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Premium Member 2010 SLK350
Joined
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19 Posts
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)
I’m a 171 fan because I like the scoop shape of the hood.
 

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*Registered
2014 SLK55 AMG
Joined
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4 Posts
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)
172 all day long
 

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*Registered
2013 SLK350
Joined
·
9 Posts
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)
I’ve owned all three and the 172 is the best. Technology moves on and brings upgrades with it. I have also gotten to appreciate the styling over the 171 which I really liked before. And go for the unbreakable 350. I don’t trust turbos to last. Good hunting!
 

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* Registered
No SLK owned now
Joined
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24 Posts
Not long ago, I would have advised getting the R170 because it's simpler, purer, cleaner-looking and excellent to drive (and ridiculously cheap, at least here in New Zealand). The one I just sold was an earlyish 1997 230 Kompressor (the original SLK, in fact). It didn't have even a hint of any rust, the oil stayed clean and mechanical reliability was excellent. Yet I sold it anyway, for two reasons. One was that a simple malfunction with the cruise control suddenly needed an expensive specialist, because early cars don't use the now-universal OBD2 system. I didn't want to tie myself to that sort of thing. The other was that the plastic dash was very brittle (broke twice from trivial things like opening the bonnet!) and I realised that would be increasingly the case. This car had spent its life under cover, so others could actually be even worse. Old plastic is hard to fix or re-manufacture and getting parts from any wrecked car would just bring the same problems. That brittle plastic is not unique to Mercedes, of course.

In short, the R170 is a lovely, lovely car but I'd have to advise getting something newer and just putting up with all the distracting gimmicks they keep adding to them.
 

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*Registered
2005 SLK350
Joined
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186 Posts
I think the 171 is best mainly because that's what I bought. I'm sure if I'd bought a 170 I'd think that best and same would apply to the 172.
I'm happy with the 171
I hope everybody else is happy with their drives.
Live the dream and enjoy!
I nearly added "peace and love" that's why you shouldn't write when too much gin has been consumed.🥂🤪
 

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*Registered
2013 SLK55 AMG
Joined
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592 Posts
plenty have said it before me but test drive each model and see what your heart says. Which one gives you the biggest need to glance back as you walk away from the car. At the end of the day they are all different however it's an SLK so whatever you have you will be part of the SLK family and very welcome and supported by all on this forum. I would also recommend joining in on the forum meetings, great days out, brilliant driving and a lot of opportunity to look at and talk about our respective cars. Enjoy the search and make sure you tap into the knowledge of the forum members both pre and post purchase.
 

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*Registered
2002 SLK32 (x1), 2003 SLK230 (x2)
Joined
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133 Posts
All of the SLK generations are very satisfying vehicles to own. I would tend to agree with the earlier comment above to get at least a refresh R170 (2002-2004) to get obdii and a long list of refinements.
And to buy the last of the series gets one a newer vehicle with recent tech, but it is a roadster, a drivers car so there is more to consider than that.

Reflecting on the demographics of purchasers in the series, the R170 Bruno Sacco design, executed by Michael Mauer is a sleeker, purer design to many eyes and had a near 50/50 male female buyer ratio, and was a huge success. Mercedes wanted to push sales even more, so to accomplish this they had to appeal more to male buyers as the male audience is statistically the sports car buyer. The successive versions of R171 and R172 were made more masculine and this resulted in the increases in male buyers to 60-70%. This did not suggest the R170 is a "chick car", if one likes the R170 with a bit more muscle, go for the SLK32AMG, which put it in the realm of supercars of its day the later SLK55, and SLC43.

It is my belief the SLKs have real staying power in spite of Mercedes discontinuing the model. In fact, in the long run it may enhance the appeal. There is no other real equivalent in the market.
 

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*Premium Member
1996 SLK230
Joined
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342 Posts
I currently have the very first of the R170's, and it's been a great introduction to the SLK family. I bought it as a project car and whilst I have fixed some of the issues, some remain.

I'm not huge fan of the R171's looks. However I do hanker for an SLK350.

For me the R172 is by far the best looking of the series, especially the AMGs. If I had the money, I would be in the market for one of these...

But I don't, so once I have finished all of the work on my R170 I will seriously consider upgrading to a R171 (SLK350).
 

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*Registered
2013 SLK350
Joined
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9 Posts
I currently have the very first of the R170's, and it's been a great introduction to the SLK family. I bought it as a project car and whilst I have fixed some of the issues, some remain.

I'm not huge fan of the R171's looks. However I do hanker for an SLK350.

For me the R172 is by far the best looking of the series, especially the AMGs. If I had the money, I would be in the market for one of these...

But I don't, so once I have finished all of the work on my R170 I will seriously consider upgrading to a R171 (SLK350).
I have had all three and currently drive a 2013 R 172 350. It is the best. Took me a while to get used to the styling but now I like the timeless appearance. Technology has moved on also.
 

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*Premium Member
2007 SLK350 "fastdawg"
Joined
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4,739 Posts
I've had an R170 and an R171, between the 2, I prefer my SLK350 (R171). The 6 speed manual really wins it by a landslide. Seats are more comfortable, and I love the styling. It's a real head turner. I considered the R172, but I really don't like the nose, it's too flat for my taste. Once I had the stereo and amp swapped out, most of the tech issues went with it as far as being up to date.
 

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*Registered
2003 SLK200
Joined
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26 Posts
recently bought SLK 200 171.The main issue is my getting mobbed by neighbours asking questions about cost,engine size,convertible roof the list goes on.For me the look is classic while contemporary,you can take a trip to the shops without looking like you are entering an F1 race car and on fundays you can drop the roof and do the touring racecar thing.
 

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*Premium Member
2005 SLK200K 'Little Growler'
Joined
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2,135 Posts
So, tell us @LeeP123, it’s been a couple of months, where are your thoughts at?
 
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