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2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Review

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK ranks in the top third of the luxury sports car class. It has a luxe cabin, high-tech safety features, and an excellent reliability rating. Its refined ride makes it a good daily driver, but its infotainment system is fussy.

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet, luxurious cabin
  • Smooth ride
  • Good fuel economy
  • More advanced safety features than rivals
  • Less agile than rivals
  • Slow-shifting transmission in higher trims
  • No manual transmission option

New for 2016

  • Base trim name changes name from SLK250 to SLK300
  • More powerful and fuel-efficient base engine with new nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Manual transmission discontinued




Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.7
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Overview

Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK is a very good touring car that’s built for everyday driving. It offers a comfortable ride, great gas mileage, a posh interior, and a relatively reasonable price for a luxury sports car. If you want a true performance car, look elsewhere. This 2016 model isn’t even available with a manual transmission.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 23 Mercedes SLK reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

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, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK?

The average price for a used 2016 Mercedes SLK is $36,000, based on the roughly 40 listings for it on our site. List prices range from $27,800 to $48,000. The price you pay depends on many factors, including the car’s condition, mileage, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK Cost to Own?

Over five years of owning the 2016 SLK, you can expect to pay about $30,700 for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. That’s comparable to the five-year costs of the BMW Z4 (about $29,700) and Audi TT (almost $29,200). However, your expenses would be higher for sharper-handling rivals, like the Porsche Cayman (about $37,800) and Chevrolet Corvette (around $34,400).

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New SLK?

The SLK was renamed the SLC in 2017. A new 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC starts at $48,400 – about $12,400 more than the average price of a 2016 SLK. The 2018 model benefits from the 2017’s complete makeover. Its performance was enhanced with a standard Dynamic Select system, which allows you to adjust engine, transmission, steering, and suspension settings to your liking. Additional safety features available in the 2018 model include active brake assist and adaptive headlights. The 2018 SLC is also available with a Wi-Fi hot spot and an updated infotainment system that’s easier to use than the SLK’s.

These are significant upgrades, but it’s worth noting that a number of them are optional. This means you’ll pay quite a bit more than the SLC’s starting price to get all of them. If you have the budget, go for the 2018. Otherwise, you’ll get an excellent vehicle with the 2016 SLK.

Read about the new Mercedes-Benz SLC »

If you’re looking for a new luxury sports car for about the price of a used 2016 GLK, you won’t have any luck. You can look at more affordably priced sports cars – like the 2018 Mazda Miata or the 2018 Fiat Spider – but they are better for people who want exceptional handling, not comfortable cruising.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK?

The 2016 SLK has a reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power. That’s an above-average score for the industry – and one of the best in the class.

Read more about SLK reliability »

2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK Recalls

As of this writing, the 2016 SLK has four safety recalls. These concern problems with brakes, the engine, alignment, and backup battery power. Make sure these issues are addressed before you purchase a 2016 SLK.

See more information on Mercedes-Benz SLK safety recalls »

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

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK is the final model year of a generation that launched in 2012. Between the 2014 and 2016 model years, the SLK maintained an overall rating of 8.1 on our scorecard, while the 2013 model earned a mark of 7.8. The 2015 SLK is nearly identical to the 2016 model, and while it may be lower priced, the 2016 model’s stronger and more fuel-efficient base engine makes it the one to buy. If you want a manual transmission, you will need to shop for 2015 and earlier models; it was discontinued for 2016.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 SLK »

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

Three trim levels are available: SLK300 (formerly SLK250), SLK350, and AMG SLK55. Each trim has its own engine, and the upper trims add more safety and tech features. The AMG SLK55 is the high-performance trim, and it has the strongest engine of the bunch. However, the SLK350 is the practical choice for most buyers, offering a good number of features and a peppier engine than the base.

See 2016 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.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the SLK?

Like most luxury sports cars, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK was not crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The SLK comes standard with a driver drowsiness monitoring system – a feature rarely found in rivals. Available active safety features include adaptive cruise control, parallel park assist, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring.

See SLK safety scores »

2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK or 2016 Porsche Boxster?

The Porsche Boxster delivers some of the most exciting driving dynamics in the class, while still maintaining a smooth ride. The Boxster’s combination of agility, power, luxury, and comfort make it the ideal pick for both everyday driving and thrill rides. However, it’ll cost you a lot more than the SLK.

Which Is Better: 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK or 2016 BMW Z4?

The BMW Z4 isn’t counted among the best-handling cars in the class, but it has sharper driving dynamics than the SLK. It also has quicker acceleration and smooth-shifting transmissions. Plus, it comes with a manual. The Z4 also has roomier seats, but the SLK is lower priced. Additionally, the SLK has better fuel economy estimates and a marginally higher reliability rating. If you want a cruiser, go with the SLK.

Compare the SLK, Boxster, and Z4 »

2016 SLK Performance

How Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK Drive?

The SLK has three available engines. There’s a 241-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder base engine; a 302-horsepower V6; and a 415-horsepower V8. Each engine produces effortless highway acceleration. The strongest engine in the lineup propels the SLK from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard. A seven-speed automatic is available, and it shifts slowly at times. The lack of a manual transmission option may disappoint drivers who are looking for more control behind the wheel. Still, the SLK feels composed through corners and has fairly refined handling.

Does the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2016 SLK’s fuel economy estimates are outstanding for a luxury sports car. It gets up to 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with the base engine.

Read more about SLK performance »

2016 SLK Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 SLK Seat?

The Mercedes-Benz SLK seats two and has ample head- and legroom – even for tall occupants. The nicely constructed cabin features upscale materials, including wood trim throughout.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK?

The SLK does not come with LATCH connectors for child safety seats.

2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK Features

Standard features in the SLK include Bluetooth, a 5.8-inch display screen, and a retractable hardtop roof with a panoramic glass panel. Some used models may come with satellite radio, a navigation system, a Harman Kardon stereo, or a 7-inch display screen.

The infotainment system’s armrest-mounted control knob makes it difficult to select on-screen icons. Physical buttons for some audio and climate settings allow simple adjustments of some functions.

See 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK specs »

Read more about SLK interior »

2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz SLK Cargo Space
At 10.1 cubic feet, trunk space is good compared to that of other two-seat convertibles.
2016 SLK Length and Weight

The Mercedes-Benz SLK is nearly 13.6 feet long. Its curb weight is 3,417 pounds for the SLK300 and SLK350 models, and 3,583 pounds for the AMG SLK55.  

Where Was the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SLK Built?

Mercedes-Benz manufactured the 2016 SLK in Germany.

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