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2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Overview
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2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

With a retractable hardtop and Mercedes-Benz's innately high comfort level, the 2014 SLK roadster is satisfying to drive regardless of weather or road conditions. The latest generation of Mercedes' 2-seater is larger and roomier than past models, and its exterior design has matured into something truly elegant yet aggressive. A variety of engines – from a small and efficient 4-cylinder to a mighty AMG V8 – enable the 2014 SLK's performance to range from competent to blistering. Dynamically it still feels softer than the corner-carving Porsche Boxster, but the SLK's emphasis on comfort and prestige should come as no surprise for any car wearing the vaunted 3-Pointed Star, and those traits only add to this roadster's overall appeal.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a well-appointed 2-seat convertible with a hardtop roof that protects against the elements and a supple ride quality that coddles on your daily commute, it's hard to beat the 2014 Mercedes 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. In that case, the 4-seat Audi A5/S5 might appeal. If you crave an open-top plaything to slice mountain roads on weekends, you'll probably be happier in a Porsche Boxster.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.7
  • 7.8
  • 7.6
  • 7.6
  • 6.8
  • 7.7
How It Ranks

#4

out of 6

Fuel Economy

#6

out of 6

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.6 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

Still fresh from its redesign two years ago, the SLK only brings a pair of different exterior colors to the table for the 2014 model year.

Driving the SLK-Class
2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions Mercedes-Benz has worked hard to build sports-car credibility into its latest SLK, the third generation of the car. Each edition of the retractable hardtop roadster has upped the performance ante....

For the most part, they have succeeded with the latest edition, which boasts confident road-holding and taut, responsive steering while still returning a plush highway ride. Even a base model with the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is quick (0-60 mph is pegged at 6.5 seconds), but Sport mode should be engaged to wring the most out of it. In Normal mode, that base engine is nagged by turbo lag. V6 models are noticeably quicker (0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds), while the V8-powered SLK AMG model blazes (0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds). The SLK still isn't as naturally light on its feet as a Boxster, but it's extremely satisfying to drive, especially in proper top-down form.
Favorite Features

RETRACTABLE HARDTOP
The SLK-Class brought retractable hardtops into the mainstream when the roadster debuted in 1998, and it's still setting the pace. Such a setup delivers a delicious automotive duality: In less than 20 seconds, the SLK can transform from buttoned-down coupe to sun-splashed convertible.

AIRSCARF & AIR GUIDES
In a bid to make top-down motoring a more pleasant experience in cooler weather, Mercedes 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.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Details
2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The 2014 SLK might not be as pure a sports car as some of its competitors, but that's a benefit in terms of everyday comfort and convenience. Whether outfitted in the leather-like MB-Tex or the real thing, the SLK's seats are a pleasure to be in. Controls to operate functions such as audio and climate are right where you want them and have a satisfying tactile quality that affirms you're piloting a premium car. Key to the SLK's glorious top-down driving experience are features like the Airscarf neck-heating system and Airguide wind-deflector that create a comfortable and surprisingly turbulent-free cabin.

Exterior
2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class photo

Think of the 2014 SLK as two cars in one: With the hardtop up, it's a sleek coupe. Fold the power-operated roof, and it becomes its proper roadster self. In either form, the SLK shares character lines with its bigger, 6-figure brother, the SL-Class roadster. At around just 163 inches in length, the SLK is compact and very easy to park. Yet its long hood and low, wide stance give this little roadster a look of substance. Top-line SLK55 AMG versions up the performance aesthetics with tinted headlight housings in front and a small spoiler at the rear.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 SLK-Class is available in three trims: the 4-cylinder SLK250, the V6 SLK350, and the V*-powered SLK55 AMG. Not surprisingly, moving up trims brings additional amenities. Spend the least on a base model and your roadster will come with a 6-speed manual transmission, 5.8-inch color display, 8-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD Radio audio with a USB port and Bluetooth streaming, auto-dimming mirrors, and power seats. SLK350 additions include heated leather seats, the Airscarf heating system, and harman/kardon sound system. The SLK55 features performance enhancements like larger brakes, upgraded 18-inch tires, and an AMG. Among all models' safety features is Attention Assist, to monitor driver drowsiness.

Optional Equipment

Quite a few options are available to expand the 2014 SLK's comfort and overall enjoyment. Among them are a Multimedia Package with navigation, a 7-inch LCD screen and a 10-gig music bank, and the Driver Assistance Package offering blind-spot monitoring and Mercedes' Distronic Plus cruise control with automatic braking. The Magic Sky Control roof is a trick feature that turns the panorama roof from transparent to tinted to block the sun's ray during the day and let in the moon's glow at night while the top is up. Mercedes-Benz's Designo line offer ultra-high-end exterior paint, interior upholstery options and more.

Under the Hood
2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Engine photo

In base form, the SLK's turbocharged 4-cylinder engine makes 201 horsepower and is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or optional 7-speed automatic. Except for the aforementioned turbo lag, the engine should suffice for most drivers, though we must point out that the base powerplant in the BMW Z4 makes 240 horsepower. Moving up to the V6 in the SLK350 nets 302 horsepower, making it a capable performer. Speed freaks can get plenty of it in the topline SLK55, which stuffs a 5.5-liter V8 under the hood that offers 415 horsepower. Those latter two engines are exclusively mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission and feature an ECO start/stop to save a little fuel at stoplights. All SLK roadsters are rear-wheel drive and drink 91-octane gasoline.

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: 22/32 mpg (manual), 23/33 mpg (automatic)

3.5-liter V6
302 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
273 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3,500-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 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

Pricing Notes

Starting at $44,450, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK is nothing if not tempting. But like most of its rivals, options on this Mercedes are equally tempting and they don't come cheap. Check enough boxes, and even a base SLK250 can broach $60,000. The top-line SLK55 AMG, starts just under $70,000, and can reach into the mid-$80,000 range. At its starting price, the SLK undercuts the more powerful BMW Z4 by a few thousand dollars, and the even more powerful Porsche Boxster by a few thousand more. The SLK starts, however, a few hundred above that of an Audi TT convertible. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Mercedes. Resale value of the 2014 SLK is expected to vary from decent to good, with the 4-cylinder variants faring the best, but still not able to match the Porsche Boxster.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.6
Out of 10

Based on 7 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.7/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.9/10
    Performance
    9.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.9/10

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."

2 people out of 3 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."

6 people out of 7 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."

11 people out of 19 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!"

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Love the SLK 250

By on Friday, February 22, 2013

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: "Lighting package, convertibale hard top"

Cons: "Small trunk if top is down"

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

Our Baby

"We have owned the SLK 250 for three months now and have been very happy with the car! It sure gets attention wherever we go. The lighting package is fantastic and helps tremendously in seeing and being seen at night. The headlights follow the road and adjust automatically. The ease of operation of the hardtop is so cool! We have had other convertibles through the years and Mercedes' engineers sure have this one done right. We live in east Tennessee, so there are some warmer days even in the winter and we enjoy the heated seats and the "air scaf" if we need to warm things up. Its a fantastic car for us and would reccomend it to anyone."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Our Baby

Bought it. Love it. Fun to drive.

By on Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 260

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: "Great car for the money."

Cons: "Small trunk. 18" wheels are not for snowy day use."

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

"Buy it. This is my second SLK. You'll be surprised just how many people stop you in the parking lot asking about the car. It is truly the most fun car you will ever drive. 2-seats are really comfortable. Disclosure: you will have to adapt to to the rather small trunk and the 18" wheels are not recommended for snowy days. At the same time, the hardtop convertible delivers the best of a quiet ride and/or great top-down enjoyment."

18 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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