New Mercedes-Benz SLK
All models of the new SLK bar the SLK55 AMG range-topper feature uprated engines, the entry level SLK200K rising 21bhp to 184bhp, and the deceptively rapid SLK350 getting a 33bhp shot in the arm, bringing the maximum power up to 305bhp. This now puts one over on Porsche’s 295bhp Boxster S and features an improved 7G-TRONIC automatic gearbox that now blips the throttle on downshifts, making the shift to a lower gear smoother.
The range kicks off with the SLK200K, a model which may seem a little overshadowed by the brighter lights but which is possibly the best buy of the whole line up. Typically specified cars will tend to come in at just under £30,000 which compares well with the BMW Z4 2.5i, a car that the SLK200K now outmuscles. Up next is the SLK280, in many ways, this is the forgotten car in the SLK range, as it had a low key introduction some time after the SLK first appeared. Then there’s the beefy SLK350 which, with a raft of typical options, tends to weigh in at around £36,500, followed by the mighty SLK55 AMG.
One of the key aims of the revisions to the SLK has been to reduce fuel consumption and emissions and the big selling SLK350 model is an exemplar of how these aims have been achieved. Despite being more powerful than before, this model reduces emissions by 28g/km to 227g/km, which is significantly less than an Audi TT 3.2 Roadster, a car that’s nearly 60bhp shy of the SLK350’s output. Fuel economy is pegged at 29.7mpg for the manual model and, somewhat counter-intuitively, 30.7mpg for the 7G-TRONIC automatic.
The same story continues with the SLK200K which now returns 36.7mpg and emits just 182g/km and the SLK280 (31mpg and 216g/km with auto box). Residual values remain strong with the SLK350 seeing fully 60 per cent of its new value back after three years. One word of advice. If you’re at all worried about cost of ownership, don’t be tempted by an SLK55 AMG.