2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Powerful engine choices
  • high-quality cabin
  • relatively large trunk
  • distinctive glass-roof panel.
  • Interior is a bit snug compared to some rivals
  • pricey compared to bigger, four-seat convertibles.

A new base engine for 2016 makes the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class range more appealing from top to bottom. Sporty and refined, it's a smart choice for a luxury roadster.

Vehicle overview

While the SL-Class sets the standard in Mercedes' lineup for convertibles, the SLK-Class isn't far behind. They have the same general proportions (with a similarly blunt nose and large grille), nifty folding hardtop roofs and high-class interiors. When you really get down to it, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class embodies much of its ritzier sibling, albeit in a package that's 7/8ths in scale.

The SLK also delivers a similar driving character, which skews toward the more comfortable, cruising end of the drop-top persuasion. Because of its smaller proportions, however, it's more agile and nimble. Its abilities are still short of what the iconic Porsche Boxster delivers, but going around turns in an SLK will easily put a smile on the faces of most drivers.

Those smiles in the base model SLK should grow larger for 2016. For the new SLK300, Mercedes-Benz has installed a 241-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which replaces the old SLK250 and its 201-hp 1.8-liter engine. It's a much-needed lift, and it brings the base SLK's acceleration in line with the base Boxster and BMW Z4. A new nine-speed automatic is also standard, removing the rarely ordered manual transmission from the SLK's powertrain menu once and for all.

As noted, the Boxster is still the best choice if you wanted a focused sports car. Comparing the SLK to the Z4 is more of a toss-up, as both take a similar grand-touring approach. Other options are few and far between. Much less expensive is the new and massively improved Mazda MX-5 Miata. For an American take, the Chevrolet Corvette convertible gives up some refinement but gains plenty of V8-powered thunder. You could also consider some bigger, more useful four-seat convertibles, such as the BMW 4 Series.

In this small convertible segment, though, character, style and general emotional connection count for a lot. And if those elements of the grand Mercedes SL have always appealed to you, but you can't swing that type of payment, the 2016 SLK-Class is a superb, 7/8ths-scale alternative.

2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class models

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is a two-seat convertible roadster available in three trim levels that each correspond to a different engine: SLK300, SLK350 and AMG SLK 55.

The SLK300 comes standard with 17-inch wheels, a fully powered retractable hardtop with a fixed glass roof panel, LED running lights, automatic wipers, an auto-hold brake feature, cruise control, power-folding heated mirrors, eight-way power seats with memory functions, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, "MB-Tex" premium vinyl upholstery, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, the COMAND electronics interface (includes a 5.8-inch display) and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB audio input and HD radio.

The Premium 1 package adds remote roof operation, keyless ignition and entry, the "AirScarf" neck heater, heated seats, satellite radio, an iPod/media player interface, preparation for Becker navigation software (which can be dealer-installed) and an 11-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system.

Besides its larger engine, the SLK350 adds 18-inch wheels, different exterior styling elements, a color gauge cluster display and the Premium 1 package.

The AMG SLK 55 is equipped similarly but gets a V8 engine, a special AMG transmission, a sport suspension and exhaust, 18-inch AMG wheels, a torque-vectoring brake system (improves handling), bi-xenon headlights (with automatic high beam control), a sport steering wheel, upgraded leather upholstery and an analog clock.

The Premium 2 package available on all three models includes a blind-spot warning system, dual-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system, voice controls and a CD/DVD player. The SLK300 and SLK350 version also includes the bi-xenon headlights and analog clock. The Premium 3 package adds an adaptive suspension, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, front and rear parking sensors and an automatic parallel parking system.

The SLK300 and SLK350 are available with a Sport Appearance package, which includes special exterior styling elements, 18-inch AMG wheels and red ambient lighting.

The AMG SLK 55 is available with the AMG Handling package, which adds more aggressive suspension tuning, a limited-slip differential, different 18-inch AMG wheels and a performance steering wheel. The AMG Carbon Styling package adds special exterior and interior styling elements.

Also available is Mercedes-Benz Apps, which outfits COMAND with smartphone app integration (including Google, Yelp, Facebook and others). A stand-alone option is Magic Sky Control, which darkens the roof's glass panel.

2016 Highlights

For 2016, the Mercedes-Benz SLK gets a more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a different model name to go with it: SLK300. A nine-speed automatic is standard with that engine and there's no longer a manual transmission available. Option packages have been reorganized, the blind-spot warning system is now available as a stand-alone option and the SLK 55 gets a new AMG Carbon Styling package. That model also gets a minor name change to Mercedes-AMG SLK 55.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK300 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 241 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission are standard. Mercedes estimates that it will go from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 28 mpg combined (25 city/32 highway).

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 gets a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic transmission are standard. In Edmunds testing, an SLK350 went from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, which is more than a half-second slower than the rival BMW Z4 sDrive35i. EPA fuel economy is 24 mpg combined (21/29).

The 2016 Mercedes-AMG SLK 55 has a 5.5-liter V8 that produces 415 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive and an AMG-tuned seven-speed automatic transmission are standard. Mercedes estimates it will go from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, making it the quickest car in the segment apart from the hard-core, lightweight Porsche Boxster Spyder. Despite its power, fuel economy isn't that bad at 22 mpg combined (19/28).


The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, special side airbags that extend upward to provide head protection and front knee airbags. Also standard are roll bars, Attention Assist (a driver drowsiness monitor) and Mercedes' mbrace telematics system, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and teen driver geo-fencing and speed monitoring.

The Premium 2 package includes a blind-spot warning system. The Premium 3 package includes lane-keeping assist.

In Edmunds brake testing, the SLK350 stopped from 60 mph in 113 feet, which is unremarkable for a car with summer tires. We anticipate that the SLK300 will stop in a similar distance.


The 2016 SLK-Class is reasonably athletic when going around turns, and most drivers will find it quite enjoyable. It also provides the smooth, composed ride that Mercedes drivers expect. It's a deft two-step that most other roadsters can't pull off, though it's very much in keeping with SL family values.

The SLK300 and its new, larger turbocharged four-cylinder is now fully competitive with the base models of its primary competitors: the Z4 and Boxster. The SLK350 trails the BMW Z4 sDrive35i's acceleration numbers, but in the real world the midrange SLK has plenty of get-up when you give it the spurs, and the exhaust note verges on thrilling. Meanwhile, the 415-hp AMG SLK 55 is a blast to drive, providing the power of a muscle car in a compact, German roadster.


The SLK interior bears a strong family resemblance to the layouts of both the SL and the now defunct, but fondly remembered, SLS AMG. Although the SLK 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 interface are virtually identical to what's offered throughout much of the Mercedes lineup, so SLK 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 SLK 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).

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2 out of 5 stars
Great little car... BUT major issue found.
SLK 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Firstly this is the second SLK I have owned. The first being a brand new 2014/ (2015) SLK250 model. The first 6 months it ran like a dream, and then during winter, I noticed an odor occasionally coming into the car. The closest description that I could offer, that other passengers identified too, was like a burning crayon smell. I tried to work out when it was occurring, and the possible cause. After a few months of deliberation, a myself and a few passengers of my vehicle came to the conclusion that the anti-corrosion materials (coating) used in the body of the car, had was melting a low heating point, and at some point hitting hot parts in the engine compartment. This would start out as a slight odor, but over the coming months intensify as the days got hotter, to a bad odor, and fumes that were now getting into the cab of the car, with the top up, or down. I reported this to the dealership, and it was a game of tennis over about 4 more months going back and forth with them trying to replicate the problem when they were in possession of the car. They reported it to the regional technical rep (in NJ not far from MB USA headquarters), and after the first attempt of adding more of the soundproofing materials to the engine compartment bulkhead, and stripping the doors and cleaning them out from a very large amount of the anti corrosion / wax substance, seemed to make the issue worse. The dealership did was as helpful as they could be, but handed me off to corporate to try to come to a resolution. The only resolution that could have corrected the car, was to strip it down to the frame/body, and dip it in a bath that would remove all the anticorrosion materials and start again. Not practical on any car, so I was offered a buy back deal. After many months of passenger headaches, myself wheezing and breathing issues from the car, a settlement was reached to buy back the car and purchase a 2016 model (SLK 300), which I currently own. Now my theory was, that a different model, at a completely different time off of the production line should be far enough away from the original car in time etc, that is should not have the same problem. The old SLK 250 you could see the wax like substance coming out of the door through the rubber grommets and dripping down, also from the engine compartment when you opened the door etc. Now I have had the new SLK 300 for a period of 5 months when I started to notice the same problem. Starting with a slight wax/crayon smell, and as the next few month rolled on, and the heat of summer hit on top of the cars engine heat, the exact same issue with fumes coming into the car, when driving, generally any speeds above 40 mph with the top up or down. With all this, I can only assume it's the entire production line that has this issue, and the routings in the car's assembly instructions and details have had too much of this compound specified so as to prevent rust, but not melt at low temperatures and overspill to the engine compartment and hot parts around the bodywork. A complete shame, and downside of an otherwise fun, and fantastic car to drive. True roadster, and enjoyable drive. With this, happening, and from what I can find using google across the last 5 - 8 years of owners, I am not the only one with this problem. I can NOT in any way recommend this car to anyone, or say I will every buy this model of car again, and as it was such a fight to get Mercedes to recognize the problem the first time around, would probably never buy a Mercedes again, even if this issue was limited to this Model of car. If you find this review helpful, then my job is done. If you decide to take the gamble, I can only offer you good luck, and hoping your car/model does not have this issue, you have as much fun as I have had driving this car, prior to these issues arising. GOOD LUCK, and FUN SAFE DRIVING.
5 out of 5 stars
Love this Car!
SLK 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
This is my 3rd SLK and the only problems I have experienced are a dead battery (replaced by Mercedes Roadside Assistance in my driveway) and a fading of the 2 rear window panels (replaced under warranty by dealership). The electronic convertible top function is smooth, quick, easy to operate, and surprisingly there is room for 2 - 3 weekend soft bags in the trunk with the top down. The interior is small but not cramped. Even on long trips it remains very comfortable (Yosemite, Park City). I have owned a Porsche, BMW and Alfa Romeo GT and my SLK is by far the best sports car I have ever owned! I live by the beach and there is no greater experience than cruising the Coast Hwy with the top down on a warm summer night.
5 out of 5 stars
2016 MB SLK300
Art siebenaler,04/05/2017
SLK 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Great little sports car. Fun!
5 out of 5 stars
Ha I
Randall Winter,08/07/2016
SLK 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Fantastic driving machine !

More about the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Overview

The Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is offered in the following submodels: SLK-Class Convertible, SLK-Class AMG SLK 55. Available styles include SLK 300 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), SLK 350 2dr Convertible (3.5L 6cyl 7A), and AMG SLK 55 2dr Convertible (5.5L 8cyl 7A). Pre-owned Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 3.5 L-liter gas engine or a 5.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 416 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 9-speed shiftable automatic, 7-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class SLK 300 is priced between $32,000 and$32,000 with odometer readings between 46772 and46772 miles.

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Which used 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2016 SLK-Classes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $32,000 and mileage as low as 46772 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class.

Can't find a used 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class for sale - 9 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $12,475.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 11 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $19,321.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class for sale - 1 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $25,278.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 5 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $23,431.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-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.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class lease specials