A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK

It’s not a sedan and it’s not quite a sports car, but chances are that brand-loyal fans desiring that luxury-class hard-top convertible with some oomph under the hood won’t care. The SLK roadster boasts three attractive engine options, and sporty exterior shaping that is loosely styled after M-B’s SLS AMG. With the arrival of other hard-top convertibles onto the luxury scene, Mercedes has had to ramp up their efforts to stay relevant, and they’ve been pretty good about rising to the challenge.

Key Features

While the standard color infotainment display and 8-way power-adjustable seats with lumbar support are enjoyable aspects of the SLK experience, what really stands out is the availability of the retractable hard-top in three different choices. The standard roof is body color polycarbonate, or you can opt for panoramic glass (the new classic), or if you really want to wow your friends and neighbors go all out and get the Magic Sky roof, which utilizes an electric current to activate nano-particles in the glass. At the touch of a button your roof will go from opaque to transparent, easily allowing the light in whenever the mood strikes you.

Changes for 2012

The SLK-Class got a significant restyling in the 2012 model year, with the carmaker drawing inspiration from its own AMG design. In addition, the turbocharged 4-banger is new, along with the Magic Sky roof.

What We Like

This section can’t go without a mention of the optional AirScarf feature. This innovative part of the Premium 1 package actually blows warm air on your neck for more comfortable cool weather top-down cruising, along with what Mercedes calls “Air Guides” which custom direct airflow inside the cabin for optimal temperature distribution.

What Concerns Us

The top takes up the cargo space when open, so do not plan a big shopping trip on your day out cruising in the sun. Moreover, if you opt for the more powerful engines, you will miss the satisfaction of shifting your own gears.

Available Models

  • The SLK250 comes with a 1.8L 4-cylinder turbo 6-speed manual with 229 lb.-ft. torque, 201 HP, and 23/31 mpg.

  • The SLK350 sports a 3.5L V6 7-speed automatic with 273 lb.-ft. torque, 302 HP, and 20/29 mpg.

  • The SLK55 offers a 5.5L V8 7-speed automatic with 398 lb.-ft. torque, 415 HP, and 22 combined mpg.

Major Recalls

There are no recalls on the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK.

Most Common Issues

There are no consistently reported issues with this model.

Mercedes-Benz SLK 2012 Interior


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