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2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Overview

For those who want a reasonably priced, luxury-laden hardtop convertible for commuting, errand running or just a kick-butt drive through the country with a significant other, the 2015 Mercedes Benz SLK-Class may just be the ticket. This 2-seater isn’t quite as gussied up or as potent as its SL-Class cousins, but it does throw a ton of value at you, and that ready-to-rumble profile would certainly look good in your driveway.

Available once again in 3 trims, the base SLK250, the midlevel SLK350 and the track-backed SLK55 AMG, the third-generation 2015 SLK-Class comes only in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) and boasts a sun-welcoming, power-opening hardtop convertible roof. Be advised, however, that cabin room might be a little confining for some, and the trunk will hold only 6.4 cubic feet of cargo with the top down, despite a comparatively generous 10.1 cubic feet of trunk space remaining on tap for top-up toting.

The only noteworthy change for 2015 versions of the SLK-Class lineup, by the way, is the addition of torque vectoring control, which works with the stability control system to gain a little extra leverage in tight cornering.

Look for the entry-level SLK250 to return carrying a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine and standard 6-speed manual transmission that manages 201 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission is optional and of course delivers the same power numbers. Mileage remains estimated at 22 mpg city/32 highway in stick-shift variations and 23/33 in automatic-toting editions.

Moving up to the SLK350, check out the standard 3.5-liter V6 powerplant, standard with the 7-speed shiftable automatic. This normally aspirated 6-cylinder throws down 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque and comes with auto engine stop/start technology to help give it an EPA-estimated 21/29.

Those aficionados of a screamin’ driving machine, though, can shell out some extra cash for the top-shelf SLK55 AMG with a 5.5-liter V8 mill that pounds out 415 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, again under the auspices of the 7-speed shiftable automatic. At least one track test of this high-end roadster had it going from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, while mileage numbers come in at a reasonable 19/28. Lest we forget, all automatic-equipped trims come with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

But let’s face it, most folks want to know what kind of creature comforts they’re getting with this posh roadster. The base SLK250 sports standard 17-inch alloy wheels, heated power-adjustable mirrors and a fixed glass sunroof embedded in the power-opening convertible hardtop on the outside, with leatherette upholstery, power-adjustable sport seats and full power accessories adorning the inside. Cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering also come standard, as do a remote garage door opener, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and Bluetooth- and COMAND-interfaced mbrace infotainment . Air conditioning and memory for drivers' settings, meanwhile, are accompanied by a single-CD player with 8 speakers and an auxiliary audio input (USB port).

To this the SLK350 adds 18-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats and a 500-watt Harman Kardon stereo system that boasts 11 speakers and satellite radio. The flagship SLK55 AMG tacks premium leather upholstery to the list of standard features.

Believe it or not, there are options available to this already well-equipped Mercedes, although a rear-view camera, surprisingly, is not among them. Nevertheless, said add-ons include upgraded wheels, an auto-tinting sunroof (using M-B's Magic Sky Control technology), COMAND-interfaced hard-drive navigation, Airguide windstops for less hair-challenging open-top cruising, and M-B’s unique Airscarf head-rest-mounted neck warmer. There’re also extra goodies on tap, such as dual-zone climate control and a bunch of distinctive carbon-fiber styling looks for the cabin that are again available courtesy of M-B’s AMG racing division.

Standard safety equipment aboard all 2015 SLK-Class iterations, finally, includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, side-mounted and head curtain airbags, turn-signal-integrated mirrors and daytime running lights. Also standard are such safety items as a post-collision safety system, mbrace emergency telematics and a remote antitheft alarm. Meantime, Mercedes’ optional Parktronic parking system uses front and rear sensors to ease stashing this sleek drop-top into open slots, while adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and pre-collision braking are also available lineup-wide.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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