SLK opens new horizons car review
By Peter Hayward
THE complexity of folding metal roofs has led some manufacturers to revert to folding fabric for their soft tops.
But when they are properly made, they last well.
The first of the current crop of cars to use such an arrangement was the Mercedes SLK and it continues today.
The shark-nosed model built between 2004 and 2011 is lovely looking but remember that bigger engine models will be expensive to maintain.
The only drawback with all of them is that the roof folds down into the boot and drastically cuts luggage space - but this is true of all such cars.
Best buy from a wide range is the 200K, which has a supercharged 1.8-litre with 163 or later 181bhp. Many have a manual gearbox but it’s rather a poor effort so the automatic is the best bet.
Performance is effortless and the heating is so good the roof can be down whenever it’s dry.
Never buy without the proper service history - always very important with any prestige car.
The roof is quick to put up and down, and most models have added equipment on top of the standard spec.
Expect leather, cruise control, aircon, traction control, front and side airbags, and even electric seats and parking sensors.
Mercedes SLK 200K auto
Price: Pay around £9,800 for an ’06 06-reg standard trim, or £19,500 for a ’10 10-reg Grand Edition
Mechanical: 163bhp, 1,796cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via automatic gearbox
Max speed: 147mph
0-62mph: 7.6 seconds
Combined mpg: 36
Insurance group: 16
CO2 emissions: 211g/km
Main rival: Audi TT
Motors.co.uk value verdict: