"This car was supposed to keep me from getting a motorcycle - that didn't work, I got the bike too.
We looked at the Corvette, the new ones cost far too much, and the used ones looked beat up. We then looked at a used BMW Z3, but the top "sucks up" in the aerodynamics and looks goofy. On the lot, they had a used (2003) SLK, so I looked at it. It was fine, but the price was high, so much so that the price of a 2004 one was a better deal to me, so we bought a new 2004, last model year of this body style.
We had the infamous tail light problem, but the well known recall took care of that, but not without some stress about it NOT being covered first.
Then some funky, off the wall problems developed with electrical issues. To this day, I might sit in the car, start it up, and the left overhead light won't work, but the right one does. Forever, I never really thought about it, but a week or so ago, the turn signals would not work at all, but they did just moments before (I had turned off, and restarted the car between delivering stuff to clients). When I got home, I tried to check out the fuses (which are under the hood in front of the driver) and I did not see anything obviously wrong.
When I got back in the car, both of the overhead lights worked, and so did the turn signals - I had done nothing!
The left overhead light went out again today, I lowered, then raised the roof, and the darn thing worked again.
Sometimes a light out warning will shine on the dash, like when the problem with the tail lights was going on, but other times it doesn't.
Other than the freaky "My mother the car" ghostly occurrences, and one freaky shutting off for no reason when stepping on the gas situation, the car basically runs great. Sometimes the idle is rough. I call it "tumbling" but it is as if the car will stall out, but it never has. This is the very first thing I ever noticed. The tail light thing had me hating the car for a while, but with the recall fix, I liked the car again.
The way I tell my wife is that when the stuff on the car works - I absolutely love it. The little four cylinder car really moves out, the handling is sweet and the car just feels solid.
I only drop the roof down in evening hours, the sun here is far too bright for top down driving in the sun, but on cool evenings, it is great.
Being the last model year in this body style is something I enjoy, and the car gets admiring looks, which is nice.
Over all, with the total experience that I have had with this car, knowing what I know now, I would NOT have purchased it.
It is a fun car, I have really enjoyed it - for the most part, but I'm done with that now.
I really love my Honda Civic, ten years old, it still gets 30 MPG (SLK gets about 22), and is running strong. The SLK wouldn't be able to do what the Civic has.
With that, it has been a really fun car to drive around in.
I would NOT recommend a Mercedes Benz, unless that is absolutely what you want.
What I would recommend is that you really identify what you want your car for, and what you expect from it.
I expect incredible economy, reliability and affordability. I like my car to be die hard bullet proof in reliability, every Honda I have ever owned has been just that, this car, while fun, is not.
It is what it is, a topless runabout for fun. If you have the cash for that, and don't need economy or die hard reliability, and want a hard top convertible, this is a fun car to do that with.
I have owned this car from it's first day off the lot.
Hope that is helpful."
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