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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I sold my 2008 SLK 200 as I want to upgrade to 55 and keep it. It was and still is a good car, but I knew I´ll always crave for the 55 version. I´ve made my decision, when I´ve had a chance to drive SLK 55 R171 facelifted version, what a monster. Now I am looking for one as my weekend summer car.
I really like the R171 version over R172, I think it looks sooo much better. I havent had a chance to drive R172, but I don´t care if the R172 is more comfortable, I just want to have fun and enjoy.
I read a lot about both versions, but how will these cars be after lets say 10 years from now? R172 has more complex electronic and that scares me on the long run. Do I think right that R171 will be easier to repair or am I wrong?
 

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2012 SLK55 AMG "Valkyrie"
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I think for a weekend car the 171 is the way to go. If you wanted to do long trips and use it most days then the 172 is the one due to better comfort and being slightly more ‘refined’.
I don’t think the 172 has more complex electronics, maybe a few more extras? When I compare working on my 172 to my wifes 171, they seem pretty much the same with front and rear SAM, fuses and wiring etc.
I think that if you like the 171 then go for one. They are more ‘raw’ that the 172 and would probably suit being a weekend toy more than the 172 but it’s all personal preference.
try to get a test drive in a 172 and then decide from there
 

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2010 SLK55 AMG
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I much prefer the R171's "pointy" nose. They call it the "F1 nose", which is quite fitting. It also look a lot like the SLR MacLaren (which it took its queues from :), which I absolutely love! I'd LOVE to have one of those, but it's so way out of my budget, it's not even funny :).

What I don't like about the R172 is the grill. I (!!) personally think it looks a bit .. "old man-y" :). Keep in mind taste is very personal, so no insult is or was intented to those that have one and prefer that one!!

However, look at this one: New front Grille. That is absolutely GORGEOUS! Had I know then what I know now, I might (!) have gone with a R172 instead..
 

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Either.
Both do daily driver, weekend and full on tourer.
Faults are similar.

Pre facelift 171 gives you six pot front brakes. 172 is a four potter.
Sat nav in both is for entertainment value only. Free phone apps do better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will have it only for a weekend car and short trips. And I want one, which provides me more fun. I used previous SLK as a daily and the comfort was fine for my taste. And I had Bilstein B6 with Eibach and 18´´ AMG wheels. I hope I´ll get the chance to try R172.
 

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Pre facelift 171 gives you six pot front brakes. 172 is a four potter.
Sat nav in both is for entertainment value only. Free phone apps do better.
Post face-lift (manufactured after september 2008 I think it was) also have four pots in front and two in the rear.

I thought that would be an issue and I have (had) strong plans of replacing them with bigger disks and bigger pots (Front / Rear) but I've talked this over with the guys at Yellow Speed Europe here in the UK as well as with friends that know what they're doing and the conslusion is that if the brakes lock up as it is, adding bigger/better/stronger is just going to make things WORSE! And mine DEFINATELY lock up as it is!


As for the sat nav.. That's absolute GARBAGE! It is just a fraction above "better not having one" - on the R171 the maps are so outdated that I'm very often out on a field somewhere (according to the GPS :) ). They stopped maintaining and releasing maps in 2018, so there will NEVER be any new maps :( :(.
MOST people seems to use their cell phone anyway, because they're so useless. And from "My Guy" (MB specialist mechanic), they're useless even in the very latest MBs as well. He actually laughed and shook his head when I said I was considering buying something newer just to get a proper GPS (ok, so my priorities might not be "sane", but.. :) ).

Not sure why MB thought they should/could reinvent the wheel (or the GPS as it where :) ) and thought they could do it better, but they did and they're not!!

Which is why everyone that don't want to use a cell phone replace their Head Unit with an Android based one. You loose a few functions, but I at least can live with that. For now. There's probably millions of threads here on the forum about that, so if you want to go that route, there's plenty of help to get.
 

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Totally agree, both are garbage.
In this day and age, with mobile phones, apps etc, manufacturer sat nav is just an excuse to charge for updates
in order to have a feature that is less than something that you can have for free.
 

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Do I think right that R171 will be easier to repair or am I wrong?
Doubtfull. They're both super-packed with electronics and even the R171 is a pain in the behind to fix if/when something goes wrong. And the older a car gets, the more WILL go wrong!

So from that standpoint, I don't think it matters that much. The new car you get, the longer it will take before this becomes an issue obviously. Which is why I was actually looking for a 2015 SLK. BUT, that meant a V6 or even I4.. You could get them for fairly cheap (under £20k which was my budget).

Then I found out they made a V8 and OBVIOUSLY (!! :) ) I had to had one of those.. So R171 it was then. But even then, it meant a pre-face lift, which meant an even OLDER car!! With even more problems. With an even older head unit.. Which meant even MORE work and money!

A post-facelift 55 was just around my budget (but most of them was above it) and I knew an 10+ year old car WOULD have issues and I wanted a few thousand to fix and make it as close to perfect as I could.. So even a R171 was out of the picture :( :(.

But then I had the best luck in the world! The car I finally ended up buying was lowered TWICE and WELL within my budget, including a few thousand for improvements :). So.. Here we are, with the best car in the world and the most fun I've had in years :) :).
 

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We're making it sound like the SLKs are a catastrophe waiting to happen.
They are not. They are actually pretty reliable so long as maintenance guidelines are followed.
The 55 engines are particularly robust.

Things like at least once a year cleaning and lubricating roof seals and drain holes, sticking to the replacement schedule of parts, inspection of things like serpentine belt, will all aid longevity.
If it is going to stand for long periods, then adding a battery tender is important. They don't like standing and will drain the battery (some systems remain live, such as anti theft kit).

The comment regarding a newer car being less likely to present you with issues is true, but I would add the caveat that a well maintained older car will be a safer bet than a neglected newer car.

As with all cars, parts age and eventually fail.

Whatever choice that you make I would advise getting an expert (who needs to be familiar with SLKs) to inspect.
Aside from the standard items, they need to inspect the roof (adding delamination for 172), rear chassis, paintwork if red, amongst others.

Our inspection list is a pretty good starting place.

The one thing that I try to get everyone to do when trying to decide between models, engines, or option package, is to get test drives and make a more informed decision.

I can tell you what I like, but you may not want the same things.

Take the sat nav out of the equation, since it can either be replaced, or supported by phone apps.

 

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We're making it sound like the SLKs are a catastrophe waiting to happen.
ALL cars is a catastrophe waiting to happen! :D :D

This is the newest car I've ever owned, eleven years old. But it's riddled with small issues. Issues that isn't really an issue, but they annoy me none the less :).
I've had to replace brake disks, pads, air con took a while (and quite a few quid) to fix, it have rust issues underneath (seems to be only around the exhaust though) etc etc.

I never meant to say it's a BAD car, on the contrary. Just that old cars come with issues.. And that goes for ANY and ALL cars!

The comment regarding a newer car being less likely to present you with issues is true, but I would add the caveat that a well maintained older car will be a safer bet than a neglected newer car.
Absolutely! It just turned out that mine wasn't that well maintained :( :(. They've seem to have done only the bare minimum and sporadically as well :(. It was sold as "full service history", but that's very clearly NOT the case..

It is what it is and I don't regret it for a micro-second, but for the price I payed for it, I got what I payed for I guess.

Whatever choice that you make I would advise getting an expert (who needs to be familiar with SLKs) to inspect.
Oh, yes! I very much second that! Here in the UK we have "ClickMechanic" that offer a pre-purchase-inspection which one could consider be expensive (the biggest one is £180!), but I've done a few of those on cars that I've been looking at and they have saved me probably tens of thousands of pounds, all things considered!! WELL worth it, even if you don't end up buying the car.
 

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Fun you say!

check out my r171 55 videos in the 'driving stories' section


Welcome to SLKWorld.com: The #1 Mercedes-Benz SLK Forum from Florida!

Since you are interested in a r171 55, these might interest you
My mods - also check my albums in my profile
and my videos in the 'Driving Stories' section


Kleemann Supercharger:


Kleemann ECU Tune and Headers:


Wavetrac Limited Slip Differential (LSD):


Carbon Fiber Diffuser:


Carbon Fiber Air Brakes/Side Vents



Driving stories section:


My albums:


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Thank you
Jeff
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Thank you. Loving it everyday! 13.5 years old
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am not scared about “mechanical” maintenance as I do lots of work by myself. I am just scared what will happen with electronic units if they fail. As long as they can be replaced 10 years later (if parts will still be on stock) than its fine.
I think I’ll go with facelifted version R171, just have to find the right one.
 

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the r171 55 is practically bullet proof
valve cover gaskets like to seep. replaced 2 times
rear main engine seal. replaced 2 times

other than that, nada
no issues with anything electrical 13.5 years knock on wood
 

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2010 SLK55 AMG
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I am just scared what will happen with electronic units if they fail. As long as they can be replaced 10 years later (if parts will still be on stock) than its fine.
As far as I can tell, basically only have posts on this forum to guide me, all of the computers are very durable.

They fail VERY rarely and worst case, you can always get a second hand one from a junk jard and have it reprogrammed for your car. That last part is important, because they're all slightly different (software wise - even if the part number are identical) depending on what features and extras was on the car when it was made/sold new.

This is a fairly straight forward thing, "just" read the old (if possible) and then load that onto the new. And if the old one is completely fried (which I so far haven't seen anyone actually experienced here), an MB specialist can quite easily reprogram it to specs. The first part (read+write) can be done by anyone with the MB SDS/STAR software (of which we have quite a few here on the forum), but the second needs more specialist knowledge. And probably online access to the MB factory computers in Germany. Which you can only get if you pay a few thousand pounds per month/year for a MB subscription :). Not something anyone have :).
 

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2009 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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Hi all,
I sold my 2008 SLK 200 as I want to upgrade to 55 and keep it. It was and still is a good car, but I knew I´ll always crave for the 55 version. I´ve made my decision, when I´ve had a chance to drive SLK 55 R171 facelifted version, what a monster. Now I am looking for one as my weekend summer car.
I really like the R171 version over R172, I think it looks sooo much better. I havent had a chance to drive R172, but I don´t care if the R172 is more comfortable, I just want to have fun and enjoy.
I read a lot about both versions, but how will these cars be after lets say 10 years from now? R172 has more complex electronic and that scares me on the long run. Do I think right that R171 will be easier to repair or am I wrong?
I have had 2 R170s 3.2 V6 and an R172 as well as the current R171 SLK55 AMG P30. I have also driven the R171 in standard 3.5L V6 trim.
By far and away this R171 beats the R172 as the latter seemed to be built for cruising rather than fun on the road. The SLK55 AMG is just a helluva bonus IMHO.
 

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---The R172 55 has more power. and gets more miles to the gallon, and I understand (haven't driven one) the gearshift is a lot quicker.
--- However, it has an electronic handbrake :( has a more modern look in the cabin :( and doesn't have the same M113 engine that is used in a whole host of MB models :(
--- I would say DEFINITELY TAKE A R172 55 FOR A TEST DRIVE BEFORE YOU BUY EITHER.
 
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