Used 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK55 AMG

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2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
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Pros

  • Stylish interior design, sports-carlike handling, strong and sweet-sounding V6, comfort and convenience of retractable hardtop.

Cons

  • Costs more than peers, big blind spots when top is up.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is a fun-to-drive roadster that combines the safety and security of a hardtop, the wind-in-your-hair fun of a convertible and the European-brand cachet of a Mercedes all in one powerful and attractively styled package.

vehicle overview

Introduced in 1998 as an answer to the BMW Z3 and Porsche Boxster in the premium small roadster segment, the SLK's most unique feature was its retractable hardtop roof, which offered more security as well as a quieter ride than its competitors' soft tops. In less than 30 seconds, with the touch of a button, one could convert the Mercedes SLK from a closed coupe to a cool convertible without leaving the driver seat. Improvements over the years kept the car competitive, but after seven years on the market, the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class was ready for a redesign.

With a dramatic new design for 2005 inspired by Mercedes' Formula One racecars, the second-generation SLK is every bit as eye-catching as the original. It's also slightly larger and more powerful than its predecessor, and still has the fun-to-drive character that made it so likable in the first place. While the previous version had the feel of a leather-lined bobsled, the larger cabin of the new version gives you plenty of room to move about. Even more impressive than the added room is the redesigned dashboard with its more cohesive layout, cleaner gauge cluster and higher-quality materials. Overall, the improvements create a more upscale, tasteful-looking cabin that far exceeds the previous model's.

An innovative Airscarf system channels warm air to your neck and shoulders via dedicated registers in the headrests, making the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class even more comfortable with the top down in chilly weather. Improvements continue under the hood with 268 horsepower on tap, courtesy of a 3.5-liter V6. The SLK can sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 5.6 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz. Complementing the impressive power plant is a pair of transmissions that offers excellent flexibility and performance whether you go with the standard six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.

Other notable improvements under the skin include a new rack and pinion steering system and more powerful brakes. The recirculating-ball steering system used in the previous model was often chastised for its heavy feel and inconsistent feedback, but the new setup is both lighter and more communicative. The SLK now has the power to go head-to-head with a Porsche Boxster and the handling to keep pace with a BMW Z4, and its revamped interior is arguably better than both. Overall, the 20060 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class offers one of the most compelling combinations of style, performance and comfort available anywhere.

trim levels & features

The Mercedes-Benz SLK comes in one body style: a two-seat roadster with a power-retractable hardtop, in two versions: SLK280 and SLK350. Standard equipment on the SLK280 includes 16-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, sport seats, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and a nine-speaker CD audio system. In addition to a larger engine, the SLK350 adds 17-inch wheels. Should this not be enough, there are many options to consider, such as a sport package with a lowered suspension, bi-xenon headlamps, a navigation system, a 380-watt surround-sound audio system, a glovebox-mounted CD changer, satellite radio, power-adjustable memory seats, seat heaters and an Airscarf system that directs heat through vents in the head restraints.

2006 Highlights

A less expensive SLK280 model debuts, featuring a 3.0-liter V6 with 228 horsepower.

performance & mpg

The Mercedes SLK280 features a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 228 horsepower. The SLK350 offers a 3.5-liter V6 good for 268 hp. The SLK350 can sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 5.6 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz. A six-speed manual is standard, and a seven-speed automatic (with automanual shift capability) is optional.

safety

Seat-mounted side airbags are standard equipment, as are four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control (called ESP) and the TeleAid system, which alerts emergency personnel if an airbag goes off and can also put you in touch with a live operator to summon medical or police assistance. The Mercedes SLK also has reinforced A-pillars, integrated roll bars behind each seat and emergency tensioning seatbelt retractors for enhanced rollover protection. BrakeAssist automatically applies full braking force when a panic stop is initiated.

driving

Power kicks in early with either V6 and remains solid throughout thanks to variable camshafts and a two-stage intake manifold. As an added bonus, the stout 3.5-liter V6 pours out a satisfying wail that inspires flat-footed runs to redline at every opportunity. Top up or down, the Mercedes SLK feels remarkably composed and solid. Ride quality is a bit firm with the optional sport suspension, but the resulting handling is worth the trade-off. The steering is light to the touch yet returns enough road feel to maintain the car's sporting demeanor during aggressive driving. The brakes are a tad touchy, but stopping distances are impressive.

interior

Good-looking soft-touch material covers the top of the dash, glovebox and doors, while plastics of similar quality fill in the rest. The climate control layout varies depending on whether you add a navigation system, but both arrangements use easy-to-decipher dials. The soft and supportive seats remain comfortable even after several hours of continuous driving. Keep the windows up while the top is down and there's minimal wind buffeting. If that's not enough, consider the Airscarf system that channels warm air to your neck and shoulders via dedicated registers in the headrests. It actually works quite well, and when combined with traditional seat heaters, the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class becomes one of the most useful all-weather convertibles on the market.


Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class.

Best Bang for your Buck!
highnumbers, 5/30/2012
The SLK55 AMG has to be one of the best values in a sports car. Considering that most used 05-08 SLK55's are under $30K, that is an unbelievable value considering the technology, performance and amenities if offers. Mine is getting up there in mileage, but the performance and engine are rock solid, reliable and I've had no issues whatsoever. I really can't think of another car in this price range that turns as many heads, is as much fun to drive and feels as nice as this car. This could be your only car - it's plenty comfortable, and spacious if you're not carrying cargo much. Fuel mileage is pretty bad, but worth it for the great performance.
The Ultimate Performance
scottinsedona, 12/4/2011
I have had multiple BMWs and an Audi, but nothing performs like this car. The acceleration (and exhaust sound) and handling is awesome. If you can hang on, no corner is too fast. I put Michelin PS2s on and the handling (and red smoothness) is even better. I have 23k miles on mine and not a problem. I have finally found a car that drives/performs as well as it looks. I just hope MB is still making these when I replace this one!
A Great Little Car
Vince, 11/4/2006
I had a Lambo door kit installed early on. For those not really in the know, people asked me if it was an SLR. I like the styling cues taken from the SLR. Several times other lesser car drivers have taken me on from a stoplite to their disappointment (just a quick launch).The exhaust note is wonderful, much better than my SLK32 AMG (which was a little faster). You just can't beat the sound of a V-8. The car receives compliments from both men and women alike. Handling through the canyons of So. Cal. is suberb.
What's best for $60-70k
doc rokt, 12/1/2006
I drove them all, and this was the best as it has all the creature comforts, can be driven in any format ie commute, aggressive back roads, flying on the highway, all the way to flat out racing, -- equally well. Watching the jaws drop as you fly by is alone worth every cent. For the first time I got everything I ever wanted in a sports car with no sacrifices in safety or comfort. Drop the top, crank the sat radio, classic vinyl born to be wild and feel the smile spread from ear to ear, sing your lungs out and have more fun and performance than you ever ever thought possible.The one gripe I have exists in all exotics and that is annoying small problems that require a short dealer fix.
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Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 2
7-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
355 hp @ 5750 rpm
See all Used 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK55 AMG features & specs
More about the 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
Used 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK55 AMG Overview

The Used 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK55 AMG is offered in the following styles: , and SLK55 AMG 2dr Convertible (5.4L 8cyl 7A).

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