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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, can anyone advise whether the AMG pack which includes sport suspension is a worthwhile/desirable option to have/look for when looking to buy an R171?
I have read that it can be an uncomfortable ride, and given most of my driving will be local on minor, country A and B roads and not motorways , I wonder if it would spoil or enhance my experience. I realise it is down to each persons taste, but I am not a "boy racer" but enjoy pushing along on twisty mountain roads on holiday etc. and will enjoy open top motoring as much as some decent acceleration.
I have read that if the ride is too harsh I could swap out the front springs, perhaps this is the way to go?
Any advice welcome please?
 

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Premium Member 2004 SLK200K
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As you said it's a very personal choice , what's harsh for one person is fine for another !
Looks wise , the AMG finish is great IMO .
I'd say the best thing to do , is to go and test drive one of each , on the types of roads you're going to be driving on and find the one that you feel better/more comfortable in ....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, test drive would be ideal but I think I am going to have to travel some way to get the spec car I would like, so may not have the chance to drive both types, especially as I am after a manual version.

Interested to hear if anyone who has the sports suspension and would have preferred the standard setup after the experience or are people happy to live with it being a bit firm at times, for the benefits it can give when cornering ?
 

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Premium Member 2004 SLK200K
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I didn't realise I have sports suspension ( the previous owner must have fitted it as It's not on my data card ) until I drove other Slk's without it and felt the difference in handling and when going over bumps etc .

I have 17" wheels and the mix/balance IMO , between comfort & handling , is just about right !

If you can't test both , try to test the sports package one , then at least you'll know if it's too much for you or not and be able to decide , as you know the normal is going to be less ...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, I think I would not mind the sport suspension, and so will keep my options open for both standard and sports whilst looking for the car to purchase, erring towards the sports as a preference I think.
 

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The ride of the sport suspension will be stiffer out of necessity. The front has a 0.5" drop that requires a shorter and stiffer spring to make up for reduced suspension travel. This also requires a shock/strut matched to the oscillations of the spring. In all the ride will be firmer and you will be aware of irregularities in the road to a greater degree than the stock. Also note you'll have less ground clearance up front.

I bought the Sport Pkg for the look not the ride. I take it careful on roads and parking, but I think that the standard suspension is a better choice for most people just because of the additional headaches of the Sport.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK200
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Thanks, test drive would be ideal but I think I am going to have to travel some way to get the spec car I would like, so may not have the chance to drive both types, especially as I am after a manual version.
Manual?

Noooooooooooooooooo! :surprise:

You'll never look back with the tiptronic auto IMO :wink:
 

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I tried both Sport and Std before i bought mine, might be something to do with my age, but the Std felt a better overall ride. Plus the tyres are cheaper, but if your not from Yorkshire you probably wouldn't understand. :wink:
 

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Registered 2006 SLK350
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I didn't try Sport before I bought Standard, but for me the ride on the Standard suspension is good and it still handles beautifully.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am not from Yorkshire but I think I probably have some Yorkshire blood in me, so cheaper tyres are a good thing..... :)
I personally would not mind tiptronic, but I will want my wife to drive me back from the pub and partys at some point and she is having nothing but manual I'm afraid :(
 

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Registered 2005 SLK200
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I personally would not mind tiptronic, but I will want my wife to drive me back from the pub and partys at some point and she is having nothing but manual I'm afraid :(
Barnpot you need to take her for a test drive in the automatic :wink:

I remember my old boss telling me how he'd never buy another manual and I told him he was an old fuddyduddy >:D He said I'd understand once I'd tried one.

He was of course, right :grin:

Brilliant box on the Merc IMO, it would be ideal for your wife to try both. My mate is a dealer and says the auto is the more desirable car to have, I walked away from a few manual cars before geting the car we wanted - it'll be auto from now on :wink:

An old fuddyduddy convert :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Barnpot you need to take her for a test drive in the automatic :wink:

I remember my old boss telling me how he'd never buy another manual and I told him he was an old fuddyduddy >:D He said I'd understand once I'd tried one.

He was of course, right :grin:

Brilliant box on the Merc IMO, it would be ideal for your wife to try both. My mate is a dealer and says the auto is the more desirable car to have, I walked away from a few manual cars before geting the car we wanted - it'll be auto from now on :wink:

An old fuddyduddy convert :grin:
I will work on getting her into an auto, but you know how strong willed some women are !
People at work have been saying the auto is better.
I shall have to see whatcomes on the market in the next few weeks...:burnout::burnout::burnout:
 

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Registered Formerly 2008 SLK200
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On the 200 and 280/300, sport pack in addition to stiffened and lowered suspension, includes bigger rims and better brakes than standard. Our SLK 200 is bog standard, in hindsight I wish we had gone for sport pack.

As for manual vs auto... R) 6-speed manual all the way, especially if you go for a 200. The 200 is ruined when the auto box is fitted. With a manual box, it's much more of a drivers car and is a lot of fun to drive in the twisties.

I should mention that the SLK is still a well handling car even on standard suspension and is an excellent GT for long haul stuff (been to Le Mans twice and down to the Dolomites and back with RussJ and Naderb).
 

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Registered 2013 SL63
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I fitted Brabus lowered springs and shocks to my old 350. It looked great but rode abysmally on Norfolks finest pot-holes. However on smooth roads it was a revalation with much less body roll and sharper handling. If I were you I'd stick to standard and if you did decide to lower the car look for Eibach progressive springs which are initially softer and then firm up as load increases. Ideally you should consider changing the shocks also but you could get away with re-using the standard ones if they're not worn out.
Surprisingly, my current 171 '55 rides well on its standard lowered suspension. Its no Rolls Royce but does seem to cope with country roads better than the 350 and is much more comfortable.
You'll always get a difference of opinion on manual v auto but if you spend anytime stuck in traffic, auto with paddles is the way to go. Manual might be better for a trackday car or driving at 10/10ths but in the real world its the best option for me. Having said that the V8 has so much torque it probably only needs two gears anyway!

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter #17
On the 200 and 280/300, sport pack in addition to stiffened and lowered suspension, includes bigger rims and better brakes than standard. Our SLK 200 is bog standard, in hindsight I wish we had gone for sport pack.

As for manual vs auto... R) 6-speed manual all the way, especially if you go for a 200. The 200 is ruined when the auto box is fitted. With a manual box, it's much more of a drivers car and is a lot of fun to drive in the twisties.

I should mention that the SLK is still a well handling car even on standard suspension and is an excellent GT for long haul stuff (been to Le Mans twice and down to the Dolomites and back with RussJ and Naderb).
Thanks for the advice...I hope to take the car on some GT trips perhaps through France etc.
I can see that the auto works better with more power, and could feel slow to pick up in the 4cyl.

My jury is still out on auto v manual, if there were more manuals out there with the spec I would like, then I would go with manual, but lifes all about compromises and to get a car I am happy with overall may mean an auto. If its auto I would like to go for the 300 model.
 

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Registered 2006 SLK280
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... but I will want my wife to drive me back from the pub and partys at some point and she is having nothing but manual I'm afraid :(
Good for her! The manual box is great fun to drive, far more involving than the auto. Sports cars should have sticks...:grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
As for manual vs auto... R) 6-speed manual all the way, especially if you go for a 200. The 200 is ruined when the auto box is fitted. With a manual box, it's much more of a drivers car and is a lot of fun to drive in the twisties.
Anyone got any views on GeeJays comment above, about the 200 being better suited to a manual gearbox? I guess the auto would be better having a bigger engine to play with and therefore more torque to pull at any speed?

I haven't driven a "modern" auto to be fair so my judgement is tainted by the poor examples of yesteryear. However, I think that autos, sometimes find themselves in a muddle because they can't anticipate the hills and bends ahead of the car. In manual the driver would do that job and get in the right gear for the job ahead.
Ready to be put right on this by one and all .....:wink::wink:
 

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Registered Formerly 2008 SLK200
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No auto box can anticipate hills or bends not even DSG, though it is possible to do preemptive changes using an auto box. The 200 has a 5-speed auto, not the 7-speed that the others have. The manual changes have not in my experience been especially slow, but in a manual box I can brake, change from 6th to 3rd in one shift and then be on the loud pedal on the exit

In terms of performance, the 200 with an auto is just as quick as the manual (as demonstrated in one of the Sheep Chases by Roblaar), but it doesn't feel as nice to drive when hustling along IMHO. Just feels to me like a bit of elastic between right foot, engine and rear wheels..
 
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