2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class Review
Pros & Cons
- Both engines boast impressive horsepower and torque ratings
- Cabin materials look and feel expensive
- Trunk is relatively large, considering the folding hardtop
- Distinctive glass roof panel
- Interior is a bit snug compared to some rivals
- No way to completely block the sun with the mandatory glass roof
Edmunds' Expert Review
Though we haven't yet sampled the 2017 SLC-Class in either form, the underlying characteristics shouldn't be much different from last year's SLK. We found that car to be reasonably athletic and quite enjoyable when going around turns. It also provided the smooth, composed ride that Mercedes drivers expect. Most roadsters can't marry the two characteristics harmoniously, though it's very much in keeping with SL family values.
As for the new powertrains, check back for our full driving impressions of the SLC300 and AMG SLC 43 at a later date.
The SLC interior bears a strong family resemblance to the layouts of both the SL and (other than its unique center stack), the AMG GT sports car. Although the SLC is by far the least expensive car of the three, you'll be hard-pressed to see where Mercedes cut costs. The buttons, switchgear and COMAND infotainment interface are virtually identical to what's offered throughout much of the Mercedes lineup, so SLC drivers will never feel like second-class Benz buyers.
One element shared with the SL is the distinctive glass roof panel that provides sunshine even when outside temperatures keep the roof up. Unfortunately, there's no retractable sunshade, and the only protection you get from a glaring sun is a light tint. In lieu of perpetually wearing a hat, we strongly recommend springing for the optional Magic Sky Control feature, which darkens the glass at the press of a button. It seems silly to get a retractable-roof roadster if the roof isn't able to block the sun.
Retracting the roof into the trunk (an entertaining sideshow in itself) uncovers a cabin that remains pleasantly calm at speed, aided by the standard fixed-glass deflector. Another feature that Mercedes pioneered is the Airscarf system, which blows warm air at neck level from clever seat-mounted vents. In the summer, meanwhile, the available sun-reflective leather guards against scorched skin, and it also slows the leather's aging process.
The main interior drawback for the SLC is that it's quite snug, even by compact roadster standards. The Z4, for example, gives larger drivers more room. On the bright side, the trunk is surprisingly accommodating for a two-door car whether the roof is up (10.1 cubic feet) or down (a still useful 6.4 cubic feet).