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2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

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2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 5/26/2011


For 2011 Mercedes-Benz has left the SLK-Class largely untouched, thanks to the fact that the company is planning to introduce an all-new version of the vehicle for 2012. Even while wearing the 2010 model's robes, the vehicle still offers an affordable way for buyers to enjoy one of the best retractable hard tops in the industry. Though the SLK-Class delivers less raw performance than competitors like the BMW Z4 and Audi TTS Cabriolet, the Silver Arrow brings unsurpassed comfort and refinement to the table - both traits that luxury roadster buyers are sure to admire.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class continues to offer the perfect balance between coupe comfort and convertible driving enjoyment. With its excellent retractable hard top in place, the cabin is quiet and sheltered from the elements. The roof drops in 22 seconds to transform the vehicle into an attractive convertible.

You May Not Like This Car If...

This isn't a vehicle that can accommodate drivers or passengers who are exceptionally tall. The passenger footwell offers little room for large shoes and the trunk provides little space for luggage.

What's Significant About This Car?

With an all-new model coming for 2012, the 2011 SLK-Class is nearly identical to its 2010 counterpart. Expect to find similar bodywork, options and standard features.

Driving It Driving Impressions

When equipped with the 3.5-liter V6, the SLK350 delivers 300 horsepower and helps to push the German roadster to 60 mph in as little as six seconds. Though the standard six-speed manual transmission is a pleasure to operate, the optional six-speed automatic is no less enjoyable, offering quick and smooth shifts. While the SLK-Class may not be capable of keeping up with more sports-oriented vehicles from Audi and BMW, the little roadster does deliver improved ride quality with considerably less harshness over rough road surfaces.

Favorite Features

Airscarf
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 the SLK resist small scratching that appears after repeated washing and waxing.

Vehicle Details Interior

Mercedes-Benz has built the 2011 SLK-Class to offer excellent top-down driving every day of the year, including those days when the temperature is less than optimal. The company's Airscarf system provides warm jets of air at exactly neck level to keep both driver and passenger warm, and the comfortable and supportive leather seats are perfect for long drives or quick jaunts down more engaging roads. As with the exterior, the 2011 model is nearly a carbon copy of its 2010 predecessor.

Exterior

With a low-slung stance and wide footprint, the SLK-Class presents a sporty appearance. Though the upcoming 2012 model uses many design elements from the SLS AMG, the 2011 lifts its lines from the older SLR. With an arrow-like nose and a long hood, the vehicle makes no qualms about its purpose. A refreshingly short rear trunk deck efficiently stows the retractable hard top and a variety of wheel options make for an unmistakably stylish exterior.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class comes with an army of driving aides that include traction control, slip control and stability control, among others. In addition, buyers will find dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control and a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel. The vehicle comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels as well.

Notable Optional Equipment

Buyers can outfit the 2011 SLK-Class with options such as heated seats, the innovative Airscarf system, hard-drive based navigation, rain-sensing windshield wipers and HID headlamps. Additionally, a number of dealer-installed options are also available.

Under the Hood

The 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. Either way, these are terrific roadsters with plenty of performance, great handling and Mercedes-Benz quality.

3.0-liter V6
228 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
221 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (manual), 19/26 (automatic)

3.5-liter V6
300 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
265 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 (manual), 19/25 (automatic)

Pricing Notes

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK300's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $48,000, while the SLK350 starts closer to $54,000. Though the SLK is a hot commodity, dealers are being reasonable with pricing. A look at the New Car Blue Book Value shows the typical transaction price of an SLK350 with navigation, harman/kardon audio, HID headlamps and dual power and heated seats to be at or near MSRP. Before you set out to purchase, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers are currently paying in your area. As for the long-term, Kelley Blue Book expects the SLK-Class to hold a better-than-average projected resale value, just slightly below that of the Porsche Boxster S, Audi TT and BMW Z4.

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