New 2018 MercedesBenz MercedesAMG SLC Convertible New 2018
MercedesBenz MercedesAMG SLC Convertible

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KBB Editor's Overview

By Editorial Staff

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 is the more powerful, higher-performance version of the standard SLC300 roadster (reviewed separately). As with the base model, the SLC43 can shape-shift from a sporty 2-seat coupe to a wind-in-your-hair convertible thanks to a retractable hardtop roof. This X factor gives it a secure, dual-natured edge over competitors like the Porsche 718 Boxster, Jaguar F-Type and Audi TT. Thanks to the extra muscle of its 362-horsepower twin-turbo V6, this roadster from Mercedes’ performance division also becomes a better rival to those sports cars, with the ability to hit 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. Even with its added power and relatively practical nature, the Mercedes-AMG SLC43 has a competitive price starting just over $62,000.


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The Mercedes-AMG SLC43 is like the Goldilocks of luxury convertibles: Its retractable hardtop lets you have both a coupe and a roadster, while its upgraded V6 engine enables sports-car performance and blistering acceleration over the standard, 4-cylinder Mercedes SLC.

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Even with its added power and higher-performance hardware, the AMG SLC doesn’t have the litheness or raw sense of performance offered by the Porsche Boxster or Jaguar F-Type. Compared to them, the AMG has a more comfortable character.

What's New for 2018

The Mercedes-AMG SLC43 carries over for 2018 with only minor updates. Among them are a new “RedArt Edition” and small aesthetic changes to the Mercedes logo.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

While the standard SLC300 is quick and fun, the higher-performance SLC43 is far more satisfying if you’re looking for a power trip. That’s what an extra 121 horsepower will do. In addition to its blistering straight-line performance (the Mercedes-AMG SLC43 rips from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, compared to the 5.8 of the standard version), the AMG treatment also gifts this Mercedes convertible with better handling, improved braking and a more guttural sound. Various drive modes such as Eco, Comfort and Sport can instantly change the SLC43’s personality from coastal cruiser to asphalt bruiser. That said, it still weighs about 500 pounds more than a Porsche Boxster S. That means it’s not as lithe, nor does it have the track-star status of a Porsche. The flip side is the Mercedes is more comfortable and more pleasant to drive in the daily commute. And when the weather turns foul or you must park outside, it’s reassuring to have a metal roof at the ready.

Favorite Features

The twin-turbo V6 engine in the SLC43 is a real sweetheart. It’s potent enough to grant rapid acceleration and passing power, yet small and efficient enough to earn 29 mpg on the highway.

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 comes with a panoramic glass roof as standard, but it can be made even better with the Magic Sky Control feature. At the touch of a button, it changes the tint of the glass from clear to dark. It’s a neat trick that must be seen to be believed.

Vehicle Details


The SLC43’s 2-passenger cockpit remains quite elegant despite this design’s age compared to the rest of Mercedes’ fresher lineups. So while you won’t find the massive screens of the E-Class or even C-Class, you’ll still get a 7-inch display that works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and supportive seats made with Nappa leather. Space is at a premium, especially for taller drivers, which shouldn’t be a surprise given this compact roadster’s tidy size. Switchgear and controls for the climate system are easy enough to see and use, but audio controls are rather busy. The nub of a gear selector also takes some getting used to upon initial use. Below that is a rotary dial that controls the functions on the center display. With the top up, the trunk boasts 10.1 cubic feet of space, but that shrinks to 6.4 with the top down.


A hardtop convertible like the SLC essentially gives you two cars for the price of one: a coupe when the top is up, and a roadster when it’s down. And it only takes about 20 seconds for the power-operated top to transform this car from one style to the other. We think the SLC43 looks its best with the top down, but is still quite classy with the top up. Its long hood, short trunk and wide stance endow the SLC with that classic roadster look. As a performance AMG model, the SLC43 has more aggressive looks than the base SLC300, with flared side sills, a unique front air dam, and 18-inch wheels. Other AMG packages, such as the Night Package or the new RedArt Styling, add other unique aesthetic touches.

Notable Standard Equipment

For 2018 the Mercedes-AMG SLC43 comes even better equipped than the base model, which also helps explain its roughly $13,000 premium over the SLC300. Beyond its higher-performance engine and hardware, the SLC43 includes the Premium 1 Package that you’d have to pay extra for on the base model. It bundles recommendable features like blind-spot monitoring, heated seats and the nifty Airscarf neck-heating system, a harman/kardon premium audio system, and keyless entry. Other standard features include leather-appointed seats, HomeLink universal garage remote, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and an automatic emergency-braking feature. The SLC43’s infotainment system bundles a 7-inch screen, AM/FM/CD system with satellite radio and HD Radio receiver, dual USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is available for $350 extra or bundled into the Premium 2 Package.

Notable Optional Equipment

In addition to the smartphone integration, the Premium 2 Package bundles navigation, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, and a classy analog clock. From there, the Premium 3 Package includes the Distronic adaptive cruise-control system, lane-keeping assist, and a system that helps you parallel park. Other tempting ways to part with your money and enhance this Mercedes include the Magic Sky system (see Favorite Features), the AMG Ride Control sport suspension, and a limited-slip differential.

Under the Hood

The Mercedes-AMG SLC43 gets two more cylinders than the base SLC300, and significantly more power. Under the hood is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that makes 362 horsepower. A true roadster, the SLC43 is rear-wheel drive. Power is routed through a 9-speed automatic transmission. And while we’ve been on the fence about some 9-speeds, those in Mercedes-Benz models are among the smoothest we’ve experienced. In an effort to save fuel, the Mercedes uses an engine start/stop system that cuts power at idle. It may feel disconcerting at first, but it’s perfectly normal for the engine to shut off at stoplights. If you find the restarts too abrupt or aggravating, as we often do, the system can be disabled with the press of a button (it’s to the right of the hazard-lights switch). Also keep in mind that the SLC43 drinks the pricier, premium unleaded gasoline.

3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6
362 horsepower @ 5,500-6,000 rpm
384 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg


Pricing Notes

Including the $995 destination charge, the 2018 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $62,345. As we noted, that’s about a $13,000 premium over the base SLC300, but you do get quite a bit more vehicle and additional cachet with the higher-performance AMG model. Loaded with options, the SLC43 can reach over $75,000. At its starting price, the Mercedes-AMG SLC splits the difference between the base costs of a Porsche Boxster and Jaguar F-Type, though both of those can reach significantly higher costs than the Mercedes. BMW has an all-new Z4 just on the horizon, but its starting price is still to be announced. Before buying your luxury convertible, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Mercedes’ resale value is expected to hold up pretty well, but still trail that of the Porsche Boxster.

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