A rare breath of air

The SLK’S re­fined al­fresco lines cloak a se­ri­ous sport­ster

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -


The 250 is the pick of the pair of 1.8-litre turbo en­gines that start the SLK line-up. At $92,450, it is $3000 dearer than BMW’s ri­val Z4 28i and $11,000 dearer than the all­wheel drive Audi TT 2.0 qu­at­tro. It’s still $15,000 un­der a Porsche Boxster or its SLK 350 sta­ble­mate. The SLK 250 rolls off the show­room floor with an in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem in­clud­ing sat­nav, web browser and voice con­trol, a seven-inch high-res screen, bi-xenon head­lamps and heated and pow­ered seats.


It takes just 20 sec­onds to trans­form from classy to cool as the roof tucks into the boot. That will chew up most of the cargo space, so on week­ends away plan on get­ting to the ho­tel and un­load­ing the lug­gage be­fore you go top­less.

The en­gine is matched to a seven-speed auto, a switch­hit­ter in which the de­fault econ­omy set­ting heav­ily favours fru­gal­ity over fun. That leads to a long wait be­tween bury­ing the right foot and elic­it­ing a re­sponse from the en­gine but is also key in help­ing the car achieve a claimed 6.7L/100km. Great for boule­vard cruis­ing; frus­trat­ing when try­ing to get on the throt­tle mid-cor­ner.

Sports mode elim­i­nates the lag and is the pre­ferred op­tion for those mak­ing moves. Bet­ter still, go for man­ual mode and change gears via the wheel­mounted pad­dle shifters.


There’s a touch of SL and SLS about Merc’s baby road­ster. The $130,000 price dif­fer­ence makes it the stand­out of the two-seater range. The sin­gle hor­i­zon­tal bar that car­ries the Benz em­blem on the front brings enough ag­gres­sion to the

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