New 2018 Mercedes‑Benz SLC Convertible
Mercedes‑Benz SLC Convertible
Thanks to its retractable hardtop, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC is both a free-spirited convertible and a stylish, buttoned-down luxury coupe.
2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC Pricing
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2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC KBB Expert Review
If you can’t decide between a fun and free-spirited convertible or a stylish, buttoned-down luxury coupe, you’ll get both in the 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC. That’s because Mercedes’ small 2-seater has a hardtop roof that transforms this vehicle from one shape to another. That hardtop roof also distinguishes the SLC from rivals such as the Jaguar F-Type, Porsche 718 Boxster and Audi TT. Even the forthcoming, all-new BMW Z4 is shedding its former folding metal roof in favor of lighter fabric. In true Mercedes fashion, the SLC is sporty but still favors a more comfortable ride compared to its rivals -- good news for those who want to loaf along the coast vs. carve the canyons. Starting under $50,000, the SLC is also a relative value in this segment.
You'll Like This Car If...
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC300 is among the few remaining convertibles that tout a retractable hardtop for better insulation and security. It’s quick and nimble yet still comfortable. A more powerful version is available in the 2018 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43, reviewed separately.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If your idea of a convertible is a lithe and tossable play thing, you’ll probably prefer the sharper handling and purer emotional appeal of a Porsche 718 Boxster, Jaguar F-Type or the all-wheel-drive Audi TT.
What's New for 2018
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC carries over with minimal changes. Among the updates are standard logo projectors on the side mirrors, minor aesthetic updates to the Mercedes logo, and a “RedArt Edition.”
With a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine worth 241 ponies powering the rear wheels, Mercedes’ compact roadster gets up and moves swiftly. The SLC300’s 0-60-mph time is clocked at 5.8 seconds, which is still faster than most other cars on the road. The SLC doesn’t have the razor-sharp handling of a Porsche Boxster, but it has the edge in overall comfort. As an everyday driver, we think the SLC is more livable. Moreover, the SLC’s driving characteristics can be modified with the press of a button. Five drive modes, ranging from eco-minded to comfort-oriented to the aggressive Sport Plus, change characteristics such as steering feel, throttle mapping and shift points. Speaking of, the latest SLC uses a 9-speed automatic transmission. While we’re still on the fence about some of today’s 9-speeds, those used in Mercedes’ are among the smoothest we’ve experienced.
A secure, hardtop roof isn’t the only thing that separates the 2018 SLC’s roof from those of its rivals. The SLC comes with a glass panorama roof, which brings the outside in even with the roof up. Add the Magic Sky Control ($2,500), and you can instantly toggle the tint from clear to opaque.
AIRSCARF & AIR GUIDES
It's fun to drive a convertible on a cold day, but not if you're getting chilled. To keep you warm, the SLC-Class has adjustable Air Guide draft deflectors on each rollbar, and the Airscarf system to blow warm air on your neck from an outlet in the headrest.
Mercedes-Benz is a luxury-car maker, so it's no surprise that premium amenities are the biggest strength of the 2018 SLC. Whether covered in MB-Tex faux leather or real hides, the seats are comfortable, even though there's not a lot of room for taller drivers. The audio and climate controls aren’t as svelte as those of fresher Mercedes models, but they are still easily accessed and simple to use, and we love the satisfying tactile quality of the knobs and switches. A supplemental rotary knob below the gear selector controls infotainment functions. The electronic gear selector itself is a small nub of a thing that can be awkward to use at first. With the top up, the trunk boasts a respectable 10.1 cubic feet of space. Keep in mind that it shrinks to 6.4 with the top down.
With the hardtop up, the 2018 SLC-Class looks a lot like a coupe, albeit a somewhat awkward one thanks to the cap-like way the roof sits over the passenger compartment. Still you'd be hard-pressed to tell it's actually a convertible unless you see it with the top down, and then you're in for more of a visual treat. Its long hood, short trunk and wide stance give the SLC that classic roadster look. That top retracts in only 20 seconds, too. At under 163 inches, the Mercedes SLC is tiny -- just a bit bigger than a Mazda Miata -- which makes it a cinch to maneuver around town and easy to park in small spaces.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC300 includes a nice roster of standard features including power-operated seats with memory function, power-adjustable steering wheel, HomeLink universal garage remote, 17-inch wheels and panorama roof. The infotainment system includes a 7-inch display, dual USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and 8-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with HD Radio receiver. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are available as part of an options package or bundled together for an extra $350. The SLC’s safety systems include a system that monitors for driver drowsiness, and another that can automatically apply the brakes if a collision appears imminent.
Notable Optional Equipment
Beyond the Magic Sky Control roof, most other major options can be found bundled into packages. The recommendable Premium 1 Package, for example, includes the Airscarf neck-warmer, heated seats, blind-spot monitoring, and upgraded Harman/ Kardon audio system. The Premium 2 Package adds dual-zone climate control, LED headlights with adaptive high beams, navigation and a classy analog clock. With the Premium 3 Package come driver-assistance features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and a system that helps you parallel park. An adjustable suspension is also available, as are AMG body styling features and 18- or 19-inch wheels.
Under the Hood
The Mercedes-Benz SLC300 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that puts out 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, sending it to the rear wheels through a 9-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain provides a good blend of power and efficiency. It is strong enough to propel the SLC to 60 mph in less than six seconds while returning up to 32 mpg on the highway. If you’re looking for a more powerful SLC, you’ll probably want to step up to the V6 in the Mercedes-AMG SLC43, reviewed separately. Keep in mind that the Mercedes drinks the pricier premium unleaded gasoline.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
241 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/32 mpg
Including destination charge, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC300 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $49,395. Loaded with all the options, an SLC can surpass $60,000. Still, even at these prices, Mercedes’ small roadster significantly undercuts the starting prices of the Porsche 718 Boxster and Jaguar F-Type. The Audi TT Roadster, meanwhile, starts at nearly the same price as the Mercedes SLC. The price of the forthcoming 2019 BMW Z4 is still to be announced, but the outgoing model was comparable to the SLC. Before buying your new luxury convertible, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The Mercedes SLC’s resale value is expected to be only fair, trailing that of the Porsche Boxster and Audi TT.
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Mercedes-Benz SLC Consumer Reviews
October 22, 2018
Most underrated car EVER
With matte paint, a strong engine, and daily driving availability - super underrated. Drives in hard rain - check. Has all the useful...
May 25, 2018
This is a great little car.
This car has a more comfortable ride than my C class. Powerful, stylish and fun to drive. Great acceleration. Trunk holds all the...
May 16, 2018
The car is a joy to drive with or without the top down. Hardtop is fantastic in creating a quiet ride. Average over 33 mpgs too, which...
April 20, 2018
Best compact luxury roadster
I have owned this vehicle for a little less than 6 months, and fell in love with its driving dynamics. Because of its lower center of...
December 21, 2017
Love the Car
Fun, fast, hugs the road, makes its driver smile. Great on a mountain road, or a winding 2 lane country road with the top up (or top...
January 19, 2017
Really fun to drive.
This car is a real hoot to drive. It has plenty of pep for a small 4 cyl. I have had the vehicle for about a year and have thoroughly...
January 07, 2016
Top down fun made easy
If you're looking for a great sports car with a retractable hard top, this is it. I have been very pleased with my SLK, it handles great...
May 31, 2015
Fun to drive, but a little noisier than expected
I bought an SLK 250 for my wife. She absolutely loves driving it, and she puts the top down every chance she gets. This car is an...
May 09, 2015
Best vehicle i ever owned, Better than the SL Great looking, Handles Great. Sound system and all instruments great, Very comfortable....
July 11, 2014
Best Sport Car with little compromise
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...
2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC Specs
2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC Safety Ratings
How does it compare?
|#1||2019 Chevrolet Camaro||455|
|#2||2018 Chevrolet Camaro||455|
|#3||2019 Nissan 370Z||332|
|#4||2018 Nissan 370Z||332|
|#6||2018 Mercedes‑Benz SLC||241|
|#1||2018 Mercedes‑Benz SLC||27|
|#2||2018 Audi A5||27|
|#3||2018 Audi TT||26|
|#4||2018 Audi A3||25|
|#5||2019 Nissan 370Z||21|
|#1||2018 Audi TT||5 / 5|
|#2||2018 Audi A5||5 / 5|
|#3||2018 Audi A3||4.9 / 5|
|#4||2019 Nissan 370Z||4.8 / 5|
|#6||2018 Mercedes‑Benz SLC||4.7 / 5|