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2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Overview
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2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The original Mercedes-Benz SLK was a big hit, largely on the basis of its retractable hardtop roof, something the auto industry hadn't seen since the Ford Skyliner of the 1950s. Each successive version of the SLK has been given a more serious edge, and now, powerful available engines and muscular styling make the 2013 the most aggressive SLK ever. At the same time, the SLK remains less of a pure sports car than the Porsche Boxster, stressing comfort and prestige over pure driving dynamics. But few SLK buyers will take issue with that.

You'll Like This Car If...

If part of your self-image requires a great-looking convertible with a luxurious interior, it'll be easy to see yourself in a 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you play basketball (or even first base) for a living, you probably need more stretch-out room than the SLK offers. And if you need to carry much stuff, a 2-seater whose hardtop retracts into the trunk space doesn't make a lot of sense.

What's New for 2013

The Mercedes-Benz SLK was completely re-engineered for 2012, and rolls into 2013 with only minor upgrades. Mercedes' next-generation mbrace2 telematics system, with its many Internet-based features and applications, is now standard.

Driving the SLK-Class

Driving Impressions Mercedes-Benz has worked hard to build sports car credibility into the new SLK, the third generation of the car. Each edition of the SLK has upped the performance ante as...

Mercedes-Benz engineers try to put to rest the longstanding notion that the SLK is more a personal-luxury car than a sports car. Certainly the SLK has all the slick moves of a performance machine with good acceleration (the SLK350 noticeably more so than the SLK250), confident roadholding and taut, responsive steering. Thanks to a well-tuned suspension and substantial tires on 18-inch wheels, the SLK's cornering grip and stability are impressive. It's maybe still not as naturally light on its feet as a Porsche Boxster, but very satisfying to drive. Of course, the V8-engined SLK55 AMG with its 415 horsepower and sports-tuned suspension is an altogether different animal. A performance beast, really.

RETRACTABLE HARDTOP
The SLK started the retractable-hardtop craze and it's still setting the pace. Buyers can select from three different top panels: standard body-colored polycarbonate, a panorama roof of tinted see-through polycarbonate, and the Magic Sky Control with variable tint you control electrically.

AIRSCARF & AIR GUIDES
In a bid to make top-down motoring a more pleasant experience in cooler weather, M-B engineers have provided adjustable Air Guide deflectors on each roll bar and the Airscarf system, which delivers warm air to your neck from an outlet in the headrest.

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Details
Interior

The 2013 SLK might not be as pure a sports car as some of its competitors, but that's a benefit in terms of comfort and convenience. The luscious interior is Mercedes-Benz deluxe in every way. One highlight is the thick-section, 3-spoke steering wheel that is flat-bottomed to help clear your thighs. The main gauges are two big analog circles that flank a screen displaying a wide variety of driver-selectable information. A twist-and-push electronic controller on the console operates audio and navigation features – not immediately intuitive, but it works.

Exterior

Mercedes suggests the exterior design of the 2013 SLK is both futuristic and retro, and it actually is, in a way: It looks fresh and modern, yet there's no mistaking where it came from. The SLK borrows some cues, particularly its big-grille face, from the SLS AMG supercar. Though not a particularly large car, its stance and nose-down rake help establish a look of substance. And of course, the iconic retractable hardtop, unlike a soft canvas convertible top, means the body lines always look clean and finished, whether the top is up or down.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The SLK seats aren't just extremely comfortable, they are also covered in sun-reflecting leather that reduces the rate at which the seats heat up when the car is parked with the top down. Also standard is an audio system with a USB port and Bluetooth, and Mercedes' mbrace2 telematics with many new Internet- and smartphone-accessible features. Standard safety equipment includes a vast complement of airbags (knee, head, thorax), a driver-drowsiness monitor and active head restraints.

Optional Equipment

The optional COMAND system ups the audio ante with a 7-inch color display (standard is 5.8-inch), hard-drive-based GPS navigation, 10GB of music storage, and a 6-disc CD/DVD changer. The navigation system offers 3D maps and the ability to show alternate routes before you choose one. An optional SiriusXM feature provides real-time traffic information and weather forecasts. Also available are burl walnut trim, the Magic Sky Control adjustable-tint roof, bi-xenon headlights that look into curves, and a Dynamic Handling Package with continuously adjusting suspension and driver-selectable modes.

Under the Hood

When you're going up against established players like the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z4, 201 horsepower seems a little underwhelming, but the base 2013 SLK250 makes the most of it with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic transmission. Powering the SLK350 is a 60-degree 3.5-liter V6 featuring direct fuel injection and multi-spark ignition. It makes 302 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, and works with the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. That's enough to rocket the SLK from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. The SLK55 AMG's V8 makes a lusty 415 horsepower. Both the V6 and V8 engines now incorporate ECO start/stop to save a little fuel sitting at stoplights.

1.8-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder
201 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
229 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2,000-4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg

3.5-liter V6
302 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
273 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3,500-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg

5.5-liter V8
415 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
398 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg

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2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.7
Out of 10

Based on 9 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.8/10
    Quality
    9.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.8/10
    Performance
    9.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.9/10

Best car I have ever owned!!!

By on Monday, September 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything about this car is great !"

Cons: "Price is a bit steep."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is simply outstanding!! Handles drives, and accelerates much better than I first expected!! Have definitely decided this is the way to go! I am now ruined, I will not be satisfied driving anything else!"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Best Sport Car with little compromise

By on Friday, July 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great car, fun to drive"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the car to have combining the best in luxury, comfort and sportiness. It might not be as "tossable" as the Boxster but it is no wimp. It does go fast when pushed and has excellent handling and fun, especially when the roof is down. I cannot say for more. I own for more than 2 years and even today I still keep looking at my car each morning before I drive off to work. Great car and years of enjoyment."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

GREAT CAR

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Stying, dealer service, craftmanship"

Cons: "trunk space"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Quality car, comfortable and fun to drive. It really turns heads with its classy styling. There are I have the premium I , media, sport packages along with the walnut trim package and wood steering wheel and diamond white paint with beige and white interior, spoiler and glass wind blockers. I bought it off of the showroom floor so there are a couple of option I would have liked such as the lighting package. It is a fun car to drive, fast enough and handles well. I am pleased with my purchase. The Dick Dryer Mercedes in Columbia SC is extremely service minded and has provided excellent service on our other Mercedes and this was a primary reason in purchasing this car. I think they are one of the very few honest dealers in the country. I have had many bad experience's with several dealers in the SC and NC area. So far this has been a terrific car and I am very pleased with my purchase. I looked at Porsche, BMW, Jags, and chose the SLK which met most of my needs. I have 3 other Mercedes and service was the a very important factor in my decision. If I hadn't had such a positive experience with this dealer ship, I would have chosen the Jaguar roadster. This car would be a problem for a tall and large person, but not for me."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Good Looking Car

By on Wednesday, October 09, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "There is nothing as sporty on the road as this car"

Cons: "Horsepower: It takes a while to build up speed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Of all the luxury cars I have owned, this one gets the most attention. While I'm driving down the street people look and give the thumbs up. While this car is parked in store parking lots people actually stop and look at it. If you don't like being looked at and admired don't get this car. I have never received so much attention in my entire life from a car. It's also fun to drive. I have been very pleased with my purchase. Many people think I paid $100,000 for it because it looks very similar to the $100,000 Mercedes sports car. All the prestige that goes with a very expensive car is definitely apart of this one."

10 people out of 11 found this review helpful

If I could, I'd take back my BMW convertible

By on Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Good looking car"

Cons: "features are not user friendly (technology)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I wish I never bought this car. Background on me - I've owned a number of different cars ranging from Toyota, JEEP, Saab, MB and BMW. I'm a fan of MB; yet again, I wish I never bought this car. As far as aesthetics, yes, it's a sexy looking car. Driving/handling, it's pretty good, though not as good as my BMW. Why do I hate it? The technology is not only NOT user friendly, but it lacks key features that I've had in my previous cars. Which features? 1) a list of turn by turn directions in the navi system; 2) voice recognition is TERRIBLE - often times cancelling the command; 3) downloading and saving music files is not user friendly and lastly, this is more of an issue with MB versus the SLK, the most basis safety feature of identifying your location in the case of an accident costs nearly $25/month. Deleted the rest of my review as it compared MB to another car manufacturer."

13 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Love this Car!

By on Friday, May 24, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Just bought SLK 350. It is very comfortable for a car this size. Love the “hold” function. In traffic just press the break peddle little harder and the car lets you rest your foot. When the roof is up, you can hardly hear any road noise. Living in Boston the “Air scarf” comes very handy, especially on colder nights. The performance is great; it is perfect balance of luxury and performance. Highly recommend it!"

10 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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