The 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, the second-generation of Mercedes’ entry-level convertible, is now in its final year and understandably it's starting to show its age against newer rivals such as the BMW Z4, which recently underwent a complete redesign.
While the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
is on its way, the existing 2011 model is still in showrooms and is worth a look for buyers wanting the solidness of a coupe but the fun of an open-top cruiser. The SLK also remains one of the best looking cars in its segment, which is no small feat given it competes with the likes of the aforementioned BMW Z4, as well as the Infiniti G37 Convertible, Porsche Boxster and Audi TT.
Buyers can select from three different models, all of them worthy of being called a sports car, but one clearly stands out from the pack. We are, of course, talking about the high-performance SLK55 AMG. This model comes with a 5.4-liter V-8 engine delivering no less than 355 horsepower.
Matched to a seven-speed automatic with paddle shifters, the SLK55 AMG will sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds and easily reach its electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
The other models in the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class lineup are by no means slow in comparison. Next in line is the SLK350, which sports a 300 horsepower 3.5-liter engine and is good for a 5.3 seconds 0-60 mph run.
Finally, we have the SLK300 rounding up the range. This model comes with a 228 horsepower 3.0-liter engine and will go from 0-60 mph in around 6.0 seconds. It may be the least sporty of the bunch but it’s the only one offered with a regular manual transmission.
Despite its performance statistics, at the end of the day the SLK-Class is still a Mercedes-Benz and that means it’s packed with luxury. In this area the svelte roadster doesn’t disappoint. It comes with leather seating, a CD changer and cruise control all as standard. Options include a SmartKey push-button start, a Harman Kardon stereo, COMAND infotainment and the AIRSCARF warming function for when the roof is down.
For more information on the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, take a look at TheCarConnection's
review of the virtually identical 2010 model.