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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Joined today as I am considering an SLK as a high days and holidays car for the wife and I to enjoy our retirement in. Pondering which model to concentrate on so thought I would ask the experts. I realise that there are three possible answers and none will be incorrect!

Will not be doing high miles so want petrol and as are our other cars are manual it would seem sensible to stick with this rather than automatic although I have driven autos in the past. Don't need high performance so the 1.8 seems to be the one to go for which will also avoid possible balance shaft issues and higher road tax on some year models.

I think I have settled on the R171 as first choice for the following reasons:
- the car will have to spend most nights out, possibly under a cover. Those R170s left in good condition will be getting on a bit now and deserve a nice dry garage.
- the electronic handbrakes on the R172 worry me, especially on a car not being used every day. One got stuck on a hill near me recently and caused a major traffic jam when the handbrake would not release.

Is the above a sensible approach? Is there any difference in the three models regarding reliability / ease of maintenance? If you had your time again what would you go for?

Last point; I understand 19 inch wheels are a no-no for comfort but are the 18 inch wheels OK as many seem to have these?

Thanks for reading,
LeeP (Caterham, UK)
 

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*Premium Member
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785 Posts
I daily drive a Clk 😉 jokes aside we have a R170 and it is great fun to drive I think more so than a R171 I found the 171 didn't tickle me in the way the old kompressor ones do. But if I could afford it Slk55 r171 for just pure V8 fun, but style wise it would have to be a r172🙂
 

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**Premium Member 2014 SLK200
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3,424 Posts
Ref. the electric handbrake on the 172 - if the car is parked on the flat it is perfectly possible to override the electric brake by holding the button/switch out whilst simultaneously switching off the ignition. The electric parking brake will then not be applied.
I wouldn't advise the same on a slope or hill so as not to cause undue wear on the 'park' pawl or whatever is in the box.
That being said, I have not been aware of R172 owner members here having any problems.
 

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Founding Member 2006
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106,789 Posts
Only you can decide what you want

r170 a 25 year old car

r171 F1 nose

r172 Chopped off nose :D

As Len says...search...all have been asked and answeered in the 15 yeras of this forum



then be aware of specific issues and model years

 

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Administrator (Canada)
2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30 "Schwarzie"
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19,097 Posts
No issues with my elec brake either. Only time I can see it being a problem (other than normal electrical problems that all cars suffer from) is if it's used during the winter and not driven much and the pads freeze to the rotors.
 

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*Premium Member
2005 SLK200K 'Little Growler'
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2,145 Posts
If I was going to do it again and wasn't going to go for a 350, then I'd get the face lift 171.
SLK 200 KOMPRESSOR2004–20081,796 cc (1.796 L; 109.6 cu in) I4 supercharged (M271)163 PS (120 kW; 161 hp) at 5,500, 240 N⋅m (177 lbf⋅ft) at 3,000-4,000
SLK 200 KOMPRESSOR2008–20111,796 cc (1.796 L; 109.6 cu in) I4 supercharged (M271)184 PS (135 kW; 181 hp) at 5,500, 240 N⋅m (177 lbf⋅ft) at 3,000-4,000
The 2008 - 2011 model, as the upgrades to it seem worthwhile - and of course the power increase. I don't think the manual box is available on that model, but I wouldn't worry about going for an automatic (it didn't make much sense to me either until I had a go in one). the other thing I'd say is that personally, I'm very happy I have the 16" wheels as I think the ride is much more comfortable (and I'm no slouch). I don't know where you are in the UK, but if you're near enough to London, you can come and try mine.
 

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*Premium Member
2005 SLK200K 'Little Growler'
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Also, it occurs to me that I wouldn't worry too much about wheels, if you can get a car that's otherwise what you want. I don't know what your wallet situation is, but people often sell their original 16' wheels when they swap to larger sizes. and you can pick some up if the ride's too harsh.
 

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35,657 Posts
350 & 55 171's with 18 inchers and happy.

Much depends on budget.
Low budget and looking at your parameters I'd probably target R170 230.
May look small, but is surprisingly comfy and happily tours the UK.

R171 vs R172 for me is a looks and tech decision.
You want better tech, 172. Looks is an individual issue.
Handbrake issue? I do not recall it being raise here (try a search of the 172 section), so is rare at worst.
We have a C class with it and have not had issue. I was hating the idea at first, but now it would not put me off.

Our golden rule "TEST DRIVE".
No amount of paper chasing can possibly sum a car up as much as a decent & mixed drive.

Happy hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A collective thanks to everyone who has responded so quickly today. My SLK knowledge has increased considerably especially the 2008 upgrade - wasn't aware of this.

I'm active in Jaguar, MG and Volvo forums and one of my concerns was that the SLK would be too "modern" a car to generate a proactive, "hands on" forum but I can see that is not the case. So, if I find the right car and take the plunge I look forward to being in contact again.

Cheers,
LeeP (Caterham, UK)
 

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2004 SLK200
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43 Posts
Regards 19" wheels, from what I have researched there is very little difference in ride and comfort between 18 & 19" wheels. So if you are going for look and stance other than tyre prices the 19" would be a better choice. That is why so many r171 s have them.
596770
 

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2019 SLC300
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2,735 Posts
Having owned a 170 (2001), a 171 (2007), 172 (2013), and now a 172 (2019) they all are great cars. Each platform (model) is different and each is a little bigger and more sedan type. The 170 is the smallest and zippier in driving has the zip fun for the more sports car feel. The 171 little larger has zip but is getting a more comfortable feel. The 172 just takes it to the next level in comfort and a car-like feel and a little less zippy sports car. These are my evaluations of the three platforms, others may not feel the same. As the 170 and the 172 are at completely different ends it is hard to choose between these two. Guess it comes down to how new and what you can afford to buy.
 

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2002 SLK32 (x1), 2003 SLK230 (x2)
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The R170 has been my favorite, the style still gets attention and now is in classic age qualification. Power is adequate and the price very attractive. Go for the refresh years of 2002-2004 to get a long list of refinements. This is also the best of the 4 cylinder engines if that is a preference.
 
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