I've had my 1999 SLK 2:30 since 2000 and now I have 251 thousand miles on it it may have slowed down a step but it is still very reliable and gets me everywhere I want to go a great investment that has lasted many years
This car sucks...I would NEVER get another MB...My convertible roof doesn't work, the dashboard is falling apart, I lost the driver's side mirror, the windshield is cracked. It's a 1999 with 98K miles on it...I'm looking to get rid of it and get something more reliable, especially since I was told by MB that it would cost approx. $2K to replace my driver's mirror.
No doubt that Chrysler had an influence on the design of this car. The parts inside the car were very cheaply made and looses its shine and color. The car is a lot of work to maintain its look and ride. I would try to get the SL class or the CLK first before buying the SLK. It's really more of a barbie doll car, definitely not a man's vehicle.
I bought my '99 SLK230 new. It is the base model and my favorite commuting car. I now have over 110K on it and it has been a very good car. I have had what seems to be pattern failures on the vehicle. MAF sensor right around 70K miles, K40 Relay failed at 78K and I found and re-soldered the melted connection and it has been good ever since. one could simply buy a new one, for under $100 and replace it quite easily. I did encounter a noisy camshaft variable timing unit which was the most expensive part I've replaced, part cost was close to $400. and I'm a Euro car tech so fixed it myself. The electrical connector on the transmissions leak fluid about every 5 year/50K miles. I've replaced one plastic shift bushing and think the second one is now due, the parts cost is about $1.00. They are a little tricky to replace but can be done even without a special tool with a little patience, but the special tool is great. Even though I have other MB's to drive, such as a CLK cabriolet, if I am running errands and such this is my "go to" car. It is just fun to drive. They are a bit noisy or more so than most MB's so I think they got a bad rap early on, as I recall many being for sale shortly after being purchased with very low miles many years ago. One thing that contributes to higher noise levels in this vehicle is when the rear tires get some miles on them. One might think there is a problem with the rear differential, the noise is so pronounced. With the staggered tire sizes on this vehicle, rotating front to back is not an option, so the tires do acquire some pattern wear. This is exacerbated if one purchases cheaper tires with a large block tread, so beware.
As far as mileage goes, in normal commuting, I conservatively get 24.5 mpg and have achieved 28 mpg on long highway trips with the A/C off and 70-80mph cruising speeds. Short drives of 2-3 miles with lots of starts might drop the mileage down to 22.5 or so, but this is rather unusual.
The color of my car is white and it still looks fantastic after all these years. I have used the factory touch-up paint to fill in some paint chips and the car polishes out very nicely. Recently, we drive the vehicle down to vote and was stopped by some admirers who thought the car was new. Clearly not an MB person, but reflects positively on the condition and the enduring style of this original SLK.