The original Mercedes SLK went over eight years without having major upgrades, a fact that tells us just how advanced it was when first introduced in 1996. However as we turned into the twenty first century the car suffered a little and a new generation approved used Mercedes SLK was introduced. This proved a massive step forward in terms of sophistication, quality and driver involvement.
Originally the second generation Mercedes SLK for sale was introduced in two separate versions. The basic model -- the supercharged SLK200K -- was an excellent entry-level option, with a starting price of less than £30,000. A higher price of £37,602 was placed on the more up market version the SLK 350, which may have sufficed for most manufacturers but Mercedes were determined to add to the popular range and thus introduced the SLK 55 AMG in late 2004. The AMG version offered an option that even Porsche were unable to match. Finally, the Mercedes SLK 280 - a mid range model - slipped silently into the SLK range in late 2005.
Bang for your Buck
The used Mercedes SLK basic shape was retained as the MK2 alterations -- long bonnet and short boot -- were considered to be an appropriately pleasing look aesthetically. However, the second generation SLK for sale was markedly larger than the first while it did retain the much copied roof mechanism, which can fold into the boot in just over 20 seconds. In addition, there was now more boot space available due to the swivelling rear window, which was an issue that many had with the older model.
Indeed, Mercedes certainly didn't disappoint with the newer version retaining all the engineering quality and standards one had been used to with the original SLK. The novel heating system (AIRSCARF) which operates at neck-level offers a welcome warmth from the headrests. Safety provisions were also made, with the MK2 SLK fitted with airbags for the first time in addition to high tensile steel alloys.
What You'll Pay
First off don't expect to land much of a bargain. Used Mercedes SLK cars for sale are still well in demand, particularly if they have been well cared for and have a relatively low mileage. For a basic 200K model you can expect to pay up to £11,100 and beyond while for a tidy 2004 SLK 350, with an average of 60,000 clocked miles you will need at least £13,000 to land one.
What to Check
While many may advise steering clear of any manual versions, the manual unit that features on the SLK is, in fact, an extremely good one -- something of a surprise perhaps for a Mercedes. Thus while automatic versions often tend to be at a premium, if you are on the ball you may pick a manual version up for a good price.
The good news is not much goes wrong on the SLK series. The interiors are great quality and certainly much improved from the older used Mercedes SLKs. However, you should always check the alloys for any signs of kerb damage and of course make sure you go for one with a genuine service history. Finally, you may want to check that the immobiliser and the alarms are working properly, as these often tend to develop faults.
Parts, of course, are fairly costly with a complete exhaust (front and rear section with catalyst) costing anything up to £900. A simple air filter is around £11 and an oil filter £10 while a new headlamp unit will cost you around £125. Finally, front shock absorbers can go for around £135 each.
How it Drives
A good fuel economy return of 32.7mpg for the basic model is usual while even the SLK350 offers an average return of at least 28.7 mpg.
The used Mercedes SLK 280, which is fitted with a V6 231bhp engine, can go from 0-60 in under 7 seconds while the SLK350 -- fitted with a V6 272bhp engine -- can achieve this in under 6 seconds. The six speed manual gearbox offers particularly speedy gear shifting, while the 360 bhp 510Nm of torque power offered with the SLK55 AMG means it can go from 0-60 in under 5 seconds and reach top speeds of 155mph. Indeed, this version can more than hold its own against the very muscular BMW 5-series.