2009 MercedesBenz SLKClass Automobile Magazine

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Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 AT Base

2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

Let me just say right off the bat that I the new SLK350. Let me also say that I was not a fan of previous SLKs, and I downright like the four-cylinder models. At point I should also that my friends made fun of me I was driving the SLK. But just a

See, now that Mercedes has numerous changes to the SLK’s bits and interior quality, its problem is its image. My friend said the SLK looked like a car for wives. My friend Scott, her said it made me look the lawyer’s boyfriend. Ouch.

image issues aside, I put 200 on the SLK350 in a few days, and wound up not of it. Which is more than I can say some other cute convertibles I’ve driven in the few weeks (Mazda ‘s and Mini’s Cooper S convertible, to just two). And the best of the SLK were things that I expected: the engine and the steering.

First of all, Mercedes has its Direct-Steer System on the SLK. The behind this system is the steering ratio should be slow on-center to reduce but should quicken as you turn the further. Rather than the BMW Active Steering route, uses a computer to control the varying steering ratio, chose the right route: the way. In place of complex pumps, and computers, the Mercedes requires no additional parts the rack is designed to change to a ratio after a certain of lock.

Unlike in the BMW models with Steering, where you’re second-guessing what the result of steering input will be, you even notice the Mercedes You just notice that the SLK has on-center steering feel, … straight ahead at triple-digit speeds, and then in progressively and quickly when the twists. The system gives the SLK a of sportiness that it’s missing since day one.

second big fix is the engine. Turn the and the SLK350’s 3.5-liter V-6 will you with its throaty exhaust Stomp on the gas, and you’ll be shocked. This is one of the best-sounding V-6 on sale today, if not the best. The new revs to 7200 rpm, and the automatic bangs off quick through closely spaced I kept slowing down so I floor it and hear the music and again.

The new engine isn’t just all and no bite: horsepower has been by 32 compared to last year’s Producing an even 300 hp at 6500 rpm and 265 at 4900, the SLK is seriously quick. claims that it’ll hit 60 mph in 5.3 which is only four slower than the V-8-powered AMG. The V-6’s newfound comes courtesy of a higher ratio (11.7:1), a new intake and modifications to the valvetrain. To sweeten the the 350 actually gets better economy than last engine.

If there is one fault with the it’s that it’s not with a manual transmission. The SLK300 is, though it’s slower (228 hp, 221 lb-ft, mph in 5.1 seconds), only revs to rpm, and doesn’t sound as good.

The rest of the driving in the SLK is just as pleasant as its exhaust the suspension is taut but gives a smooth ride at highway Handling is fairly neutral, and is prodigious. Brake feel is and cross-drilled rotors stay all the time. The chassis is remarkably and free of scuttle shake. The is only occasionally slow to to sudden throttle inputs, and I was that the non-AMG SLK models a full manual mode.

The interior is finished with that are a quantum leap the first SLK’s, and a medium-sized can fit in the trunk even with the top A simple mesh wind stretches across the roll and combined with heated a powerful heater, and the delectable (which blows warm air on neck), makes top-down cruising comfortable even it’s cold. In fact, at speeds up to 120 mph, airflow is well controlled in the cabin the top down.

Mercedes’ new, stereo system sounds and the iPod integration works Unfortunately, the small screen on the appears to have the same as a 1980s monochrome computer Thankfully, it can be switched off completely.

I if some of the SLK’s target (those lawyers’ wives) tire of the 350’s exhaust but I certainly wouldn’t. In fact, than my friends’ accusations I was that lawyer’s wife, I tire of the SLK at all. Hats off to for turning the SLK into a real car. If it were available a manual transmission, it would give the Porsche Boxster a run for its and that’s high praise

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