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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class was new.


Interior: 8.6

While acknowledging that interior space is tight, reviewers like the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK’s cabin. They appreciate the premium materials and user-friendly electronics. A few quibble with the design but still say the SLK has a very nice cabin overall. 

  • "The new interior is a welcome departure from that of the last SLK. Gone is shiny-plastic, generic switchgear; in its place is what appears to be a scale model of the SLS dashboard. The design is modern, clean, and elegant." -- Car and Driver
  • "Top-quality materials with solid fit-and-finish, as you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz. The plastic that surrounds the center console and control interface has a satin finish that does a convincing job of passing for metal. Even the inside of the footwells is outfitted with soft-touch plastic, which is a comfort plus for passengers who might rest their knees there." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The fit and finish is superior, so the panels and compartment doors feel solid. Buttons and switches require the right amount of effort to convince you that they'll last a long time. But at the same time, the plainness of the overall design architecture feels like something from another time and place. In particular, the carbon-fiber motif for the instrument faces says racer, not elegant." -- Edmunds


Most reviewers agree that, though the cabin is small, the two seats in the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK are very comfortable. Drivers over six-feet tall may want more room, however.

  • "There are seats for only two bottoms, but they fit those butts snuggly - the functional equivalents of leather-wrapped thrones, deeply contoured, precisely stitched. The cabin smells like well-cured, expensive leather." -- Washington Post
  • "The seats, unfortunately, remain too stiff, with little payoff on curvy roads. Get the SLK in a tight sweeper, and your backside still slides too much. Power adjustments are standard, but tall drivers will want more range. At 5-foot-11, I drove with the chair all the way back." -- Cars.com
  • "Inside the cabin, the SLK350's seats are lightweight, sporty units mounted fairly upright in the short-coupled cockpit, yet they offer bolsters and power adjustment in all the right places. They're also built for the long haul, so you remain comfortable behind the wheel and arrive free of fatigue." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

For the most part, reviewers like the features available on the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK, reporting that the electronics work well. They’re especially positive about the COMMAND infotainment system, which they say is markedly easier to use than similar systems from competing automakers.

 The SLK comes standard with a 5.8-inch LCD screen, Mercedes’ COMMAND infotainment system, Bluetooth phone and music connectivity and a USB port. If you add the Premium 1 Package upgrades the stereo and adds satellite radio and iPod interface. The Multimedia Package increases the size of the LCD screen to 7 inches and adds navigation with real-time traffic and weather reports, as well as a 10 GB music storage system.

While reviewers liked the features these packages add, they also noted that choosing the option packages significantly increases the SLK’s already high price.

  • “SLK is in line with other Mercedes-Benz vehicles when it comes to its control system. It uses the brand's COMAND system to govern audio, climate, and navigation functions. The system requires some acclimation, but most everything becomes second nature once you've had time to use it. A slightly larger screen with touch functionality would be helpful." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The latest generation of Mercedes-Benz's COMAND electronics interface in the SLK350 represents another noticeable step forward, a matrix of logical menu steps and easy connections. An eight-way rotary dial on the console between the seats falls easily to hand, complete with "back" and "clear" buttons. We were able to easily pair a Bluetooth phone, select music and enter destinations in the navigation system. The optional 7-inch color display also offers a new three-dimensional "bird's-eye" navigation view and a better sense of distance for the route ahead." -- Edmunds


With the top up, the Mercedes-Benz SLK has 10.1 cubic feet of trunk space. With the top down, that space drops to 6.4 cubic feet, which is low for the class overall, but typical for a hard top convertible.

  • "Trunk volume is 10.1 cubic feet, falling to 6.4 cubic feet with the convertible top lowered. Both figures compare to the Z4, but that illustrates a drawback of folding hardtops. The soft-top TT and Boxster don't encroach on luggage room when you lower the roof." -- Cars.com
  • "Mercedes-Benz claims 10.1 cubic feet of trunk space with the top up. It's enough for a couple golf or carry-on bags, but not much more than that. Volume shrinks to 6.4 cubic feet with the top down so pack carefully if you plan some open-air motoring. SLK's glovebox is of decent size, but its center console is shallow, and the door pockets are tiny. There are a couple cubbies behind the seats, but they're so small as to be barely worth mentioning." -- Consumer Guide

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