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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all, a new member here from San Diego who has been enjoying the SLK55 for about a month. I’ve been fortunate enough to own some nice rides (posted-up in the previous cars thread) but I can truthfully say that so far I’ve enjoyed this car more than any that I’ve previously owned. It’s been interesting reading the owner’s report from others so I thought I’d contribute mine.

Let’s get the cons out of the way:

Neptune’s Catamaran! That is some serious-wind buffeting. This is my 7th convertible in a row, so I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable in this area. I even have Air Guide which is flashy but ineffective with the windows down. Windows-up the turbulence is fine (as is the case with most verts) but I wish the rear windows rolled-up when the top is down, like on the SL. Judging from the number of wind-management posts on these forums, I’m not the only person that’s noticed this. I suspect that the jug-eared mirrors are the culprit.

The NAV is just OK –about a generation behind BMW iDrive for its user interface. It seems to have most au courant functionality like streaming Bluetooth and 3-D mapping but I do wish the screen was a couple pixel-rows larger. Plus I’m thinking of taking out a restraining order on the Sirius sign-up stalkers.

Trunk-space: Given the market-position of the SLK, the inability to fit a golf driver in the trunk was a serious oversight by the design team. Made more painful as it dashes the optimism engendered by the ease with which a carry-bag and the other clubs fit. I remember the trunk of my ex-girlfriend’s R171 SLK350 being bigger.

In some ways the R172 seems like the red-headed step child of AMG. Two examples:

* Where is the beautifully-embossed leather AMG gear-shifter. What’s that Mercedes-AMG? You can put one in the C63 but not on the more expensive (albeit slightly) SLK55?

* Also, every AMG gets a descriptive side plate - except the SLK. Combining a V8 badge from the Chrysler remaindered bin with an e-Bay quality AMG emblem just looks half-assed, in comparison.

Pros:

Love the looks top-up or top-down. Although not as photogenic as the R230 SL, this car has serious presence in the flesh; a quarter-turn from head-on being my favorite viewing angle. I like the departure from the current R231 SL – a design on which all seem to agree that Mercedes crapped the bed.

Audi is often cited in this area, but in my opinion, Mercedes has the most beautiful exterior lighting packages on their current models – including the SLK. Now I just need to wire-up one of those new MB lighted-star grills and I’m set. I’m kidding…sort of.

That is some sweet-ass carbon fiber trim. Maybe even worth the ridiculous premium. Love the interior layout and the solar-lighting is cooler than in other applications that I’ve seen.

Chicks dig the Magic sky-roof. Nuff said.

Good outward visibility, better than the r171.

Front height clearance is slightly better than other sporty cars I’ve owned. Kerb-stones that would have been taken at ramming-speed by my previous cars are just-cleared by the SLK and I haven’t scraped once coming out of a driveway. I do miss the ability to raise the suspension a couple of inches for clearance – a neat trick on the SL55 – but I don’t miss the air-suspension that facilitated that feature.

Seats and seating position – excellent. Preferred over BMW or Porsche. I’d also say that MB’s seat controls are the most intuitive – unsurprising since they are arranged in the representation of…wait for it…a seat!

I’d place the Harmon Kardon stereo above units from other makes but not of course to the level of an uprated B&O or Burmeester.

At first I thought the squared-off steering wheel was different just for the sake of difference. But it grows on you after awhile.

If we’re honest, with 8.6 lb/hp this is a seriously fast car for a convertible and it feels every bit of it. On paper, it performs at the level of a Ferrari F430 cab, better than the R230 SL63 and accelerates faster than the new Porsche 911S Cab or Audi R8 Spyder V-8. I know these things because a fun way to kill an hour is to look through Car and Drivers performance test library and see all the “fast” cars that are left in the R172 SLK55’s wake.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2012-mercedes-benz-slk55-amg-instrumented-test-review

I don’t even mind the C/Eco mode. Now, when I sit at a light burning gas – it just feels wrong.

Final rating: 9/10 (deducting a point for the golf-driver thing)
 

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Cool that you're enjoying your R172..

It's possible to get a golf driver in the R171 by poking the end of the grip into the space behind the rear lamp cluster access panel. Care is needed though as part of the roof mechanism occupies this space too. I am able to get a full trolley bag, driver, lightweight pull trolley, shoes and suit bag into the trunk and still drop the roof..

I've only seen one R172 at our club and that was one of the lady members and she got a full kit in the trunk and (having previously owned an R171) said the trunk was larger on the 172. It does look larger to me.

It's also worth noting that in the last two or three years, typical men's golf drivers are one or two inches longer than they used to be. My old driver used to fit in the SLK without any bother at all..
 

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Thanks for posting your thoughts - always interesting to read how other owners feel about the car.

The r172 trunk is bigger than the r171 in terms of volume: 335 litres vs 300 litres roof closed and 225 litres vs 208 litres roof open, but not sure how the dimensions compare for real world usage.
 

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Does the driver fit in the trunk outside the bag? In one of the R172 design videos, they make this claim. I haven't tested it since I don't really play golf outside of the occasional once every 4 year trip.
 

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Does the driver fit in the trunk outside the bag? In one of the R172 design videos, they make this claim. I haven't tested it since I don't really play golf outside of the occasional once every 4 year trip.
I should have mentioned that I have to take the woods out of the bag and fit them alongside...
 

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:

* Where is the beautifully-embossed leather AMG gear-shifter. What’s that Mercedes-AMG? You can put one in the C63 but not on the more expensive (albeit slightly) SLK55?
Thanks for the review. Pretty much spot on with my impressions on every point.

First thing I did was replace the shift knob. The Schatz knobs are beautiful and easy to install. I have the black ash, but they make a real carbon fiber knob, too.

http://www.schaetztuning.com/shift-knob-real-carbon-p-1580-1.html?sessID=lfo28qtfc5556ttn24k7bgbfds64ms2g

Can't speak to the [windows down] wind turbulence versus other convertibles since this is my first, but it can get pretty uncomfortable for passengers. The WAF (wife acceptance factor) is very low unless the windows are up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is possible with the SmartTOP running the latest Firmware. Get one! Seriously! :D
I'm familiar with smart-top from my soft-top Porsche vert days, but you guys aren't seriously lowering and raising your hard-tops at-speed are you? That concept paired with this car seems to be wearing Bad-Idea Jeans to me. I'd like to have that windows functionality but the features list otherwise looks redundant to existing functionality that I have already.
 

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I'd like to have that windows functionality but the features list otherwise looks redundant to existing functionality that I have already.
Not needing to constantly hold the roof button to operate the roof, being able to raise/lower the roof whilst outside of the car - again with click-and-go operation, being able to raise/lower the roof whilst moving slowly (in a car park for example), those are all features I use regularly that the car doesn't do stock.
 

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I have it disabled now for the winter after reading about dropping the roof by accident in the rain.... but I used it a heck of a lot up until December, wouldn't be without it. Best mod I've done and the easiest to fit by far.

Rear camera is useful too :)
 

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you have to drive this car in autocross to appreciate the full potential…I just got back from AMG driving academy at Laguna Seca..and the 55 was used for autocross and it was freakin awesome at the limit-very tossable and responsive…it was a proud representative of the AMG family…not that I would do that stuff with my car!!!!
 

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you have to drive this car in autocross to appreciate the full potential…I just got back from AMG driving academy at Laguna Seca..and the 55 was used for autocross and it was freakin awesome at the limit-very tossable and responsive…it was a proud representative of the AMG family…not that I would do that stuff with my car!!!!
+1! It was very hard driving home from Lime Rock right after ADA...controling the urge to "hit the apex and track-out"...on the wrong side of the road.
 

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Just get the telescoping-collapsible Big Bertha Callaway thing. All my golf buddies with hardtop convertibles have one. I thought Gunter and Helmut over in Mercedes Engineering thought to included it with the Sky Magic option. It's Magic ,

I'm jealous, I want your car. :-/
 

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Can't speak to the [windows down] wind turbulence versus other convertibles since this is my first, but it can get pretty uncomfortable for passengers. The WAF (wife acceptance factor) is very low unless the windows are up.
Ugh, you too? My wife insists on having the windows up if the top is down. I have this hang up that roadsters look stupid with the windows up. I also like to rest my left arm on the door and enjoy feeling connected to the world around me. She is worried about her hair.

Sooooo, I almost never have a passenger in the SLK55. Not that much of a problem, it's used almost exclusively as my daily transportation back and forth to work.
 
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