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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone,
I just joined this forum in hopes of gaining more knowledge about the SLK 350 model. I am in the market for a new car and till now, I have seriously considered buying the new BMW Z4 coupe (non-M model) or convertible. My parents have always owned multiple Mercedes since the 80s and have been very happy with them. However, I always considered a MB an "older person' car". That is until I saw the SLK 350. I really love the race car styling of the car and the retractable hard top. But I've never driven the car and don't know how it handles. I plan to take a test drive soon. I've read some reviews in the popular car magazines that the car feels a bit sluggish and not as nimble as other models in its class. How would you all compare the SLK 350's handling, performance, and amenities with the z4 or another similar model? TIA for your feedback. I look forward to participating in this forum.
 

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fastnfurious, if you don't mind editing your userCP to include State/Province and Country, this would help as options may be different in different countries. I have a 280 and am quite happy with it, although I'm not the type that likes to race. In my biased opinion, looks alone would sway me to the R171. Second is the retractable HARD top.

Performance wise, if you can afford the SLK 55AMG, then go for that one, or you'd be wishing that you had more. Otherwise, the 350 is a very good balance between looks and performance. Good luck and keep us posted on your decision.
 

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etyu said:
fastnfurious, if you don't mind editing your userCP to include State/Province and Country, this would help as options may be different in different countries. I have a 280 and am quite happy with it, although I'm not the type that likes to race. In my biased opinion, looks alone would sway me to the R171. Second is the retractable HARD top.

Performance wise, if you can afford the SLK 55AMG, then go for that one, or you'd be wishing that you had more. Otherwise, the 350 is a very good balance between looks and performance. Good luck and keep us posted on your decision.
Hi,

I have had an SLK 200 for a year, 18K miles and LOVE it. definetly not slow! I have tested a 350, and its a rocket!!! From a design point of view, I do think that the SLK beats all the other cars in the same category and the retractable hood is a touch of class.

ciao

P
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback! I've read the that the dashboard illumination is dim and difficult to read when the top is off. Has anyone had that experience? ETYU, I've updated my profile. I live in Washington, DC.
 

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fastnfurious said:
Thanks for the feedback! I've read the that the dashboard illumination is dim and difficult to read when the top is off. Has anyone had that experience? ETYU, I've updated my profile. I live in Washington, DC.
Thanks for updating the location.

When the sun is shining on the instrument panel area, the multifunction display may be hard to see, however, the analog dials are still fine. To me it's minor inconvenience and is quite momentary, depending on the location of the sun.
 

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i haven't had trouble reading the gauges in either z4 or SLK.

z4 feels a lot nimbler and a lot lighter than the slk, but it's really noisy with the top down. the acceleration is not very good, so i wouldn't consider any z4 other than the M-Z4. the slk350 is a bit more powerful compared to the z4 3.0 (more hp, more torque), and based on your username, i'm sure you'd enjoy the manual more.

if you plan to drive top up most of the time, get the SLK, if you drive with top down more, get the Z4.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, I would definitely get the manual transmission! Is the SLK 350 very noisy with the top down? Does the plexi-glass wind deflector help?
 

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At 65 mph the road noise is not bad, even without the windscreen. With the plexiglass windscreen, it's even better and you can carry a conversation in the cockpit without raising your voice. The noise becomes moderate to severe for a second or two when going underneath an overpass.
 

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My biggest peave regarding sun glare is the smoked plastic covering for the radio. In ordinary sunlight, even with the top up, it is often very difficult to see the radio frequency without using your right hand to shade the panel from the sunlight. I love the acceleration of my 350, and it has a menacing sound when you really put your foot into it. I think that the car looks even better with the top up, because it is such a minimalist design, and the greenhouse has an extreme wedge shape. I wouldn't have even considered a Z4 for a minute, had I shopped other cars. It's not perfect, but it's a great blend of style, performance, comfort and all-weather security. Good luck in your search!:Beer: Dinoman
 

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fastnfurious said:
Yes, I would definitely get the manual transmission! Is the SLK 350 very noisy with the top down? Does the plexi-glass wind deflector help?
The manual trans is great, and the clutch is the best of the 3, the lightest to use around town, of Z4, Boxster S, SLK.

As far as the displays are concerned, I do not have the regular radio with the smoked covering, so I do not know about it. I have the COMMAND and NAV. I do not believe the sun has washed out either my NAV / Command, or the message center between tach and speedo, so that they weren't able to be used easily while wearing sunglasses, with the top down, and South Florida bright sun.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for your feedbacks. I configured one online with the following options:
Iridium Silver/Red Leather
Hands Free Communication
Premium Package 2
Heating Package
All season floor mats
plexiglass windscreen
Navigation Kit
iPod Integration Kit- Can you view track info using the (Navigation Kit?)
Wheel Locks

Are there any other options that are must-haves or worth the money? Which ones can you do without and not worth it?
 

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fastnfurious said:
Thank you all for your feedbacks. I configured one online with the following options:
Iridium Silver/Red Leather
Hands Free Communication
Premium Package 2
Heating Package
All season floor mats
plexiglass windscreen
Navigation Kit
iPod Integration Kit- Can you view track info using the (Navigation Kit?)
Wheel Locks

Are there any other options that are must-haves or worth the money? Which ones can you do without and not worth it?
I think Ipod kit is waste of money (can only see VERY basic information in the gauge cluster, no COMAND control, might as well use the free aux input instead.

in general, i find all season floor mats a waste of money as the car comes with cloth floor mats, just clean them when they are dirty...
 

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I am very partial to the 7-gear auto transmission. It is very sharp, efficient and manageable. I say that just in case there is an automatic SLK already on the lot that you can buy right away without the 3 to 4 month wait. You won't be sorry! R)
 

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I'll second what Zut said - this is my first automatic car in about 10 years and I am pleasantly surprised with it's capabilities. Only problem is after driving manuals for so long, I still something NAIL the brake pedal while going for the clutch when slowing down and bring the car up SOLID...scares the **** out of the passenger! :D
 

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A/S floor mats

I would not bother with A/S floor mats if I lived in SoCal either. Here in the Midwest, one week in the slushy Winter weather will take a real toll on your cloth floor mats.

cyberdrakon said:
in general, i find all season floor mats a waste of money as the car comes with cloth floor mats, just clean them when they are dirty...
 

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FishtailnZ said:
I still something NAIL the brake pedal while going for the clutch when slowing down and bring the car up SOLID...scares the **** out of the passenger! :D
Do you do that when you use the touch-shift option? :ch: (the smilie has nothing to do with it, I was just eager to use it!).
 

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Hey guys thought I would put my two cents in.

Yes the 7 Speed auto is awesome, cuz really you could do both, and the if u opt for amg, you can get paddle shifters and there is a "manual" on the trans even more manual then the 350's.

Now my uncle has a z4 3.0 convertible its a neat little car. But me and my cousin found some double lane back road that is long, flat, striaght, in the middle of nowhere, and in the middle of the night ( his son is a good driver so it wasnt skill or anything). I got him off the line and never looked back until i hit 120 and let off and we stopped. He had the 6spd manual. And again, he is a good driver, just couldnt outperform the slk. (i was shifitng with my 7 auto).

So performance I would have to go with slk, altho I dont know about the handling i never actually drove it. And looks its all slk, as the r 171's are just gorgous!
 

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As good as the 7 speed auto is (particularly the AMG programmed version), I still miss having a stick; if it had been an option, I would have got it. I'd encourage you to get the manual as you plan.
 
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