2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class
Which SLC-Class does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
The current generation of the SLC has undergone many changes since its introduction in 2011. Back then, it was called the SLK and could be outfitted with a hot-rod V8. That V8 is no longer around, but the core appeal of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC is the same: It serves as a compact version of the brand's flagship convertible SL, offering similar design and prestige at a lower price.
The SLC's two trim levels are defined by the available engines: a four-cylinder and a more powerful V6. Though the bigger engine comes with sportier equipment, both SLCs offer the same options. Determining what's right for you just depends on how fast you want to go.
Overall, the 2018 SLC's luxury focus helps distinguish it from the rest. It's the only one with a convertible hardtop, for instance. But all the same, it's probably worth checking out rivals such as the all-wheel-drive Audi TT, the muscular Chevrolet Corvette, and the sporty Porsche 718 Boxster.
Trim levels & features
The two-seat 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC Convertible is available in two trim levels that are differentiated by their engines. The SLC 300 has a turbocharged four-cylinder, while the sporting AMG SLC 43 offers a powerful turbo V6. The latter also comes with more standard equipment and performance-oriented features including upgraded brakes and paddle shifters. Both cars have a nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive and offer the same option packages.
The SLC 300 employs a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (241 horsepower, 273 pound-feet of torque). Standard features include a power-retractable hardtop with a fixed glass roof panel, 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, Bluetooth, power-adjustable seats with memory function, simulated-leather upholstery, a rearview camera, a 7-inch infotainment display, and an eight-speaker audio system with HD radio. Safety features include integrated roll bars and a forward collision alert and mitigation system.
Shoppers can choose from one of three Premium packages. The first brings an upgraded Harman Kardon sound system, heated seats, keyless ignition and entry, and blind-spot monitoring. It also includes Mercedes' Airscarf system, which blows warm air around your neck from the seat for drop-top driving on cool days. The Premium 2 package includes the aforementioned features and adds navigation, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, and support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Premium 3 package brings driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.
The AMG SLC 43 derives its name — somehow — from its twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 (362 hp, 384 lb-ft of torque). Along with a more potent engine, this trim level comes standard with the Premium 1 package. Due to its sporty nature, the SLC 43 also has 18-inch wheels, cross-drilled brake rotors, a sport exhaust system, a steering wheel lined with simulated suede, and paddle shifters.
Aside from the Premium 2 and 3 packages described above, the SLC 43 is also available with the AMG Handling package that adds a limited-slip differential, a sport-tuned suspension, a steering wheel with synthetic suede inserts, and an IWC analog clock.
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite SLC-Class safety features:
- Rearview Camera
- Shows what's behind the vehicle to make backing up easier and safer.
- Dual Integrated Roll Bars
- Protects the heads of occupants in the event of a rollover.
- Blind Spot Assist
- Notifies you if it senses a vehicle in your blind spots.
No vehicle makes a better excuse for taking long, twisty roads on weekend adventures than a two-door convertible. Ideally, you want a combination of nimble handling and compliant road manners, and the 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC Roadster absolutely meets those requirements.
This compact Mercedes convertible was first called the SLK-Class when it originally went on sale in the 2011 model year. Beyond the name, much has changed since then. Today, the 2018 SLC Roadster comes in two versions: the more affordable and fuel-efficient SLC 300 and the performance-oriented AMG SLC 43.
The SLC 300 packs a turbocharged four-cylinder engine whose 241 horsepower provides acceleration that's adequate for a small sports car with a base engine. Though previous performance AMG models featured a muscle-car-sounding V8, the SLC 43 makes do with a twin-turbocharged V6 that offers an entertaining 362 hp.
The SLC Roadster hasn't received the interior updates you'll find elsewhere in the lineup, such as a large digital instrument cluster, but the look and feel remain unmistakably Mercedes-Benz. There are echoes of the top-tier SL-Class and flagship sports car AMG GT despite the sizable difference in cost.
Also, like the SL-Class, the SLC Roadster uses a similar glass roof. It's 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 enjoy top-down motoring without shivering.
The materials quality is top-notch and nothing short of what you'd expect from the German luxury brand. Although a little cozier in the cockpit than some other competitors, the SLC should still serve as an effective grand tourer on longer-distance trips. And the surprisingly ample trunk space makes the SLC a perfect vehicle for intimate road 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 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC Roadster needs to be on your list. Be sure to read the full review on Edmunds and let us help find the perfect SLC Roadster for your needs.
2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class Overview
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class is offered in the following submodels: , . 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 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 SLC-Class 5 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 2018 SLC-Class.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 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.
Which 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Classes are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.