Ergonomics in the SLK are well thought out. A simplified heating and cooling system allows driver and passenger to monitor and alter temperature independently of one another. The flat-bottom steering wheel allows tall drivers more thigh room. The tinted Panorama Roof, which adds $500 to the list price, contributes perpetual airiness to a cabin that would otherwise feel claustrophobic. The 8-way adjustable seats are stunningly tailored, and heated, if you opt for the Premium 1 Package, a $2,590 option that includes neck-level heating ducts, SIRIUS radio, MP3/iPod compatibility, and an infrared remote roof control.
Even equipped with all those options, the SLK is a bargain Benz, with a bottom line of just $67,565. It will provide superlative all-weather transport for 2, with the added opportunity of top-down enjoyment when conditions permit. Thanks to its 302 hp V6, it will sprint from 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds and clock a top speed of 155mph. When driven with restraint, the SLK is quieter than a church mouse, but when you lay into the aluminum-ribbed throttle pedal, the twin tip chrome exhausts play a tune more like a church organ. While the SLK shares its high quality genes with stuffier, vastly more expensive Benz products, it’s definitely the rebel of the bunch.
Video: The Design and Production of the SLK – This is a bit long but very informative
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK350
Engine: 3.5 liter DOHC, 24 Valve V-6
Horsepower: 302 at 6,500rpm
Torque: 273 lb.-ft. at 3,500rpm
Fuel Consumption: 19 MPG City/26 MPG Highway
Price as Tested: $67,565
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