Buying SLK vs 3 Series? E90/E92 - 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 12-27-2011
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Buying SLK vs 3 Series? E90/E92

Hello! This is actually my first real post here ! Although I have been browsing through this forum for a while.

I have been working real hard for a new car for a while, now that my parents' car I may borrow broke down, I plan to buy a new (used) one when the weather returns to normal. (No snow, frozen ground, etc.)

I have been wanting a r171 since a few monthes. It's looks, uniqueness and hardtop roof combined is simply amazing! And the more I think about it, the more I want it. I also realise that this age (no offense to older members here) is ideal to drive this kind of car. (Sporty, no need for practical, unique, fun and so on)

Although lately, the BMW 3 series (praised by many many many) started to catch my attention. I really like the looks of E90/E92 (BMW Angel eye's are so stunning). I do think E90 can look stunning with right setups. They also offer 2-3 more seats which I very rarely may find handy, for 'just in case' situations.

Because Im on the younger side, I'm limited to entry-level engine choices. SLK200 Kompressor, which I see many find underpowered here vs 320d (or 318d) E90/E92. To sum up a little bit:

200K:
+ Although BMWs generally look great, r171 is just mindblowing, even after 8 years.
+ Convertible experience. Tho some say it'll get old real fast, it will still be an unique experience in one's life.
+ Headturning. This is where my younger side kicks in, it's always nice to be noticed

- Higher costs on insurance, maintance, fuel. Although I think it can't be that bad if I don't floor it often

318d-320d E90/E92
+ Still looking great, although not as SLK.
+ Smarter with money in general. Insurance, maintance, fuel. But I realise that you have to pay for pleasure in life.
+ More seats for 'just in case'

- No convertible, less headturning, bmws everywhere.


I have been told that many members here have owned BMWs before, in fact I appreciate members here are able to praise BMWs enormously while keeping their pride and love for the SLK class. In fact I realise I'm asking this in SLK forum, but any experience that can compare those 2 will be really helpful. How they drive and feel, convertible experience and so on.

Anyways, thanks a lot for making it through the entire post, I know it was on the lengthy side. If anyone can share their opinions and thoughts on those cars I'd really appreciate this.

Greetings and thanks again.

Side question: Do many of you guys get xenon option on SLK for looks, or for safety?
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#2 Old 12-27-2011
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We bought the SLK for one reason - its looks which makes it a very unique vehicle in my area.

We have had two BMWs in our lives, and both of them were expensive problems. We researched the SLK very carefully, and we think (and hope) it will be reliable.

We also have a new Hyundai Sonata which is a wonderful comfortable car with a great warranty. It also looks great!

So what's important? Well it has to look good, and hopefully, it'll be reliable.
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#3 Old 12-27-2011
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I agree with your review of both cars. My SLK definately turns heads. There are 2 BMW's in my work parking lot and no one looks twice at them, unless they are into cars. They are too much like any sedan out there. When they saw my MB it was all praise and wow you must have gotten a raise. Little do they realize, that by buying my car a few years older, I paid the same as a new toyota camery. no contest. It looks like a little gem among the other cars. I have had BMW 5 series and my wife drives a BMW X5. You can't go wrong with a BMW either. My only issue has been that I have to take my driver out of my golf bag to fit it in the trunk. I am not the one driving the 4 some to the course (which can be a good thing if your buddies want to go out drinking) but then again that's what the X5 is for. There's nothing like crusing back roads with my wife with the top down and the radio on.
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#4 Old 12-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang Sally View Post
We bought the SLK for one reason - its looks which makes it a very unique vehicle in my area.

We have had two BMWs in our lives, and both of them were expensive problems. We researched the SLK very carefully, and we think (and hope) it will be reliable.

We also have a new Hyundai Sonata which is a wonderful comfortable car with a great warranty. It also looks great!

So what's important? Well it has to look good, and hopefully, it'll be reliable.
Great personal testimony. Never owned a BMW, but I prefer the SLK for it's styling and retractable hard top. Fairly rare in my area. Driving "top down" on the right day, never gets old and is the envy of other drivers. Within the past year, I opted for a four door sedan. Considered the BMW line, but opted for a Lexus IS 350.
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#5 Old 12-28-2011
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The BMW 3 series are fine cars along with the Ford Mondeo, VW Passat, Audi A4, Vauxhall/Opel Insignia and a whole bunch of other mid range cars. They drive pretty well, though I do not like run flat tyres. The diesels give excellent fuel economy. In the ice and snow they are nearly useless unless using winter tyres.

The SLK R171 has few peers, the nearest rival is the new Z4. I havent driven a Z4, but a friend who drives one everyday recently had an R171 200 with sport pack as a courtesy car and he didnt like it. Though it was an auto, which in my opinion just kills a 200.

My advice is drive a manual SLK200 (facelift version has about 20hp more power than the earlier version) and a manual 3 series.

The SLK will always be more distinctive than a mid range saloon, but a 3 series BMW is good drive.
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#6 Old 12-28-2011
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Think everyone has about covered the high points - at the end of the day, you need to decide on 2 seats vs 4 - that's the one thing you can't get around with an SLK.

I think a lot of us here either own or have easy access to a 4 seater when the need arises, so best of both worlds! :-)



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#7 Old 12-28-2011
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I've owned three BMWs, nice cars and enjoyed them all. If considering the diesel I'd just check on the waste gate problem, not sure if it's still a problem or not but it was a major problem on the E46. It was made of plastic and I know several folks who suffered major problems due to it letting go.

I've just been out with my son this morning car hunting, he has bought the 3 series saloon 320i with a very nice spec.
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#8 Old 12-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK-C200 View Post
Think everyone has about covered the high points - at the end of the day, you need to decide on 2 seats vs 4 - that's the one thing you can't get around with an SLK.

I think a lot of us here either own or have easy access to a 4 seater when the need arises, so best of both worlds! :-)
Agree with that John. The ideal world to me (well my ideal world) is an SLK and a decent 4x4.
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#9 Old 12-28-2011
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First of all thanks for the warm and helpful replies !
I definitely agree that automatic would destroy the purpose of an SLK.
But probably it's because I'm still on the younger side and prefer shifting, that makes driving more fun imo.

I also agree that it probably can't be wrong going with one of these, it's just that I don't plan to own 2 cars later so it's THE time of my life (haha) to drive a 2 seat convertible. Trying new stuffs in life is always fun. But then, the fuel economy of a diesel is so attractive, going to fill a car tank is a painful process, especially in Belgium where you pay 60% of the price consists of tax and the other 40% goes to fuel and transport companies.

I really want to thank you all for your opinions tho guess best answer is test drive both as mentioned !
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#10 Old 12-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyy View Post
. . . I definitely agree that manual would destroy the purpose of an SLK. But probably it's because I'm still on the younger side and prefer shifting, that makes driving more fun imo. . . .
You miss read GeeJay's post - both he and I have manual cars, and in our opinions, they're far better than automatics, for fun, spirited driving






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#11 Old 12-28-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woolly View Post
You miss read GeeJay's post - both he and I have manual cars, and in our opinions, they're far better than automatics, for fun, spirited driving
Oh I typo'd manual instead of automatic. Oops!
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#12 Old 12-31-2011
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Just MAKE SURE you get a facelifted version-there is more to it than a new bumper!
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