SLC43 AMG - My personal review - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLC General Discussion SLC 180,200,300,250d,43 AMG

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#1 Old 06-08-2016
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SLC43 AMG - My personal review

I'm picking up my local dealership demonstrator on Saturday morning and I've got it till Monday early morning. I'll post my thoughts and some pics here. Here's a pic of the motor. Personally I'm not keen on black wheels but I know they're in fashion. Quite like the black mirrors though.....
Initial impressions, manual seats but Harmon Kardon, sounds LOADS better in Sport than Comfort......this car tops out at just over £50,000 but I haven't checked the options list out yet.
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#2 Old 06-08-2016
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I think the black mirrors are part of the 'night package' ?
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#3 Old 06-11-2016
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So I dropped the SLK off first thing this morning (in the rain) and collected the keys to the SLC. Manual seat tho heated and I found it easy to adjust to a comfortable position for my 6'2" frame, slipped it into drive and onto the motorway. As its a £50K car that's new to me Comfort mode was sufficient and it was immediately apparent how easy to place, relaxing and generally docile this car can be.
Just as a quick test I dropped into Sport + and gave it a bootfull of right foot.....WOW.....it's a different beast altogether.....more of that later.
Leaving the M4 I joined the A46 and headed north for the Cotswolds. The Fosse Way is a road I know well and I thought this would give me a good idea how this car compares.
The first thing of note is the suspension. Not too hard, not too soft, soaks up the potholes but gives the car a very positive stance on the road, in other words just right. The ride reminded me of this cars big brother the AMG GT which I guess isn't surprising but is a real compliment to a car that costs half as much.
Approaching Stow I got stuck in a building traffic jam so tried out Eco mode....this may sound daft but what a good idea this is on a car like this. Stop/start function and when you lift off the engine drops to idle irrespective of road sped and an icon of a yacht appears as though you're driven by the wind!
Clearing Halford I turned off the beaten track, switched to Sport + mode and let her have her head....a crescendo of noise came from the exhausts and the car leapt forwards like a thing possessed.
This is one SERIOUSLY quick car, dab the brakes and she drops down a couple of ratios in the nine speed box accompanied by a glorious cacophony of cracks and burbles, press on the gas and she surges forwards again. The suspension inspires confidence, tho I am aware I'm in a brand new car that doesn't belong to me......so no track day type shenanigans! It just eats up the road.
So to my lunch stop after an exhilarating run up the hair-pinned hill into Edgehill and lunch at the Castle Inn Hotel, from where I write this.
That's it for now, part 2 later.

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#4 Old 06-11-2016
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See you and the SLC tomorrow Tony. Looking forward to seeing it close up, so far I've only seen lower spec models.
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I'm not mean... but I am 'roofless' at every opportunity!
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#5 Old 06-11-2016
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Part the second

After lunch the cloud base had lifted and apart from an odd spot of rain it was really pleasant, roof down and time to take some pics so off around the corner to Avon Dassett. I discovered this picturesque hamlet by chance only last week and was taken by its charming beauty, it's well worth passing through if you're in the area. Anyway back to the test....with the weather improved and my confidence in myself and the car growing it was time to head home, top down and Sport + all the way.
This car is an absolute hoot!!! It sits at about 3000rpm willing you to to press the go pedal, drops a gear or two (maybe three?) readily and screams away accompanied by the most glorious soundtrack......
.....So let's get this out of the way now. No, it's not a V8 and it doesn't have a handbuilt by Wolfgang plate on top of the engine. For whatever reason, and I certainly don't intend to debate it, those days are gone I think.
BUT: I am confident that any SLK55 owners willing to give the little six-pot three litre bi-turbo an even chance will not be disappointed, I'd almost guarantee it in fact. It's up to you....take one for a proper test drive, preferably for a day and I'm sure this upstart will win you over.
Other things to note. 9- speed box is pretty much faultless as far as I can tell, I love the rear haunches, reminiscent of the XK/R, they look great in the mirrors just as they do in the Jag. The interior is a very pleasant place to be, good driving position, well contoured seat, nice fit and finish, great Harmon Kardon stereo, a very polite sat nav lady who says "please" turn left......., no knocks, rattles or creaks from the roof, up or down (only to be expected I guess). Even the useless looking fold down wind deflectors are in fact pretty effective (I was amazed).
I forgot the brakes, mmmm, the brakes. When I got in it and pulled out of the dealership and slowed at the dual carriageway I nearly went through the windscreen. Now the brakes on the SLK aren't too shabby (but will need front discs and pads this year) but these.....after a few score miles I was totally used to them and boy! Do they inspire confidence. I think they'll stop this thing from a hundred plus on a sixpence.
As for looks, I like it! The "diamond" grille isn't as in your face as some people fear, it's a well balanced design I think with some subtle upgrade styling cues, the exhaust pipes are not plastic.....as far as I can tell!
So, nearly home after an exhilarating run, time to pop into work at Cotswold Airport for a coffee and write Part 2. Better put the roof up just in case. Boot opens, rear deck moves an inch, then nothing. Try again, same result. Open boot check my gear hasn't shifted and jammed something, try again, same result. Now I have a problem. I'm twenty five miles from home, with a roof I can't close on a very thundery day......abandon coffee and head for the dealership!
I manage to reprogram the sat nav en route to take the fastest route thus avoiding traffic, as I head south west I can see some very ominous clouds ahead, I pray I don't have to stop! On the M4 westbound the heavens open and it absolutely hammers it down, what to do?......go faster of course! At 70 barely a drop enters the car and I make the dealership at Cribbs Causeway with barely a spot of water in the cockpit, race inside and hurriedly explain my predicament. A very cool young man says "let's take a look Sir shall we?" Tries the roof, same result, looks at the back and flips the near side plastic hinge cover with his finger - hey presto the roof closes perfectly! "Don't worry sir it just needs a slight adjustment". Phew! I'm sooooo relived. Roof firmly closed I head home through darkening skies and heavy rain showers.

190 miles
25.2 ave. MPG
Five hours behind the wheel.

She's now parked on the drive and I'm enjoying a beer as I write.
So, how to sum up a fantastic days test drive?

It was a VERY enjoyable experience and the SLC43 AMG is a very lovely and rewarding car to drive, it's almost like three cars......in Eco/Comfort it will tootle all day long and if you wanted to do the shopping in it you could easily do so and without any effort (assuming you're happy to park it in the supermarket car park and don't buy much shopping). Not only that but when you let off in Eco you get a pretty blue sailing yacht to admire......
In Sport it's a fun car, goes brilliantly, sounds good and rewards your inputs.
In Sport + it's totally BONKERS! Sounds AbFab, goes like the proverbial, and gives you a grin from here to Blackpool.
Personally, at the price point I think Mercedes Benz have an absolute winner on their hands, it should sell like hot cakes.

Would I buy one? At the drop of a hat

NB Do pop by tomorrow for Part 3 to see how it handles monsoon rain and muddy fields......



Best Regards
TonyS
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#6 Old 06-11-2016
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Got photo or more detail of: "near side plastic hinge cover" ?

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#7 Old 06-11-2016
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Got photo or more detail of: "near side plastic hinge cover" ?
Hi Eddy
Sorry, no photo, but the little fold up bit (3X2 inches?) that covers the roof hinges when the roof is down was just fouling on the bottom of the rear screen and wouldn't fold up to the vertical, hence stopping the roof cycling, he lifted it with his finger to clear rear screen and all was well....thank goodness!
Given the weather forecast I don't think I'll be dropping the top tomorrow.....
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#8 Old 06-11-2016
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Great write-up Tony! Looking forward to seeing this tomorrow and maybe hear how it sounds.

Nothing worse than getting caught in rain with the roof down, especially when there's nothing you can do about it.
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#9 Old 06-12-2016
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Part 3, Sunday GWR Railway Classic and Sportscar event

So the day dawned, or at least it just got a bit lighter due to pouring rain. Real, wet, get you soaked quickly rain.
Packed the car whilst trying to dodge the raindrops and headed for Cheltenham. With Libby in the P2 seat we made safe progress up the motorway in comfort mode, the engine barely audible but the cabin a great place to be, the only variation in the weather being the height of the rain bouncing off the road and the limited visibility due to spray. But the forecast was for an improvement and improve it did. Amazingly within an hour the clouds started to lift and by lunchtime the sun came out!
Donna had organised a 20th Anniversary of the SLK display and as the newest model in the range she kindly invited me to display in pole on the front row alongside mint R170, R171 and R172 examples (thanks so much Donna for setting today up, it was brilliant!).
This turned out to be very opportune as I was parked next to Col's very low mileage mint R172 SLK55 AMG, the model my demonstrator had replaced. So we compared notes......
I must admit that until today I didn't realise just how much these two cars share. Most body panels, other than front spoiler and rear diffuser. Most of the interior is the same, other than gearbox shifter, minor variations to the Comand buttons and seat stitching etc.
Obviously big changes in engines and also gearboxes with 9 vs 7 gears.
It made me think very seriously about why you would buy an SLC AMG rather than a R172 55AMG......I'm not sure I've reached a decision, but.....with a lower new entry price point, if you wait a year till approved used examples of the SLC AMG are on the forecourt and then I think it makes sense, SLC43 AMG! Newer car, newer tech but still all the things we all love (yes, I know, apart from a V8.....).

So how was my weekend? In a word brilliant. Many thanks to Sytners MB Bristol for the loan car, it was huge fun, what I would call a hoot.....and I think it's changed my car plans.
Do I really need that C63AMG Coupe now? An alternative is available AND the top comes off! It's a complete package, "a car for all seasons".
Thanks for looking in folks, I hope you've enjoyed following my weekend too.
Thanks to Donna for today and to Col for his expertise and insights.
Back to the R171 350 Sportspack tomorrow, (not too shabby), I'm REALLY going to miss the SLC but, hopefully, not for too long...........

TonyS
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#10 Old 06-12-2016
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A great perspective on living with the SLC43 for a few days Tony... thanks for sharing, and also for bringing it to the GWSR meet today!

It was great to see it in person - I wasn't sure about the front bumper/splitter, but I really liked it 'in the flesh'!
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#11 Old 06-12-2016
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Thank you Tony, for a wonderful write up.
I enjoyed reading it. No doubt, a fine car.
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#12 Old 06-13-2016
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A great perspective on living with the SLC43 for a few days Tony... thanks for sharing, and also for bringing it to the GWSR meet today!

It was great to see it in person - I wasn't sure about the front bumper/splitter, but I really liked it 'in the flesh'!
It really was my pleasure! Funnily enough the front bumper/splitter was the one thing I really liked about the design, it looks so modern. It also looks great on a white car because of the black/white contrast.
Of course, designs that look modern have a habit of dating very quickly.......

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#13 Old 06-13-2016
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Originally Posted by TonyS3 View Post
It really was my pleasure! Funnily enough the front bumper/splitter was the one thing I really liked about the design, it looks so modern. It also looks great on a white car because of the black/white contrast.
Of course, designs that look modern have a habit of dating very quickly.......

TonyS
I had meant to say that I wasn't sure about the SLC43 front bumper/splitter in photos I'd seen... I really did like it "in person" though.
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#14 Old 06-13-2016
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No probs DAVE, I got the gist.

So I dropped the car back this morning after one last short run to the dealership in Sport+ to enjoy the soundtrack. I was sooooo sorry to hand back the keys, well, gutted in fact! The salesman was disappointed that I wasn't going to sign the PCP agreement that he had prepared for me earlier but my head overruled my heart for once and I informed him I'd be back next year to look at a pre-owned example.
Overall.....
It's a brilliant package.
Not much change from R172 in body and interior terms for those that have one, other than engine and gearbox and exhaust trickery of course. But, I think these make a big difference.
Criticisms
I kept engaging cruise control when trying to indicate right! Those levers are just too close together! Otherwise none really.
The bottom line
When I got back into the SLK I noticed what six years of technological and design advances can achieve.
For the last five years my ultimate car I've been aiming for has been a C63 AMG Coupe, which ticked every box for me (and still does). But now there's a new contender I think. It will be a very close fight, but you can't drop the lid on a C63........can you?

Thanks for watching, I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have!
That's all folks!
TonyS


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#15 Old 06-13-2016
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Who says you can't drop the lid on a C63 (although I realise it's not a hard top)?!...

https://www.slkworld.com/off-topic/35...et-driven.html



... and although I've really enjoyed reading your updates, I suspect that you've had just a little more fun than us, especially each time you engaged Sport+ !

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#16 Old 06-13-2016
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Thanks @TonyS3,
As I also have a R171 2010 model, with SportsPack, so was very interested on how You found the new SLC
...and then to put it along sides Col's AMG55 - Even better..!!

Mine was also a MB Approved car, 18 months old, with just under 7K on the clock....
Was a massive saving on the List price, especially with a fairly good list of options

PS: Recognised the location of the first photo - We had a lovely lunch stop there last September:

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