One must be willing to work on this car to appreciate its design value. I bought this 2001 SLK320 Manual Transmission as a project car. As such, I personally replaced/repaired most old-aged items, including sensors and brake rotors, to restore her glory. My wife, who owns a '13 Terrain and '15 SRX, even begs to ride on it when opportunity arises. Of course, we are Ford and GM faithful but this 1st foreign car does steal a big chunk of love. Unfortunately, I am only allowed to drive it once or twice a week because it's too sexy for my (near retirement) age.
I bought my SLK230 6 speed manual new in 2000 (2001 model). I drive it every day, I have 138K miles on it, and I still love it. Yes, it has had some problems over the years, like the hydraulics on the sunroof, convertible latch and the hood all needed to be replaced (once), but what can you expect after owning the car for over 15 years. I have had the same mechanic work on my car since I bought it and it has been wonderful. My driving to and from work consists of a bit of stop and go and I get 23 mpg (city). The few times that I have driven it when it is 90% highway I got 32 mpg. Although you are supposed to put premium gas in it, I rotate from premium to mid-grade gas and I have had no problems. The exterior still looks great, the interior is a bit lacking, because the interior finish is peeling/cracking off, which I definitely do not like, and the finish on the wheel rims are flaking off which is unattractive, but it does not affect the durability of the rims. It has great trunk space when the top is up but when the top is down you have very little trunk space but I think that is normal for most hard top convertibles. I am 5'2" and in order for me to push down the clutch pedal all the way down I need to sit pretty close to the steering wheel but I am use to that. My husband is 5"11 and he can drive it comfortably. Would I own this car where the is a lot of bad snowy/icy winters, that is a big NO, but since I live in Northern Virginia and we only have a few days of bad weather I have learned to stay at home on those days (rear wheel drive - not good on snowy/icy days) I love driving with the top down on ALL sunny days even when it is cold outside because of the heated seats and the great heater system I never feel cold. Would I but this car again? Absolutely!
Just bought car which has 130k miles. Saw issues when bought and am fixing but suprised as after car in production over five years mercedes never fixed since I have read all slk cars have following issues:
1). Interior paint flaking off
2) Exhaust rattle
3). Trunk and hood hydraulic hinges not holding trunk or hood up failing
Love car and enjoy driving. If going on a weekend trip trunk holds very little if putting top down so pack light.
1). Great design
2). Fun to drive
3). Convertible and hard-top in same car
5). Comfortable ride
6). Great visibility
Wish issues mentioned above were improved on in my model year (2001).
I have owned this SLK230 for 5 years. I got it used with 42000, and now have 98000 miles on it. The only issue I have had is replacing brake lights a couple of times, the dome light goes out about once a year and thats about it. This car GREAT! People always ask me how much the car cost (annoying) because the way it looks. It looks like an expensive car, but I picked it up for a good deal. The interior is comfortable for a sports car, the stereo is amazing, the hard top convertible only takes 20 sec. to go down so it can easily be done at a red light. I have taken this car to its limits, fast cornering and hard breaking, so this car can handle all kinds of driving.
The exterior is amazing. The styling of this car keeps it looking new. This car is now 13 years old but looks just a few years old because of the exterior styling.
The bucket seats hug you when going around corners.
The rear wheels are very wide and provide plenty of grip.
The MB emblem on the steering brings a smile to my face, I worked my ass off to get this car, its the first nice car I have ever had, so the MB
emblem might have more of a meaning to it than it does for most people.
Its a small vehicle so parking is easy.
The interior could be a little better. The center console lining is pealing on my car. I don't know if thats common for these cars. The dome light goes out about once a year, its pretty annoying. The break lights have gone out on me twice in five years, so that can use some improvements.
Fun car to drive, very fast and sturdy. Reliable until my wife spilled a drink on gear shifter under cup holders, transmission locked up. Luckily she was in the driveway. Have read of people doing this @ 65mph and the car automatically skidding to a halt! That could kill someone! How does Mercedes not have to recall that and waterproof the PC board for the shifter? Right this second trying to dry it out so it will run again, hopefully without needing a new $700 PC board. BTW, removing/connecting battery cable requires a code to activate your radio again or you drive in silence: call the dealer for code.
Automatic convertible top always gets attention when put down in parking lots.
Fix the PC boards under the shifter. Surprised people haven't been killed by that. Seats are uncomfortable on extended trips.
Can't see traffic lights from low roof/ seat back against rear firewall.