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#1 Old 04-27-2007
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Question New to the forum

Hi

I am new to this forum because my wife has been looking for a convertible for a couple of years and we have finally decided what car we are going to buy. We test drove a SLK 280 and a SLK 350 recently and we both were very impressed, and we are definitely going to buy one. I know that journalism isn't what it used to be, and I know that consumer reports is not exactly a great resource for purchasing decisions (I laugh at many of their reports). Anyway, we were looking at the CR car buying issue and the SLK series and Mercedes in general were given horrible marks on reliability. Then recently the car guy in the Wall Street Journal said the same thing when someone asked about buying a Lexus SC430 or a CLK MB. So what is the issue that these people in print are all so negative about MB? My wife has had a Lexus RX300 for several years and she loves it, and they treat her great when she goes in for service. The SC430 is a beautiful car, but it is not a sports car, and we both prefer the SLK. I would imagine that with MB's history and costs that the service on these cars would be exceptional too. So, why the general disrespectful tone in these print stories?

The SLK is not going to be an everyday car for us or her, but a fun car for enjoying. I have a 2003 MINI Cooper S that I bought new in 2003 that still doesn't have 30,000 miles on it, and I doubt it will ever get to true high mileage so I am not sure how important reliability is to us at all because we have cars that we drive to work and it won't be the SLK, but still I am perplexed by all of the bad things I read.

Hope to learn a bit more about the history that makes the media say the stuff they say.

thanks

jc
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#2 Old 04-27-2007
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Welcome to the SLK World!

My personal experience... I have driven MB since 2005, and so far I didn't encounter any major issue on both of my cars! Besides, the after-sale service here in Hong Kong is very good indeed.
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#3 Old 04-27-2007
 
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welcome to slkworld from Belfast.

First off negative press is mostly by some guy who himself drives somethign of a lesser class than a MB and therefore takes his spite and jealousy out on MB due him not being able to afford one.
The slk is very reliable and I myself use it as an everyday car. They are comfortable, reliable and absolutely fantstic fun.
I own a 280, but if you have the choice go with a 350, the extra power is nice.
Stick around the forum, you will learn alot and also see how much everyone here really loves their Slk. NO complaints about MB service either from me.
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#4 Old 04-27-2007
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Welcome JC! Im a JC also.... Anyway, i know from this forum there hasnt been to many reliability issues with the R171's. The few problems that most members have had are usually all the same though. The most famous being the SRS malfunction. Its a malfunction that shuts off your airbags, and you should get it serviced right away. Fortunetly it is nothing major, as it is just a spring type washer in the steering column that gets damaged or out of whack. Its happened to me twice, but didnt take the dealer more than a day to fix it. (well They had it a day I just dropped it off.) My dealer treats me great, and they are always very helpful. It may just be them, but MB treats you with class, like they should for buying their pricey cars. So besides the SRS happening to me twice, ive had no real complaints. Ive had my car exactly 1 year and 9 days today. But whose counting? *My only other problem was something was up with my power steering, where my fluid was leaking onto the steering rack, effectivly giving me no power steering. They fixed it, attributing my cracked lines to the freezing cold i had experienced here this winter.* Where do you live, that might not be a problem. Huh now it seems like my car is the shop often...but really its not. Either way I love it, and definatly go for it, since youll get the most out of your warranty if you go by time, and not by mileage! Mine is also oan every day driver, and it goes fine. The 350 is niiiiiiiice. Exhaust note is awesome. Why didnt my line spacing come out when i posted?
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#5 Old 04-27-2007
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Welcome to the Forum.

I bought my SLK back in april 2006 and I dont have any regrets for getting one and its very reliable.

06 SLK55 AMG (Kleemann K2)
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#6 Old 04-27-2007
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Mo, you have had your car for 1 year and 9 days exactly. I know this because we picked our cars up on the same day
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#7 Old 04-27-2007
 
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First, Welcome to the best place to get honest answers on the web. Having owned an SLK for only a month or so, I had the same questions. What I discovered, the MB series cars have about the same complaints as all new cars, mostly little things. The dealer makes the difference, my local dealer is very good. The SLK's are the most fun, the newer ones have alot of electronics and with this comes questions like: What is this telling me, why did that flash etc. If buying new, take extra time during delivery and go through the manual with sales and service to get the demo and explanation. If buying used, use this forum for advice prior to, during and after purchase. Little things : My top would't go down. Read manual, called dealer, went in, the luggage cover must be fully extended. 30 seconds I was out with top down. The manual //// not clear as German to Red Neck translation falls short. Dan and Bazzle are technical GURUs here, many others have vast ownership experience and will be glad to help. Private messaging works good if you are afraid of sounding dumb as I was. But honest, nobody here laughs at ya, just with ya. We have all been there. My advice: GO FOR IT. You will be glad the first time you push the button and the top retracts and the smile on your's and mama's faces cannot be wiped off with sandpaper. I am looking for another SLK as my wife has claimed ours as hers. Good luck and again WELCOME.
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#8 Old 04-27-2007
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No major problems here, approaching two years of ownership. It's not my daily driver, I have a little toddler to haul around otherwise I would drive it everyday. It still gives me goose bumps when I lower the top on a nice sunny day and people giving me the thumbs up. I've had only one problem with a bad wire to the temperature sensor. That was easily replaced.

I think the bad rep comes from people who expects too much, the bad wire for me isn't an issue but I can see someone that just spend $60K on a car overreact on that problem as well as SRS problems some people had experienced. I doubt you will have the same complaints from owners who have spend $12K on a Ford Focus. Just my opinion.

Welcome to the forum, you'll love your stay, 280 is a great car, plenty for your everday needs but 350 will be even better.

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#9 Old 04-27-2007
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Also i just had this thought.

If your buying new, try to take advantage of the European Delivery Program (I could be an arse assuming you live in the states), I wish I would of did it, would of been great experience, also would of gotten stuff cheaper. O well, if you want to wait.
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JC -- we have had our SLK about 3 months now and have put over 7K miles on it --- bought it used and it was certified by MB -- it is a great car.
CR grades down all MB but if you read the customer comments they print you will scratch your head for the majority of them love the car.
I would say buy it 280 or 350 just a little difference but I prefer the 350
Welcome to the forum -- post some pictures when you get it .
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#11 Old 04-27-2007
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Welcome to SLKWorld JC!! Not having the R171, I won't attempt reliability concerns, but since hanging around here, I can say people are extremely happy with them!! However, having a 7 year old R170 that I bought with about 78K miles, I can tell you the car is awesome!!

I now have 91K (it's my daily driver) and I have 0 complaints.

I had the common taillight bulb failure issue that MB issued a recall on and it got fixed without any hiccups.

As for negative press, they sound like a bunch of mealy-mouthed want-a-bes who can't and have issues with those of us who can. My wife and I aren't loaded, we just know how to handle money (helps not having kids) and this was a car I've always wanted. We've almost always had something with some form of removable top and the SLK's retractable hard-top can NOT be beaten!! It's a coupe when you need a coupe and it's a convertible when you want a convertible so say nothing of its classy lines.

I say go for it, and as 412driver stated, the first time you put the top down you'll wonder why you waited so long!!

Enjoy!!

Kevin ><>
'00 SLK230 Designo C_opper (2 of 26 - Yes, I have 2 of the 26...interesting story), '17 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T Ultimate, Cessna 172/182 (pilot)


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JC, welcome to the forum!

I am a new member as well and have found that the folks here are so knowledgeable.

You commented on the Consumer Reports ratings. I had looked at them as well online. I did note that the ratings for the 2006 SLK models were much improved over prior years. If the ratings are a concern for you then you could focus your search on models that are 2006 or newer.

I recently purchased a 2006 SLK280 with just 3000 miles on it. Well, now it's closer to 3300 miles since I've been zipping around in it. So far I'm happy with the purchase. I considered a BMW Z3 or Z4 but really wanted the hardtop convertible. Also, I've read that reliability is an issue with BMW and the dealer is much farther away from me. I don't want to be driving major miles to take care of my "fun" car.

If you choose to go with the SLK I hope you enjoy it well!
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#13 Old 04-27-2007
 
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Welcome from Germany.

Each car is as good as the workshop. I found a good and a pretty one -the wonderful SLK350.
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#14 Old 04-27-2007
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Originally Posted by Baron7700 View Post
Mo, you have had your car for 1 year and 9 days exactly. I know this because we picked our cars up on the same day
Yeah, funny enough a year had passed very quickly.

06 SLK55 AMG (Kleemann K2)
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#15 Old 04-27-2007
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Mercedes is TOP.

I used to own BMW's and even some "Jap" cars.

I now have 3 MB's in my garage. Never have I been left stranded on the road. None of my MB's have ever put up a fuss.

The Mercedes dealers that I have patronised are courteous, respecful, and affordable. These Mercedes products are backed by roadside assistance for LIFE.

Get into an accident with one and you will certainly understand how much of a tank these cars are. http://www.wreckedexotics.com

I once had a dead battery at my home and called roadside assistance. MB sent a new battery, had the driver install it and take away the old dead one, and reset all the electronics. The Mercedes-Benz battery was $107. No delivery fee, no installation charge, no BS. And they sent a local dealer to handle problem.

The BMW was a PIG on my wallet. A battery alone was $200+, and I had to pick one up from the dealer. Nevermind the styling of those Bavarian roaches these days anyway, 'cause they're numbered.

There is no such thing as Japanese luxury... they're minimalists! One week in a Jap car and you'll start to notice how they make their money.

When it comes to the media and reports, WTF do they know? Watch some Top Gear reviews to understand how a proper car test should be done. Drive the car to hell and back, then let me know what you think. Don't just read some rubbish that the marketing department put together for the press. CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, Consumer Reports... that nonsense is for the COMMON MAN.

Mercedes owners are usually a higher class of individuals and can be picky, but it's nothing that can't get fixed if something does go wrong.

This is 2007, the only thing that isn't disposable these days in the US are my MB's from Germany.

Don't even get me started on resale value, because your SLK will probably sink less than your home in FL or CA over the next 3 years. That alone should be an idicator of quality.
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#16 Old 04-27-2007
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Welcome! Plenty of believers here. I've been an active member of the MB forums for over a year. Very few have reported many problems, and those were minor. One word of advice, consider a used SLK. I've purchase two and got great deals on LOW mileage, great condition SLKs. There's a 2005 SLK 55 with most options on eBay going for $45,000 "Buy it Now". Most used SLKs are low mileage and well maintained. I know, I got two of them. My recently purchased SLK 55 was perfect.
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#17 Old 04-27-2007
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Hello and welcome. I have a lot of history with Mercedes cars and I am thoroughly satisfied.It is true that certain models were less carefree than expected due to the introduction of too many electronics ( E-class comes to mind). The slk is very reliable and always bear in mid that when reading through a forum you are going to read about the 40-50 cases that actually have some problem and need to be advised on what to do,rather than the tenths of thousands who enjoy carefree driving without any hassle. That is one of the reasons forums exist in the first place .
I hope that you choose the SLK! Welcome to our forums
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#18 Old 04-27-2007
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Talking

Hey guys, and thanks for the welcome. Your replies are pretty much what I expected. I love to read where CR reviews a $9 bottle of wine and they give it a higher rating than a Rubicon or Opus.

My wife is the practical one in our family. I would probably buy an Elise or something dumb like that if I was picking a new sports car. She is much more worried about reality than I obviously.

jc
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#19 Old 04-27-2007
 
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-1- is opening a used car lot next week. He is correct though, bought mine from ebay dealer, got great car at great price. If you go that route, use Car Fax and take VIN to local MB Dealer and check service records by VIN. Savings can be in the thousands of dollars.
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#20 Old 04-27-2007
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Welcome xpcdoojk! Man that was hard on the fingers and eyes, so I'll use JC in the future. I've had my SLK 280 for 13 months now and have no issues so far.

Welcome to the forum and visit often. The tips, purchases and other things you learn here will save you time, money and effort, not to mention entertainment from Doug (412Driver).

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Pewter(cubanitsilber metallic)/Beige, PIII package, Airscarf, Hands-Free Communication System, Lighting package; Designo Black Leather Cover on e-brake handle(Thank you Bill T), SmartTop v3.x, John's 3BFM, M113 AMG OEM air filters, Modified R170 ant., clear side-markers & front parking lamps w/error-free LEDs, chromed front & rear turn indicator lamps, steel mesh at battery bay cover & cabin air intake, sock-over-seatbelt buckles, belt-loop guide protectors, Lamin-X fog lamp protectors, bilateral rear fog lamps enabled, AMG crest on gear shift knob
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