's styling is handsome, and its retractable hardtop design makes it quieter at freeway speeds than its soft-top rivals. It's also available with a long list of luxury features. If you really want a hardtop, check out the SLC. Otherwise we suggest looking elsewhere.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
We tested the Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC 43. It's quick and at times engaging, but all SLC models are showing their age. This generation of Mercedes' drop-top is nearly a decade old and competitors have eclipsed it in almost every way. Even compared to other Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the SLC looks and feels dated, especially inside. The retractable hardtop is a plus for highway driving, but it's not enough to put it ahead. The game has moved on, and the SLC hasn't.
The AMG SLC 43 encourages spirited driving thanks to its strong turbocharged V6 engine. But the final result isn't as engaging or thrilling as an Audi TT, Jaguar F-Type or Porsche Boxster. Some of these alternatives may be slower, but the greater sensation of speed and confidence is in their favor. While the SLC 43 handles well enough on smooth pavement, it can feel a bit unsettled on broken surfaces as the tires struggle to maintain their grip.

The gear changes are smooth and quick in everyday driving. The auto engine stop-start system causes shudders in the cabin and is a little slow to react. It occasionally turns off the engine just before you come to a full stop, resulting in an inelegant lurch.
Its folding hardtop roof is quieter than competitors, and the powerful climate control — complete with a breeze for your neck — is welcome. The seats are supportive and offer enough bostering to keep you planted while cornering yet don't feel confining.

The AMG SLC 43's ride quality is about average for the class. You feel every flaw in the road and there's substantial jostling over undulations, though it doesn't feel needlessly harsh. Overall, the SLC doesn't stand out from, or trail, the segment when it comes to comfort.
The interior is showing its age. Since the SLC debuted, the entire Mercedes lineup has adopted a more graceful and upscale cabin design. The technology has become more prevalent and easier to use too. The SLC's controls aren't as intuitive as those used in newer models, and some are hard to read in daylight.

It's snug inside the SLC too, though we wouldn't call it cramped. The low roof makes it feel smaller than it is and hurts both forward and rear visibility. The top itself folds in about 20 seconds.
If there's one thing that ages quickly, it's technology. Mercedes has updated its infotainment system multiple times since the SLC went on sale. The old-generation numeric keypad and needlessly redundant buttons bring up nostalgia, but not in a good way. At least everything works as it should, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is available.

The SLC comes with a decent level of driver safety aids. But, like the other in-car tech, they are much less refined than Mercedes' more recent products. The traffic-adaptive cruise control, for example, keeps a good gap but frequently taps the brakes instead of downshifting on a hill, causing small lurches. Other systems are difficult to operate.
What did you expect? It's a roadster, and the folding hardtop further cuts into cargo space. The trunk isn't generous, but that's expected of a folding-hardtop convertible. There's enough luggage space for a couple's weekend getaway with the top up. With the top down, only a single carry-on suitcase will fit, so pack light.

The interior isn't any better. You'll find few places to put items such as your smartphone or sunglasses, even fewer than in other roadsters in this class. These aren't the most practical vehicles around, but even by the class standard, the SLC falls short.
The EPA estimates fuel economy at 23 mpg in combined city/highway driving for the SLC 43. The SLC 300 is more economical at 27 mpg combined. Both numbers are below average for this class of car. Our SLC 43 test car posted a lackluster 21 mpg on our 115-mile mixed-driving evaluation route.
It's hard to justify the cost of this Mercedes considering the newer convertibles from Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Porsche. The alternatives give you more for the money, especially given the age of the tech and overall design of the SLC.
For the few who are considering a roadster, emotion plays a big role in this decision. While it can be fun, the SLC 43 AMG doesn't quite make the heart sing with rapture as some others do. The exterior styling has held up well, but the interior looks and feels every bit of its age. Take one look at the competition and you'll see just how far things have come since the SLC debuted.

Which SLC-Class does Edmunds recommend?

While the SLC 300 offers a decent open-air experience, we suggest stepping up to the more powerful and much more engaging AMG 43 model. In addition to the twin-turbo V6, it comes with more standard equipment than the base model.

Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class models

The 2020 SLC comes in two basic flavors: the standard SLC 300 and the sporty AMG SLC 43. Feature highlights include:

SLC 300
Come standard with:

  • 241-horsepower four-cylinder engine
  • Power-retractable hardtop roof with glass panel
  • 17-inch wheels with summer performance tires
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Automatic emergency braking

Adds to the SLC 300 with:

  • A 385-hp V6 engine
  • AMG sport exhaust
  • 18-inch wheels with summer performance tires
  • LED headlights
  • Harman Kardon audio system
  • Heated seats with Mercedes' Airscarf neck warmer
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Keyless entry and ignition

Main options for the SLC:

  • Driver Assistance package (extra driver safety aids)
  • Multimedia package (navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto)
  • AMG Handling package (sport suspension and limited-slip rear differential)
  • Magic Sky Control roof (adjusts the tinting of the roof-panel glass)

To celebrate the end of production, Mercedes-Benz is offering a limited-run SLC Final Edition for both the SLC 300 and the AMG SLC 43. Features include:

  • Final Edition badges inside and out
  • Unique paint and wheel options
  • A few otherwise optional features as standard
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Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class.

Average user rating: 5.0 stars
1 total reviews
5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • doors
  • technology

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, Fabulous Fun!
Maggie B.,
SLC 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
After owning five different Mercedes models over the past 10 years, I have returned to this one as my favorite of all time. The features that I appreciated 10 years ago are still there, but skill fully improved with updated technological capabilities. With so many vehicles growing larger and larger these days, it’s a joy to drive in the city, where parking space availability is minimal. As important as that is, it’s also great fun to open up to the spaces of the long winding road on a warm sunny day!

2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class video

[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER: This is the Mercedes-Benz SLC. And if it kind of looks like the SLK, that's because it's the new SLK. Mercedes is, you know, aligning the names of all their cars along a similar theme, where this would align in the coupe convertible world, where the C-Class sits in a sedan world. Like the E-Class sits in the sedan world, there's the GLE. So that's why the naming structure has changed. There's also some updates. So this has two engine choices. The SLC has a turbocharged four-cylinder that does 241 horsepower. This SLC43 has a 3-liter V6. Never mind what the numbers on the badge say. It's actually a 3-liter twin-turbo V6 that has 362 horsepower. It's rear drive. It has a nine-speed automatic. Yes, we have nine forward gears in these cars now. A couple other nice features is it is a hard-top convertible, but the roof will shut, open and shut, at speeds up to 25 miles an hour. There's also a trunk partition that works automatically. So when you have the trunk partition up, you hit the drop top button, it automatically moves down if there's no luggage in the way, and the roof can stow. But let's take a look inside. Here we are inside the SLC43. I have the roof shut to give us a little bit more quiet because these auto shows can be pretty busy. The dash and the display gives a very strong AMG vibe, as you can tell by this carbon-fiber-look dash-- the material on the dash here and the way the shifter looks. It's a cute little guy. But it evokes some pretty important AMGs in the past. Like the CLK Black Series had a very small shifter like that. And also the AMG GT and the SLS have similarly styled, oddly tiny shift levers, which is pretty funny. Two analog gauges with a digital display in the center. We're seeing that a lot. And then also you have your display right here. This is one of the smaller displays, it looks like. I believe there's an optional larger display in here. But it is kind of small by today's standards, especially in a vehicle of this luxury orientation. Here are your typical controls. Very Mercedes-like, the way it looks. If you've been in a Benz, a new Benz, recently, or even an older one, you'll recognize this layout and all that. Two cup holders right there, fairly standard stuff. Your roof control is right here under this guy, which also doubles as a nice armrest for when you rest your hand on here and when you control that knob. And then underneath this-- if I can open it-- underneath this center cubby hole here, we have two USB outlets and a 12-volt cigarette-- oop, I think I just broke it. Yep, I just broke it. Oops. But that's where your 12-volt plug would go. Oopsies. We'll leave that there and tell somebody. But otherwise, the layout's really nice. I love the red contrast stitching and the red seat belts. And these air vents are also really nice too, because the way they control, you just grab it, turn it the way you want to go. That's how you open it and shut it too. Really nice in terms of design. To find out more about the SLC43, be sure to visit edmunds.com.

2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class Walkaround Review | Detroit Auto Show

NOTE: This video is about the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class, but since the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.

Edmunds Road Test Editor Carlos Lago takes you on a walk around the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC, formerly known as the SLK roadster. He goes over specs, design, the interior and more.

Features & Specs

SLC 300 2dr Convertible2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A
MPG 23 city / 32 hwy
SeatingSeats 2
Transmission9-speed shiftable automatic
Horsepower241 hp @ 5550 rpm
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AMG SLC 43 2dr Convertible3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A
MPG 20 city / 29 hwy
SeatingSeats 2
Transmission9-speed shiftable automatic
Horsepower385 hp @ 6100 rpm
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Our experts’ favorite SLC-Class safety features:

Attention Assist
Monitors the driver through a variety of means and provides a warning if it detects inattention or drowsiness.
Active Brake Assist
Monitors traffic ahead and warns of potential collisions. Can automatically apply the brakes if necessary.
Active Lane Keeping Assist
Warns and helps the driver with steering correction if the car unintentionally begins to drift out of its lane.

Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class vs. the competition

2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class

2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class

2020 BMW Z4

2020 BMW Z4

Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class vs. BMW Z4

The BMW Z4 is the newest model in an admittedly small class, with the current generation making its debut in 2019. Like the SLC, the Z4 is available with either a four- or a six-cylinder engine, both turbocharged. Unlike the Mercedes, the Z4 comes with a folding soft top rather than a retractable hardtop. From a technology standpoint, the Z4 has a lot more to offer.

Compare Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class & BMW Z4 features 

Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class vs. Audi TT

The third-gen Audi TT convertible is only available with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes less power than the SLC’s base engine. Audi does make more powerful engines for the TT, but only for the coupe. We do like the TT's standard all-wheel drive and well-appointed interior.

Compare Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class & Audi TT features 

Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class vs. Porsche 718 Boxster

Since the original Boxster debuted in the late 1990s, it's served as the performance benchmark for this class thanks to precise handling and powerful engines. You can also equip it to be just as luxurious as the Mercedes, or even more so. But all that comes at a cost as the Boxster is significantly more expensive than the SLC.

Compare Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class & Porsche 718 Boxster features 

Related SLC-Class Articles

2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC Final Edition First Look

It's Time to Say Goodbye

Will Kaufman by Will Kaufman , Content Strategist and News EditorFebruary 20th, 2019

The littlest MBZ is set to bow out with the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC Final Edition. Even though it's only worn the SLC badge since 2017, this pint-size folding-hardtop convertible has been around since 2011 as the SLK. In spite of some superficial changes, very little else about the car was updated when the name changed. In fact, some notable items were lost.

Not With a Bang

In becoming the SLC, the SLK lost both the manual transmission on the base model (the last manual Mercedes sold in the United States), along with its top-level AMG V8. While there was nothing wrong with the nine-speed automatic transmission or the turbocharged V6 offered, Merc's baby roadster certainly lost some of its sporting character.

These days, the SLC has settled in as a marginal competitor in its class. Its technology features are dated, and while it's still fun to scoot around in, the driving experience isn't quite as sharp or engaging as we'd like. Overall, it very much feels its age compared to even basic Benzes of today, such as the whizbang A-Class sedan. Still, the SLC offers a bit of old-fashioned and charming simplicity that we are unlikely to see again from the three-pointed star.

Riding Into a Sun Yellow Sunset

The SLC Final Edition will be available in two flavors: regular or AMG. The 2020 SLC 300 Final Edition will be based on the SLC 300 AMG Line model (not to be confused with the real AMG setup), which comes with a lowered ride height, beefed-up brakes and a more aggressive look. It will be available in gray, with gloss-black exterior accents, gray interior accents and two-tone leather seats. Carbon-fiber-look leather has been draped over the headrests, steering wheel and shifter knob.

The 2020 AMG SLC 43 ditches the dour gray for a celebratory Sun Yellow paint that's exclusive to this model. It also comes with gloss-black exterior accents and matte-black 18-inch wheels. Inside, you'll find the same two-tone leather seats as in the 300 and the carbon-fiber-look leather.

Both cars come with plenty of Final Edition badging both inside and out as well as standard features such as seat memory and the Airscarf neck heater. Both also retain the same power figures as the models on which they're based: 241 horsepower for the SLC 300's four-cylinder and 385 hp for the AMG's V6.

Pricing and Release Date

The SLC Final Edition is slated to hit dealerships sometime in 2020. So if you're feeling pre-emptively nostalgic, there's plenty of time to start saving your pennies. Official pricing hasn't been announced, but we assume the Final Editions will garner a small premium over the current prices. For more news and information about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC 300 Final Edition and AMG SLC 43 Final Edition, stay tuned to Edmunds.


Is the Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 SLC-Class both on the road and at the track, giving it a 6.2 out of 10. You probably care about Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class fuel economy, so it's important to know that the SLC-Class gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg to 27 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the SLC-Class has 10.1 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class. Learn more

What's new in the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class:

  • New SLC 300 and AMG SLC 43 Final Edition packages
  • Part of third Mercedes SLK generation introduced for 2011 (renamed SLC Roadster for 2017)
Learn more

Is the Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class reliable?

To determine whether the Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the SLC-Class. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the SLC-Class's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 SLC-Class and gave it a 6.2 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 SLC-Class is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class?

The least-expensive 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class is the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class SLC 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $49,950.

Other versions include:

  • SLC 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) which starts at $49,950
  • AMG SLC 43 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A) which starts at $64,650
Learn more

What are the different models of Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class?

If you're interested in the Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class, the next question is, which SLC-Class model is right for you? SLC-Class variants include SLC 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), and AMG SLC 43 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A). For a full list of SLC-Class models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class

2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class Overview

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class is offered in the following submodels: SLC-Class Convertible, SLC-Class AMG SLC 43. Available styles include SLC 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), and AMG SLC 43 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A).

What do people think of the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 SLC-Class 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2020 SLC-Class.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 SLC-Class featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class?

2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class SLC 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class SLC 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $58,955. The average price paid for a new 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class SLC 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) is trending $6,308 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $6,308 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $52,647.

The average savings for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class SLC 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) is 10.7% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 4 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class SLC 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class AMG SLC 43 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A)

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class AMG SLC 43 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $73,315. The average price paid for a new 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class AMG SLC 43 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A) is trending $7,056 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $7,056 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $66,259.

The average savings for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class AMG SLC 43 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A) is 9.6% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class AMG SLC 43 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 9A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

Which 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class for sale near. There are currently 5 new 2020 SLC-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $59,125 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class.

Can't find a new 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Mercedes-Benz for sale - 6 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $22,172.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2020 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials