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Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 2004 Review

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Buy with confidence; all Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned vehicles come with a factory backed warranty, 100 point safety check, comprehensive service history and 24hr roadside assistance.

The Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 is one of them.

We loved the cheeky, entry level Kompressor model that we drove a couple of weeks back with its perky 1.8-litre supercharged engine.

But the 200kW, V6 powered SLK 350 is something else again.

The fact that Benz has an even more powerful, V8 AMG version of the car on the way is mind-boggling.

How much power do you need?

In some repects we still prefer the lighter, more nimble Kompressor in comparison to the heavier, more powerful SLK 350.

The Kompressor is a car in which you have a lot of fun, without feeling that you have something to prove.

It has a nice note to the exhaust, strong mid-range acceleration and light razor sharp handling.

But powerful cars are like a drug and it is difficult to ignore the call of the big torquey V6.

The car gets off the line in a rapid fire 5.6 seconds on its way to 100km/h (even faster with the auto).

That's every bit as fast as a WRX, the benchmark for so many performance cars these days, and almost as quick in fact as the ultra high performance STi.

However, the V8 when it arrives will eat have both Soobys for lunch, able to accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 4.9 seconds.

It's easy to get bogged down in performance figures and the rest of the "mine's bigger than yours" revhead culture.

Suffice to say that the SLK 350 is an exciting car to drive and one that embodies the traditional elements of sports car design – it's light, compact, with a low centre of gravity and excellent power to weight ratio.

A purpose built two-seater, the SLK joined the Benz lineup in 1996, with a cleverly designed metal roof that can be removed at the press of a button, tucking neatly into the boot.

Even with a price tag of $112,000 for the SLK 350, it is still a far cry from super car territory but offers the same sort of style and performance as a Porsche or Ferrari.

Let's just say if you won the Lotto, you could do a lot worse than buying one of these beautiful pocket rockets.

One of the other clever things about the new SLK is the optional "air scarf" system that was fitted to our test vehicle.

This ingenious device delivers warm air to the back of your neck through small holes located in the seat head rests, allowing the occupants to enjoy that open air feeling even on the chilliest night.

The new 3.5-litre V6 engine in the SLK 350 is good for 200kW of power and 350Nm of torque, 25 per cent more power than the previous V6 and 13 per cent more torque.

A seven speed tiptronic style automatic transmission is standard on the 350 and is actually a fraction faster than the manual tranny, at 5.5 seconds for 0-100km/h.

Our test car was fitted with the optional, no cost six- speed manual and despite the qucker time is certain to be the choice of enthusiasts.

Fuel consumtion for the manual transmission is rated at 10.6L/100km.

We achieved a figure of 12.8L/100km during testing.

Standard equipment includes climate controlled airconditioning and leather upholstery, driver and front passenger airbags, side airbags, cruise control, stability control with anti-lock braking system, acceleration skid control and brake assist.

In additon the 350 gets satellite navigation, CD changer, electrically adjustableseats, larger 17-inch wheels and rubber, and bigger brakes with perforated front discs.

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

SLK320 3.2L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $13,600 – 19,690 2004 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class 2004 SLK320 Pricing and Specs
SLK230 Kompressor 2.3L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $11,600 – 16,940 2004 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class 2004 SLK230 Kompressor Pricing and Specs
SLK32 Kompressor AMG 3.2L, PULP, 5 SP $19,500 – 27,170 2004 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class 2004 SLK32 Kompressor AMG Pricing and Specs
SLK200 Kompressor Spec. ED. 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $10,100 – 15,180 2004 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class 2004 SLK200 Kompressor Spec. ED. Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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