Test Drive: Mercedes-Benz SLK 250 AT image

The new generation of the Mercedes-Benz SLK has been introduced back in 2010 and production began one year later. The roadster has seen the public for the first time in Geneva and now our editorial team has went for a spin in such a toy.

Engine and Transmission

The tested vehicle was an SLK 250 but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it had a 2.5 liter engine under its hood because, as we all know, carmakers are sticking to the old names but downsizing and turbocharging means more power and less fuel burned. Power to the SLK 250 is being provided by a 1.8 liter (1,796 cc) turbocharged engine, producing 204 HP (150 kW) and 310 Nm (229 lb-ft) of torque. This is enough to get you from A to B faster than most vehicles but considering the fact that it has been turbocharged, there is a small lag, which will become noticeable quite fast.

Rear-wheel drive is a “must” for every roadster in our perspective so the SLK is sticking to its tradition. Power is being sent, in the model in question, to the rear wheels, through a an automatic 7-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS transmission which is making its job just like it should without asking too many question. I personally liked the gearbox, changing speeds was done pretty fast even in sequential model but some critics may say that the 8-speed ZF transmission used by BMW is better, and I can agree to that.

Fuel consumption

When buying a roadster, the fuel consumption should be the least of your problems, but considering the fact that the SLK is not that expensive, you should take it into consideration. The company officials have provided us with two official figures, between 6.2L and 6.6L burned in an average cycle every 100 km. This can happen, of course, in a perfect environment, but with the Eco mode on, in a crowded city where every meter counts if you want to make it to your destination before a new generation of the car you are driving rolls off, you will see the trip computer indicating 13.2L / 100km.

This isn’t as bad as I thought it would be because personally driving other 1.8L turbocharged powered vehicles, this figure went up to 17 and even 20L / 100 km. Pushing the throttle gently can drop your fuel consumption to just over 10L. When cruising the highway at approximately 120 km/h, your roadster will “eat” about 6.5L / 100km of fuel, but if you want to use the first lane, you will be impressed by its “thirst” which will drop significantly. But that isn’t really its purpose, is it? The average fuel consumption will usually sit at 11L / 100km.

The Ride

The Mercedes-Benz SLK is quite a comfortable ride, despite its sporty design and its ability to go around corners quite fast without oversteering so if you have passed the first youth, your kidneys are safe in it. Sure, you might feel the speed bumps or potholes, but name any other roadster in which you won’t! You shouldn’t be too concerned about the oversteer because this won’t happen unless you will abuse the throttle and the steering and when it will eventually slide its rear, just lift your foot off the gas and it will recover.

Interior Design

The SLK is a pretty nice place to be in. You get the modern design of the dashboard just like in any other new Mercedes but you might not feel that good if you will take into consideration the common elements with cheaper vehicles in the company’s lineup. This is a price to pay if you want to enjoy it at a reasonable cost. The cabin is bringing the that common multi function steering wheel, the iDrive copy which is lacking the satellite navigation system, in the tested car at least, a two-zone climate control, leather for just about every touchable surface, some aluminum trim to make it look sporty, the stop/start technology to cut on your fuel consumption, comfortable sports seats with air vents in them to blow some hot air around your neck for when you decide to lower your roof and many other gizmos.

Likes / Dislikes

That new design of the SLK will have it confused with its larger brother, the SL, by most people and this is, of course, a plus. The ride is nice, the interior has what you need from a modern car, the fuel consumption is quite ok and the overall looks of it make it a head turner. Sure, you might feel that some plastic used in the cabin feels quite cheap for its price range, the position of the armrest should have been moved a little bit forward, the vibrations coming from the engine will sometimes annoy you but, then again, there isn’t a perfect car just yet, to satisfy everyone’s needs, or there isn’t in this price category, at least.

Starting price – 35,600 EUR
Tested vehicle – 60,691.80 EUR
Tested Car – Mercedes-Benz SLK 250

Engine: 1,8L turbo (1,796 cc)
Power: 240 HP (150 kW) at 5,500 rpm
Torque: 310 Nm (229 lb-ft) at 2,300 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Dimensions: length – 4,134 mm, width – 1,817 mm, height – 1,300 mm
Weight: 1,500 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 60L
Trunk Capacity: 225L / 335L
0 – 100 km/h: 6.6s
Top Speed: 243 km/h


4.8 / 5


Photos by Gabi Gogiu