The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class does not have enough ratings yet to earn a valid Total Car Score. Shoppers will want to take note, however, as the SLK has been fully redesigned this year.
Just about everything about the new SLK is better than its predecessor. Updates to the chasses and suspension tuning have resulted in an SLK that handles better and is more fun to drive. There’s also a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the base SLK250 model; it delivers acceleration similar to last year’s SLK300 but is considerably more fuel efficient.
As before, the SLK has a retractable hardtop roof design. The interior quality is top-notch for this class of car, and the car has some innovative features, including the AirScarf system (it blows warm air at your neck during cold-weather driving) and a new glass roof panel that is driver-adjustable regarding its level of tint.
The SLK won’t be for everyone. In particular, it’s not the roomiest entry luxury convertible out there, and in typical Mercedes-Benz fashion, it’s one of the most expensive. But overall there is plenty to like about the all-new 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK is a two-passenger convertible with a power-operated retractable hardtop roof. For now, it’s offered in two models: SLK250 and SLK350.
Under the hood of the SLK250 is a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder rated at 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but most will choose the optional seven-speed automatic gearbox. The SLK350 is powered by a 3.5-liter six-cylinder rated at 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It is only offered with the seven-speed automatic. All SLK models are rear-wheel drive.
Standard equipment on the SLK250 includes premium vinyl upholstery, automatic climate control, eight-way power-operated front seats, Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming and 17-inch alloy wheels. The SLK350 is configured with sun-reflective leather upholstery and larger 18-inch alloy wheels.
Mercedes-Benz bundles options into groups. The Premium 1 package includes heated seats, remote roof operation, an upgraded Harman Kardon audio system with an iPod interface and the automaker's AirScarf system that blows warm air on passenger's necks. The Lighting package includes adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, while the Distronic package includes adaptive cruise control and the automaker's PreSafe crash readiness technology. The Multimedia package includes navigation on a larger center screen, music storage and more.
Stand-alone options include the aforementioned glass panel roof, parking sensors, keyless ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, upgraded leather upholstery and other premium equipment.
According to the EPA, the 2012 SLK350 earns 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.
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