Mercedes-Benz has recently been renaming many long-standing model designations, so this year the SLK becomes the new 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class. The rebadging isn't the only change for this small, sporty convertible formerly known as the SLK. The new SLC receives refreshed styling, new engines, and more tech and safety goodies to further enhance Mercedes' blend of sport and luxury.
The SLK has always been a great vehicle for highways and twisty back roads alike, and the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class absolutely meets those expectations. The new SLC comes in two versions — the more affordable and fuel-efficient SLC 300 and the high-performance AMG SLC 43. The SLC 300 packs a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with acceleration that is on par for a small sports car with a base engine. AMG has sadly removed the muscle-car-sounding non-turbocharged V8 found in the SLK 55 and replaced it with a turbocharged V6, which is down on power but offers slightly improved fuel economy.
Inside the new SLC-Class, there's no mistaking you're driving a Mercedes-Benz. The interior is nearly identical to that found in Mercedes' top-tier SL-Class and flagship sports car AMG GT, despite the sizable difference in cost. The SLC receives the same unique glass roof found on the SL. It's visually attractive, but it can let in a lot of heat on sunny days, making the optional Magic Sky Control — which darkens the glass at the press of a button — a highly recommended addition. On cooler days the optional Airscarf system, which blows warm air from seat-mounted vents, means that drivers can still enjoy top-down motoring.
The materials quality is top-notch and nothing short of what you'd expect from the German luxury brand, and a standard 7-inch display screen featuring Mercedes' COMAND infotainment is a welcome improvement from the sub-6-inch screen found standard in the SLK. Although a little more cozy in the cockpit than some other competitors, the car should still serve as an effective grand tourer on longer distance trips. Additionally, the surprisingly ample trunk space makes the SLC a perfect vehicle for weekend trips.
Though competitors may offer more muscle, more agility or even a couple more seats, if a perfect marriage of luxury and sporty roadster is what you are looking for, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class needs to be on your list. Be sure to read the full review on Edmunds and let us help you find the perfect SLC for your next weekend getaway.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.