By KBB.com Editors
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK is one of the more desirable premium roadsters, as it offers the advantages of both a hardtop coupe and an open-air convertible. Mercedes-Benz helped pioneer the retractable hardtop and the latest iteration operates with unwavering efficiency, capable of being raised or lowered in just 22 seconds. Beyond the SLK's gorgeous exterior, stunning interior and enthusiast-inspired performance and handling capabilities, the car's most attractive feature is its price. With a sticker starting around $45,000, the SLK is well within reach of luxury car buyers seeking a fun second vehicle for weekend getaways or romantic moonlight drives. A tiny trunk and minimal interior storage might limit how far you go and how much you take, but you'll enjoy every minute of it.
If you love the idea of open-air driving but are concerned about the long-term reliability and security provided by a canvas soft-top, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK might be the answer to your automotive dreams. The SLK's retractable hardtop will last the life of the car, can't be cut open and operates with just the touch of a button.
Tall folks may find legroom a little tight, especially on the passenger side where the firewall can cramp big shoes. Though the price is reasonable for the make, there are now much less expensive hardtop convertibles on the market, such as the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Volkswagen Eos.
The SLK280 is replaced by the SLK300, which features the same engine but with a few more standard features. The SLK350 receives a bump in power to 300 horsepower and new 17-inch wheels. All SLK's receive slight exterior changes as well as a new variable ratio Direct Steering System.
Driving Impressions The SLK350's 3.5-liter V6 makes 300 horsepower and can move the slick little roadster from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds. The experience is made...all the more pleasurable by a quick-shifting six-speed manual transmission; the optional seven-speed automatic is equally as pleasing. The SLK feels more composed on the road than previous generations. Its ride has definitely been improved, with less harshness over bumps and improved stability in tight turns. You'll find that the steering is precise but somewhat heavy, requiring authoritative input from the driver. With the top down, the AIRSCARF neck heater blows hard enough to take the chill out of the morning air, or the retractable hardtop can be locked in place, creating a cozy but quiet environment.
The AIRSCARF seat heating system blows warm air on the back of your neck and shoulders, keeping you warm when the air outside isn't.
Improved Clear Coat Paint
Improved Clear Coat paint is 40 percent more durable, helping to resist small scratching that appears after repeated washing and waxing.
Mercedes has done a wonderful job of organizing the SLK's interior without losing the look and feel common to all Mercedes products. The supportive bucket seats include the clever AIRSCARF option that blows warm air on the back of the neck, a nice feature to have when cruising on crisp autumn mornings. The SLK's retractable hardtop still eats up trunk space, but the design responsibly leaves some usable room for storing small luggage and valuables.Exterior
It's amazing what a few extra inches can do for a car. Compared to the first-generation SLK, the 2009 model feels downright spacious. The SLK's wide footprint gives it a low and athletic stance, and its SLR McLaren-like front end turns heads at every encounter. The perfectly aligned side bodylines appear as though carved from a single block of steel, with a gently-curved rear end that features flush-mounted cut-in tail lights and twin trapezoidal exhaust ports. The SLK looks as good with its retractable hardtop in place as it does when that top is tucked away beneath the color-matched hard cover.
The SLK comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), traction control, slip control, stability control, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, front and rear fog lights, dual-heated power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with six-disc CD changer, dual front knee and side-impact airbags, leather seats, cruise control, leather-wrapped tilt/telescopic steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Options include a seven-speed automatic with manual-shift mode, dual eight-way power seats with memory, heated seats, harman/kardon audio, navigation, HID headlamps and several different designo designer trim packages.
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK300 has a 228-horsepower V6 that feels plenty peppy, but not rocket-ship fast. If you can swing the extra cash, the SLK350 is the way to go. If money is no object, you don't mind a harsher ride and you want the most in performance, the SLK55 AMG is sure to please.
228 horsepower @ 6100 rpm
221 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2700-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (manual), 19/26 (automatic)
300 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
265 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 (manual), 18/26 (automatic)
355 horsepower @ 5750 rpm
376 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/22
By Gator (FL) on Friday, November 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to Ride"
Cons: "Not made for long trips."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"A look that never goes out of style. The AMG ENGINE purrs and then explodes on the push of the pedal. A completely different ride with the top down."
By Mike C (CA) on Sunday, September 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Go cart handling in Mecedes style"
Cons: "I wsh there was a supercharger for it!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"What can I say... Fast, Shiny and RED. My 2005 with a stick is the most you can have in a Mercedes. I drive it topless most everyday (in SoCal). People still remark what a great looking car it is. The AMG styling package and chromed AMG wheels, style AND performance is so fun. Gotta have a stick! With it, you are part of the car."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Joe (FL) on Monday, April 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun secure convertable that handles like a dream."
Cons: "Trunk access with the top down."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought the car from the second owner about a year ago, after being into Street Rods for several years. This is a great looking, great handling car and gets positive comments where ever we go. The mileage is also very good for this type of car. German engineering cannot be beat."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Precious (AL) on Monday, April 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great car and a blast to drive"
Cons: "It's very small, compact and sit low to the ground"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"The car is very small, interior is compact and it sits low to the ground. Not very comfortable on long trips, but it's a great ride around the city."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Dr Babs (IN) on Thursday, April 05, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Style, Fun drive, great quality"
Cons: "Tight compartment, cup holders"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have owned this car for 5 years with no problems. Looks great with top up or down. Still turning heads when I drive around town."
17 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Heinrich (AZ) on Thursday, March 22, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 102,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "A fun car. A convertible that's practical."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Always wanted a Mercedes and now that I have one I wish I had bought it years ago. Everything about it spells quality. It's not the sportiest car I've owned but it does pamper you. Being tall has kept me out of many sports cars. This one fits! It's very good about sipping gas on the highway. I've reached 30 mpg on several occasions."
10 people out of 10 found this review helpful