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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everybody!

I'm selling my Beemer and have narrowed my next car down to two:
  • An R171 SLK 350
  • A 986 Boxster S
And, so far the SLK is winning :)

So I've signed up to a couple of forums to ween information out of you lucky people who already own one! :D

Bye for now!

Gaz.
 

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Premium Member 2009 SLK350
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Welcome from Portland, Oregon. We went with the SLK for the hard top, looks and not as many on the road as the Boxter, in our area. But I think they are both real nice cars.
 

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Welcome from NW Blighty... :)

I've not drive a Boxster S but my guess is that it's probably sharper to drive than the SLK, but do you really want a rag top?

An SLK350 with 6M 'box is a hoot, and very nicely balanced IMO. Top-up it's a proper GT, top-down it's a proper roadster. Can't loose!
 

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Founding Member #2 2008 SLK55 AMG
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19,407 Posts
Welcome from southern California and have fun choosing between 2 beautiful rides (personally not a fan of rag-top).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well here's how I see it at the moment in my Boxster vs SLK conundrum....
  • Servicing - SLK wins as Mercedes servicing is cheaper than Porsche, tyres are much cheaper, the engine is in the front so labour costs fall somewhat.
  • Roof - SLK wins, folding hard top is much easier to live with than a soft top + separate hard top for winter. And anyhoo, just coz it's winter doesn't necesarily mean you won't take the lid of :D
  • Performance - pretty evenly matched really
  • Exhaust note (like this is important :rolleyes:) - SLK 350 sounds GLORIOUS!!
  • Handling - from what I've read so far, the Boxster probably has the edge but I'll be sure to find out for myself soon!
  • Practicality (don't laugh!) - This car will be my everyday driver, so practicality has to play some part in my choice, and I have already sacked off the 350Z and S2000 for these reasons. Again, pretty evenly matched.
  • Looks - Porsche 986 is still a lovely looking motor, but compared to the R171.... SLK wins.
  • Hairdresseriness - I've never cared about this (I used to drive a New Beetle so...) but if we HAD to choose, then I guess the Boxster is considered more manly - but like I say, I don't give a flying flip what people think - I'm buying the car for ME not them :butt:
Anyway, I'm about to pay off my Bimmer and get it on Auto Trader, so I am edging ever closer to making a decision!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
An SLK350 with 6M 'box is a hoot
Now then this is interesting - obviously there are very few manual 350's around, and the various press reports suggest that the manual gearbox on the SLK isn't all that and to go for the 7 speed GTronic.

Since you actually have one, what are your thoughts on it?
 

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Sadly Woolly has passed away
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I bought a 350, not a 55 because of the MT. The box is a vast improvement over MB manuals of old (I had 2003 230MT previously). On our northern sheep chases (see the UK section) there is very little difference in performance on fun roads between the 55s and the 350s. My only (minor) complaint about the box is 1st is a little short. As for 'hairdresseryness' - I wouldn't mind if my barber had an SLK!!
 

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aka John
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MB's 6-speed is in a class of it's own. Handling wise, try and get a '350 with the sports suspension and 18's all around - I think you'll find it on par with the baby-P.

Look in the boot, and even with the top down you've got about 2x the space of the Porsche - big selling point to me.

If you think the '350 sounds good, you should hear a '55!
 

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Sadly Woolly has passed away
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Look in the boot, and even with the top down you've got about 2x the space of the Porsche - big selling point to me.
No problem getting a body wrapped in a carpet in the boot of the SLK (even with the roof down) - you can't do that with the Porsche (you can tell I don't play golf :)).
 

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Now then this is interesting - obviously there are very few manual 350's around, and the various press reports suggest that the manual gearbox on the SLK isn't all that and to go for the 7 speed GTronic.

Since you actually have one, what are your thoughts on it?
We have a 200 with 6M 'box and I think the gearbox is excellent. Very different from Merc manual 'boxes of a few years ago. I'm not a fan of auto gearchange, including the 'DSG' style flappy-paddle jobby's.

As John says a 350 6M with sports pack is a very competent car, with very good/excellent handling. When I drove one on the handling circuit at Mercedes-Benz World at Brooklands, it had 17" rims and the pro drivers there told me that the SLK is better balanced on 17" rims than the 18", but the 18's do look the biz...

Overall I think the SLK is generally very good for handling. Ours is bone stock on 16" rims and relatively tall tyres and I've never found it to lack grip on the road and it is very nicely balanced.

SLK boot space is really pretty good. For the trip to Le Mans this year (and last) we got a 4-berth tent, two sleeping bags, two air-beds, walking boots, rucksack of clothes, camera gear, coats and a few minor bits and pieces and STILL got the roof down..... just.. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This is all great stuff guys!! Thanks so much :)

My bimmer was the first auto car I've owned, and whilst the car itself isn't particularly soul stirring, the auto makes it even less involving, and I think it's that that makes me think twice before getting a sports car with an auto box.

Having said that, the auto is ace when queuing in traffic on the M25!

I'll be sure to drive both though.

After the bimmer is gone I'll be pottering about in a 13 year old Polo till I find the perfect car so the difference from 1.0 litre Polo to 3.5 litre V6 SLK is gonna be immense!!!

And I've just realised I'm already talking like I've decided on the SLK...
 

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I think you need to try an auto 55 before you make a comparison with a 320d auto which is one of the dullest cars I have driven manual or auto. I had a 330cd auto and it was far from dull. Autos need grunt. If your an M25 jockey then give the 7G serious consideration but only with 350 or above lump.
 

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Welcome from London.

For me, no choice; my wheelchair fits in the boot of the SLK and I can still put the roof down. Not an easy fit in the Porsche.
 
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