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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

Though they said the redesigned 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class isn’t the best-handling car in the class, reviewers still agreed that it offers a gentle ride and top-notch interior quality.

Pros & Cons

  • Top-quality interior
  • SLK250’s good fuel economy
  • Serene ride
  • Automatic transmission can be unresponsive




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Overview

The base 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK250 comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while SLK350 models come with a V6 that reviewers agreed has fluid and relatively strong acceleration. The top-of-the-line SLK55 AMG comes with a V8 engine. The SLK250 comes with a six-speed manual transmission or with a seven-speed automatic, which is standard on SLK350 and SLK55 AMG models. Several critics noted that the SLK-Class’ automatic transmission shifts slowly when you’re driving on hills or using the paddle shifters. According to the EPA, the 2012 SLK250 gets up to 23/33 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class. Reviewers said that the SLK-Class has a smooth ride and, though it isn’t quite as nimble as cars like the Porsche Boxster, it still very composed handling. They also wrote that it has powerful brakes. They said its steering system offers decent feedback, though they noted that it isn’t quite as precise as the steering systems in some luxury sports cars.

Most automotive journalists were pleased with the quality of the 2012 SLK-Class’ interior construction and materials, noting that it has a contemporary design. They wrote that the two-seat SLK-Class has comfortable, supportive seats, and that its standard COMAND infotainment system is intuitive after some study. The SLK-Class’ 10.1-cubic-foot trunk is on-par with those of other small roadsters’, though reviewers note that its convertible hard top takes up a significant amount of trunk space when it’s folded. Standard features in the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK250 include power-adjustable seats, automatic climate control, Mercedes’ COMMAND infotainment system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a USB port. Available features include satellite radio, navigation, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors and Mercedes’ Magic Sky Control roof, which allows you to adjust the transparency of the roof panel to let in more or less sunlight.

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 BMW Z4 is also a hardtop convertible, and the base Z4 gets great fuel economy for the class. Reviewers agreed that the Z4 has lively acceleration, and they appreciated its nimble handling and upscale interior.

Test drivers agreed that the 2012 Porsche Boxster has razor-sharp handling, as well as supportive seats and a high-end interior. The base Boxster is also more powerful than the base SLK-Class, and reviewers said the Boxster’s available seven-speed automated manual transmission delivers perfectly timed shifts.

Compare the SLK-Class, Z4 and Boxster »

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