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Mercedes SLK
7/10

Latest
Road Test

Mercedes-Benz SLK 250 CGI driven

Driven March 2011

Additional Info

This all-new SLK is a car for optimists. Optimists for the future of motoring. Because if Mercedes can build a sports car that returns 39.8mpg and 167g/km from a V6, then we'll all be driving fun cars for years to come, not some anodyne electric thing.

And the odd thing is, given the SLKs of the past, this one is fun to drive. Granted, it's no Porsche Boxster beater, but the steering is now far more precise, there's plenty of grip from the chassis and the engines sound interesting.

The pick of these, for the time being, is the 250 four-cylinder petrol. This has 201bhp and 229lb ft, which is more than enough to shove the car along at a reasonable pace. 0-62mph is seen off in 6.6 seconds. What's really impressive is that you'll get 42.8mpg out of it - from a sporty roadster, that's mighty impressive.

At the end of the year, a diesel 250CDI will be available. There aren't any figures for that car yet, but Merc will need to do some work on it first to make sure it works in the SLK. I drove one in a C-Class at the same time as the SLK launch and it was far too rough to work in a roadster.

As you'd expect, there are also plenty of gadgets on offer. The most interesting is the Magic Sky Roof - you can change the opacity of the glass roof so you don't get too hot in bright sunshine. It's not just a gimmick because it really did keep the cabin cooler.

All in, then, the SLK is an impressive step on. It will still appeal to the people who used to buy SLKs (mainly women), but it will tick a few more boxes for blokes as well now.

Piers Ward

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