Thursday, May 9, 2013

Used Car Review - Mercedes Benz SLK Class (2004-2011)

Our convertible candidate is back, and explore more of this if you are not interested on the one we featured last Monday. Myk Belmonte invites you to discover more through this review.

2004-2011 Mercedes Benz SLK Class

Among the German convertibles available, Myk does have a soft spot for the SLK Class especially that I had featured the predecessor of our featured model almost a year ago. It brought in strong engines and a metal top. Would this win the hearts of the buyers, let's see in the following articles.

Sold under the R171 code, the second generation SLK Class was made available in 2004 and kept the values that Mercedes Benz (or in this case, DaimlerChyrsler due to the fact it was developed under their partnership) wants to imbibe in this car. 2011 was the last year you can purchase this car brand new, with the R172 SLK replacing it.

Thanks to CATS Motors, all engines released worldwide were made available to the public. Variants include  the 200 Kompressor, 280, 350, and the 55 AMG available on an indent basis.

Value and Costs
Locally sold units would cost you between P1,800,000-P2,600,000. Why priced high? Convertibles are rare in the Philippines due to our weather here. Be careful if there is any, units from free ports especially those from Cagayan. They may have questionable conversion process and also, scariest of them, documents that can place you in danger.

European cars in general have expensive maintenance costs, so don't think of buying one if you do not have a stable income. Among things, the convertible top must be checked first if there is any difficulty in opening and if leaks are present. Before buying, let your fingers walk through every button you see.

Exterior and Interior
F1 is the word that you would say when you see the R171 SLK due to the front resembling a Formula One race car. The long hood, short tail profile is still there, as well as aggressive haunches. You can have an F1 inspired car without taking special driving lessons that are costly. With top or not, girls will look at you.

You will feel that the cabin is snug when entering the bank vault like doors. Tons of silver buttons that control every function are abound the interior ranging from the memory seat to the steering adjustment. The gauges break the Benz tradition, they have hoods and between them is a screen that reports your fuel consumption, temperature, and other important data. Headroom is not good, especially if you are a six footer, but no problems for the other parts of the body.

Luckily, our country had all the engine options that the international market has. Starting from the bottom is the M271 I4 packed with a supercharger which carries 184hp at 5,500rpm and 250Nm at 2,800-5,000rpm. Next in line are two V6 engines, with a 2,996cc with 200hp at 6,000rpm and 300Nm at 2,400-5,000rpm and a 3,498cc which carries 305hp at 6,500rpm and 460Nm at 4,900rpm, both engines come from the M272 family. The big boss of them all is the M113 5,439cc V8 that carries 355hp at 6,000rpm and 510Nm at 4,000rpm. The 1.8, although decent for those new to the experience, to get acceptable power you must push the pedal more and mind you, you are begging for at least the 3 liter ones. Both of these engines flirting in the 3 liter range are fast in their knees and have a great growling sound. The 5.5 V8 has more burble especially if you are not intimidated by them, but they are rare finds.

Driving Impressions
You will appreciate this beast more for long trips than the dash to the nearest 711 store since the suspension settings soaks up the bumps but the steering lacks that crisp which does not go with the design flow. Bad thing is that, this thing drives like a big car but you'll forgive this when on the motion. Between the manual and automatic modes, go for the latter since it responds better. Braking is a suit, as well as stability due to the standard Electronic Stability Control.

Our candidate, the Porsche Boxster, is very hardcore and turns off those who want something for the daily living. This candidate, promises every ounce of driving fun for the long road. Can afford to buy a weekend car? Place this in your choices.

The Good:
  • Drives good
  • Looks good
  • Well equipped
The Bad:
  • Good luck finding one
  • It may use some seat support
  • Not good when the top isn't working
The Pick: SLK 350

Engines: 1,796cc M271 I4 supercharged, 2,996cc and 3,498cc M272 V6, 5,439cc M113 V8
Power: 184hp @ 5,500rpm (1.8), 200hp @ 6,000rpm (3.0), 305hp @ 6,500rpm (3.5), 355hp @ 6,000rpm (5.5)
Torque: 250Nm @ 2,800-5,000rpm (1.8), 300Nm @ 2,400-5,000rpm (3.0), 460Nm @ 4,900rpm (3.5),  510Nm @ 4,000rpm (5.5)
Fuel Consumption: 4-8km/L (city), 7-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic (1.8), 7-speed automatic (rest of lineup)
Suspension: Front independent double wishbone, rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P3,450,000-P5,350,000
Price (Now): P1,800,000-P2,600,000
Rivals: BMW Z4, Audi TT, Porsche Boxster
On Sale: 2004-2011

CATS Greenhills - (02) 784-5005
CATS Global City - (02) 815-7777

No comments:

Post a Comment