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2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK ranks in the middle of the luxury sports car class. It boasts lively handling, an opulent interior, and a good reliability rating. However, it has a cramped cabin, and its relaxed ride may disappoint performance enthusiasts.

Pros & Cons

  • Premium interior
  • Powerful engine lineup
  • Nimble handling
  • Tricky infotainment system
  • Cramped cabin




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Overview

Is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK a Good Used Car?

The SLK is a good luxury sports car. It’s a convertible with a power-retractable hardtop. Cabin materials are top-notch, and the SLK has a better reliability rating than many of its rivals. Its total ownership costs are relatively low compared to the rest of the class. The SLK’s potent engine options range from a turbocharged four-cylinder to a brutish V8, and its precise steering and suspension tuning help it feel agile on the road. That said, it should be noted that this Mercedes is built for the open road, not the racetrack. Those looking for a relaxed driving experience should consider this vehicle, though some critics found its cabin to be tight, even for a roadster.

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Why You Can Trust Us

Our Mercedes-Benz SLK review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 20 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK?

Our site has nearly 100 listings for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK, with an average list price of $31,900. Prices range from $26,000 to $38,700, and vary depending on the vehicle’s mileage, condition, location, and features.

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How Much Does the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK Cost to Own?

Expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2015 SLK are estimated to be around $32,040 over five years, or about $6,400 per year. That’s below average for the class. For example, those same costs for the 2015 BMW Z4 are projected to be around $1,320 more than the SLK’s over five years.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New SLK?

You cannot buy a new SLK because Mercedes-Benz discontinued the SLK after the 2016 model year. The SLC replaced the SLK in Mercedes’ lineup for 2017. The 2019 SLC Roadster retails for $48,950. While that’s pricier than the 2015 SLK, new models have an easier-to-use infotainment system, more available safety features, a stronger base engine, and a revamped suspension. If those changes aren’t important to you, consider saving money with an older model.

Read about the new SLC »

There are no new luxury sports cars that are comparably priced to a 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK. However, every new non-luxury sports car retails for less than the average price of this vehicle. Even a top-trim 2019 Mazda Miata MX-5 Grand Touring falls within the used SLK’s price range, with a price that’s around $32,000.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Mercedes-Benz SLK Is Best?

The 2015 SLK belongs to a generation that launched for the 2012 model year. Since then, this vehicle remained largely unchanged until the 2016 model year, when Mercedes-Benz outfitted the SLK with a stronger base engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission, and discontinued the manual gearbox. For 2017, Mercedes-Benz replaced the SLK with the SLC. If those updates aren’t important to you, consider saving money with an older car.  

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 SLK »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK?

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK has an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about SLK reliability »

2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK Recalls

As of this writing, two recalls have been issued on the 2015 SLK. One concerns misaligned headlights, while the other deals with brakes dragging and overheating. Before buying this vehicle, make sure these issues have been addressed.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz SLK safety recalls »

Which Used Mercedes-Benz SLK Model Is Right for Me?

This two-door convertible is available in three trim levels: SLK 250, SLK 350, and SLK 55 AMG. Each trim has a different engine, and higher trims add more luxury features. The AMG models are likely to be much more expensive, so shoppers looking for powerful performance on a budget might consider the SLK 350. The lower trims were available with several packages, so you can likely find driver aids and technological upgrades in both the 250 and 350 trims.

The base SLK 250 comes with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic. Standard features include MB-Tex synthetic leather upholstery and the COMAND infotainment interface with a 5.8-inch screen, Bluetooth, and a USB port. A driver drowsiness monitor called Attention Assist and the mbrace telematics system come standard too. 

The SLK 350 has a seven-speed automatic transmission and a 3.5-liter V6 engine putting out 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It builds off the 250’s equipment list with the contents of the Premium package, leather upholstery, and larger alloy wheels.

Both the SLK 250 and SLK 350 were available with several packages. The Multimedia package has a 7-inch screen, a navigation system, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. The Driver Assistance package includes safety features such as blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. There’s also a Dynamic Handling package that added a retuned suspension. Available features to look for include the AirScarf neck-warming system and a Harman Kardon premium sound system.

The Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG steps up to a 5.5-liter V8 engine that produces 415 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. It adds a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded leather upholstery, stronger brakes, and a restyled exterior.

See 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK trims and specs »

What Does Mercedes-Benz's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mercedes-Benz offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. This warranty can be renewed for a fee. If the new-car warranty has expired, you’ll receive the one-year warranty with unlimited mileage. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 165-point inspection.

If you’re unsatisfied with your CPO vehicle, Mercedes’ Exchange Privilege program allows you to exchange it for another CPO vehicle of equal or lesser value within seven days or 500 miles. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz’s CPO program is about average. It’s better than BMW’s but not as robust as Jaguar’s or Lexus’, according to our analysis.

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How Safe Is the SLK?

Like most luxury sports cars, the Mercedes-Benz SLK has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

A driver drowsiness monitor comes standard in the 2015 SLK. Available safety features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear and front parking sensors, forward collision warning, Pre-Safe brake (automatic emergency braking), lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and bi-xenon adaptive headlights.

See SLK safety scores »

2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK or 2015 Audi TT?

The 2015 Audi TT is a decent car. It has standard all-wheel drive, and it’s available as a two-seat convertible and a four-seat coupe. The coupe version has more cargo room than the SLK, but the TT falls short of the Mercedes in most other ways. It lacks a V6 engine option, and it’s not as nimble as the Mercedes. The Audi also has a lower reliability rating than the Mercedes. While the SLK will cost about $4,900 more than the Audi TT on average, it’s also the better choice.  

Which Is Better: 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK or 2015 BMW Z4?

The BMW Z4 is a good luxury sports car. It has quicker acceleration than the base SLK, though that evens out in higher trims. Both roadsters have elegant cabins, and the BMW has a slightly comfier ride than the Mercedes. However, the SLK takes a slight edge thanks to its larger trunk, more available safety features, standard infotainment system, and better reliability rating compared to the Z4.

Which Is Better: 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK or 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class?

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL is essentially a larger-scale version of the SLK. It’s available with brutish engine choices, including a 621-horsepower V12. It also has more comfort options than the SLK, such as ventilated and massaging seats. However, the SL is not a great luxury sports car. Its numb steering limits its appeal, and it is best thought of as a touring convertible. On average, the SL also costs around $22,700 more to buy than the SLK. Between these two Mercedes models, go with the SLK.

Compare the SLK, TT, and Z4 »

2015 SLK Performance

How Does the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK Drive?

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK has refined handling, allowing it to feel playful and composed on the road. It is available with three powertrains. The SLK 250 comes standard with a 201-horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed automatic is available in this trim and standard for the other trims. The Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 features a V6 engine that puts out 302 horsepower.

Next up is the AMG model. The SLK 55 AMG has the strongest engine in the lineup. The 5.5-liter V8 makes 415 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, and it can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

The base SLK 250 is powerful, but it suffers from turbo lag and lacks the brisk acceleration of some rivals. The higher trims help with these problems, and the AMG model delivers thrilling performance. Some critics felt that the automatic transmission is sometimes slow to shift. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is not available.

Does the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK Get Good Gas Mileage?

With its automatic transmission, the SLK 250 gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Those are good fuel economy estimates for the class. The high-performance AMG model loses 4 mpg from both city and highway estimates.

Read more about SLK performance »

2015 SLK Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 SLK Seat?

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK is a hardtop convertible that seats two people. Synthetic leather upholstery and eight-way power-adjustable front seats come standard. Available upgrades include leather upholstery, heated seats, and Mercedes’ Airscarf neck-warming system.

Most critics found the seats to be spacious and comfortable, though a few said the interior is tight, even by roadster standards. The cabin is full of lavish materials and outstanding fit and finish.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK?

Like other roadsters, there are no LATCH connections for child safety seats in the SLK.

2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK Features

The base SLK 250 comes with the COMAND infotainment system, a 5.8-inch screen, an eight-speaker stereo, HD Radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, and a retractable hardtop roof. The mbrace telematics system, for emergency services and driver monitoring, is also standard. There’s no touch screen, and the COMAND infotainment system takes some time to master.

Available features include a 7-inch screen, a Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, satellite radio, an 11-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound stereo, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and a Magic Sky Control roof, which features a glass center panel that lets you adjust the transparency of the roof to control how much light to let in.

See 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK specs »

Read more about SLK interior »

2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz SLK Cargo Space

This convertible has 6.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the top down and 10.1 cubic feet with it up. That’s good for the luxury sports car class, eclipsing rival roadsters such as the 2015 Porsche Boxster. There’s not much small-item storage in the cabin though.  

2015 SLK Length and Weight

The SLK measures around 13.6 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,241 to 3,583 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK Built?

Mercedes-Benz manufactured the 2015 SLK in Germany.

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