SL vs SLK - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

General Discussion Topics must pertain to all 3 generations of SLK - R170, R171 and R172

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#1 Old 07-29-2014
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SL vs SLK

I did a search on this as well (no luck).

I know that the K ins SLK stands for Kurtz (short). Aside from that what are the main differences between the SL & SLK? They seem like quite different cars. Aside from the SLs being bigger, they are more likely to have bigger engines and sophisticated options like Airmatic suspension & Active Body Control. I know that these last 2 options are complex and tend to be high maintenance.

Do people often cross-shop SLs & SLKs? Have many here owned both & what are their impressions of each?

Thanks.
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#2 Old 07-29-2014
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This might give you some insight: http://youtu.be/JSZYw3Q0bG4

"Mercedes SL 55 AMG VS SLK 55 AMG"

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#3 Old 07-29-2014
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It's all mathematical.

2 SLK's = 1 SL
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#4 Old 07-29-2014
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This one compares the current generation: http://youtu.be/W977gEIsEMw



Had a chance to drive the SL63 and SLK55 on the track at AMG Driving Academy. The SL is a beautiful luxurious car. The interior trim is superior. Active body control and the dynamic seat bolsters were cool (to your earlier point, would have to consider the maintenance with both). But I enjoyed driving the SLK more...and don't think auto cross in the SL would have been nearly as fun. For a long trip, I'd definitely prefer the SL, though.

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#5 Old 07-29-2014
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SL = fat executive cruiser
SLK = lean mean fun machine (in comparison anyway)
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#6 Old 07-29-2014
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There is no way to get an SL with a manual transmission.
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#7 Old 07-29-2014
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My assumption is that the SL is basically an S Class sports car. They are really expensive new. However, watching various auto auctions, I often see 10 year old SLs selling for under $20k (don't know the mileage).

I think that if you can do maintenance and some repair yourself or if you can budget to have someone else work on it for you, they can be a whole lot of car for the money.
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#8 Old 07-29-2014
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but it is not an SLK


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#9 Old 07-29-2014
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Hi All

I was looking at the SL when I brought the SLK , I was very interested in the SL55 & I was very close to going that route , But as I had a fixed wad of cash at the time it was a no brainer , Get a SL55 with 70k miles & 7 years old or get a SLK 55 with 27k miles & 4 years old & less to go wrong (supercharger , ABC etc) for 0.2 sec 0-60 . But I do love the size of the SL being a six footer its more my size . But you just got to love the SLK .

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#10 Old 07-29-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoE320 View Post
My assumption is that the SL is basically an S Class sports car. They are really expensive new. However, watching various auto auctions, I often see 10 year old SLs selling for under $20k (don't know the mileage).

I think that if you can do maintenance and some repair yourself or if you can budget to have someone else work on it for you, they can be a whole lot of car for the money.
Really depends on what your priorities are. The SL is bigger, heavier and more luxurious, but less of a "sports car" than the SLK. Track time at ADA provides an opportunity to push the featured AMG cars cars closer to their limits than you'd ever get on the streets in a short time period. (ADA is as much a sales and marketing event as it is a "driving" school.)

While I liked the SL quite a bit, the SLK won hands-down in the fun factor department. If they had actually imported the SLK55 with the leather dash and doorsills (like in Europe) it would have been very close to the SL insofar as trim, too...but for US cars, the SL definitely wins in that regard. If what you want is a two seat convertible S-Class, the SL is for you.
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#11 Old 07-30-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoE320 View Post
I did a search on this as well (no luck).

I know that the K ins SLK stands for Kurtz (short). Aside from that what are the main differences between the SL & SLK? They seem like quite different cars. Aside from the SLs being bigger, they are more likely to have bigger engines and sophisticated options like Airmatic suspension & Active Body Control. I know that these last 2 options are complex and tend to be high maintenance.

Do people often cross-shop SLs & SLKs? Have many here owned both & what are their impressions of each?

Thanks.
All that means, it's more things to break and costly as well. Go to mbworld.org and read all the airmatic horror stories. The SL is ginormous for a two seater, personally, I prefer a small roadster.

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#12 Old 10-28-2016
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Is that really true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeJay View Post
SL = fat executive cruiser
SLK = lean mean fun machine (in comparison anyway)
Does an SL (in comfort mode) really have the much softer a ride? This is important for spousal happiness
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#13 Old 10-28-2016
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fyi, thread 2 years old but Geejay active member and will respond


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#14 Old 10-28-2016
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I do not have an SL (never wanted to) but have an S class with active body and airmatic that wend bad at about 75.000km.
My head exploded when I got the bill from the shop.
So think twice about that because it will go bad no matter what.
And when it does, it will bring tears to your eyes.
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#15 Old 10-28-2016
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I think it depends which version of SL you have in mind. I was told that those with air suspension can be pretty soft. The SL is a bigger, heavier car and is more aligned towards the executive/comfort sector than the SLK/SLC (which have a pretty refined ride anyway IMHO). The good news is that you're just going have to test drive an SL and an SLK to get some first hand experience.

Good luck in your search. The things we do to keep the little missus happy...
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#16 Old 10-28-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie350 View Post
I do not have an SL (never wanted to) but have an S class with active body and airmatic that wend bad at about 75.000km.
My head exploded when I got the bill from the shop.
So think twice about that because it will go bad no matter what.
And when it does, it will bring tears to your eyes.
You did buy the extended warranty right? Or maybe that is not an option in Europe.
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#17 Old 10-28-2016
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The airmatic system consists of a compressor (that over time needs rebuild or replacing, as it has a relay gets stuck to the on position, and you can never tell why, and keeps pumping until it breaks), the struts and rear springs have a certain lifespan as common shock absorbers do and in order to change them you have to dismantle half the cars components, and as if all these are not enough, the car has some 3 or 4 accelerometers and other sensors that are probably made from pure 24k gold to justify their price...
I had the misfortune to replace both compressor and all air-matis, because one (the rear) went bad and had a leak, so the compressor was working overtime to build pressure to the system.
Leveling sensors cost at about 150 euros, air valves at about 400, pump 500, struts vary from 400 to 600 depending on make and so on.
My repair was done at an authorized dealer and as I had the extended warranty we split the total cost of 8.500 euros and I paid only for the parts with a 10% discount.
Trust me, stay away...

Of course there are others who will say that they have 100.000 miles on the clock and no problems so far and I am the 20% that had a problem with the car.
But then again, what makes you think that you will be on the 80% side?
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#18 Old 10-28-2016
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I like 'em both, for what they are, but I'll always take the lighter, smaller (as long as I fit comfortably), simpler-to-maintain car. Even though I'm a biggish guy, I find the SLK very comfortable even for traveling; its taut ride and the crisp handling of the lighter, lower-powered 3L model is just right for me.

Having the biggest engine doesn't always make for the best sports car. Balance and responsiveness are what make a sports car, at least on the twisty-turny roads that I like to drive! :-)

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#19 Old 11-01-2016
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If I recall, the wheelbase of a Pagoda SL is the the same as an R170
Though the SLK is a foot shorter
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