The SLK-Class is a small roadster model from Mercedes-Benz; it stands out from the crowd most notably because of its power retractable hardtop, styling cues inherited from the larger, more exclusive SL-Class roadster, and comfort-oriented features that aren’t offered in other roadsters at this price.
The power retractable hardtop in the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK really sets it apart from other roadsters; the clever arrangement can go up and down in just 22 seconds. The one drawback of the roof is that it occupies a designated area of the trunk when it’s down, but there’s still enough space for modest weekend bags
The refinement continues inside where there are new connections in the glove box for an iPod and other mobile devices to integrate into the audio system, plus a number of interior refinements including a new three-spoke steering wheel and a new instrument cluster with unique-looking instrument dial bezels.
The options list is long for the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK, with several premium packages that bring heated sport seats, Sirius Satellite Radio, rain-sensing wipers, an upgraded Harman Kardon sound system, a navigation system, and a SmartKey system that allows remote operation of the top.
When it comes to safety features, Mercedes-Benz has developed a reputation for offering some of the finest in the industry. The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is no exception. Cars.com lists the standard safety features offered on the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class as “side-impact airbags, all-disc antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system.” They add that “a BabySmart child-recognition system prevents the front passenger-side airbag from activating” when a child is in the front seat, which is a welcome feature, given the fact that the Mercedes-Benz 2008 SLK offers no backseat in which to put children. ConsumerGuide mentions that the Mercedes-Benz 2008 SLK-Class also comes with a “tire-pressure monitor, roll bars,” and “daytime running lights.”
While the handling of the SLK is impressive, its ride quality on anything but a billiard surface can be harsh and at times annoying, not helped by firm seats that we found to be far from comfortable and the biggest disappointment, apart from a general lack of cabin space.
Mercedes-Benz has always had firm seats – its part of the company’s heritage and on a long journey they’re difficult to criticize. But the SLK’s combination of firm ride and firm seats on our poor roads is a real minus and the lack of a soft edge to its rather tight interior makes the SLK best for short journeys
This is an intimate two-seater in the strict interpretation of the word and there’s minimal storage – just finding somewhere to put your coat is a problem.
The rewarding drive though, makes up for its compact interior and hard ride. On a smooth surface it’s more pleasant and on German roads it would be even nicer.
But then, you don’t buy a car like this for out and out comfort – it’s all about sportiness and in this latest interpretation it’s a very competent convertible coupe. The SLK350 may have the mumbo but the SLK200 has the sweetness – and for the money, it’s the value package.
2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK200 Kompressor
BODY: two-door convertible/coupe
DRIVETRAIN: front eng, RWD
ENGINE: 1.8-litre, supercharged
TRANSMISSION: five-speed automatic