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SLK 280 Amber Red
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

for a while I have been reading the many exciting reviews of people receiving their dream cars (and rightly so when you've waited so long), and looking at the nice pictures you have posted.

I am in the position where I do a fair amount of driving around UK motorways etc... and would love to have one of these cars, but something in me says.. if they look so sporty, they won't have comfortable suspension, will be wind-noisy on motorways even with the roof up, and will not be the kind of car that you can consider a regular day to day car for work. Granted I only need space for a laptop or briefcase, so space isn't a problem.

I guess I need something that is fun on winding roads, yet cruises well when stuck on a motorway for a few hours.

I've had two 10 minute test drives of a 350, and it was good (thinking of daily use rather than weekend driving), but there's nothing like speaking to someone who has driven one as part of their life. I would go for the 200 as I am not really a speed-freak, but want it to be nippy and have some level of sportiness when putting my foot down to overtake.

Also, I was thinking of the manual gearbox because I quite enjoy an engaging drive and thought I would save some money.

Does anyone have thoughts on the 200 engine, manual gearbox or the car's suitability for a day to day car for work?

many thanks in advance,

Steve
 

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SLK350
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258 Posts
Hi Steve,

I purchased mine as a car to get to work and back in.
No regrets so far.
Cant comment on the 200 as I have not driven one.

I got the standard suspension as I use it daily - that is still good enough for making very rapid progress. Try them both yourself though.

I originally wanted the manual as well but after trying the Auto decided for day to day commuting it was the more appropriate - my first auto this and going back to a manual is now tedious - then again perhaps I am just old.

With the roof up it is just like driving a non convertible - feels really solid - two cars in one really. Have driven it fast on the motorways with the roof down - really not too bad but your hair gets a bit messy - oh god perhaps I am old and vain!!!

If you go for an auto consider the 350 as it has the 7sp auto rather than the 5sp on the 200. Again try them both.

Either way I can not see a downside to whatever you choose.

Good luck
 

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SLK 55 AMG
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3,560 Posts
I drove my 230 for several years as a daily drive.

I've been driving my 55 as a daily drive since I got it 6 months ago.

Mostly for home-work-home (and sometimes on weekends to other cities and the like), in fact, I prefer to take my car out with my GF when we go somewhere, rather then drive her car [;)]

You do need to remember two things:
1) it's only got two seats
2) luggage space is not enormous (but more then in most other convertibles, i.e. Miata, S2000, Boxster, etc... EVEN with the top down.)
 

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SLK350, BMW K1200LT
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808 Posts
I've got a 350 with standard suspension - it drives like a GT as opposed to a sports car. I've never driven an AMG 55, but after a couple of TVR's and a DB9, I love the car - I used to have a R170 320 and there is no comparison between the R170 and the R171. I personally do not wish mine to be any quicker, so I'm pleased when I bought mine, the 55 was not available in the UK. It's got a manual box, which I much prefer. For the first time ever, I've put a personalised plate on the car cos I intend to keep it for that long(I sold the R170 after 13 months - the R171 is that much better) IMHO go for a manual 350 with a few toys[:)][:D][:)]
 

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SLK350
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834 Posts
I have the SLK350 in manual with standard suspension, and this is my daily driver. I take it with the top down whenever possible, since the wind noise isn't bad below 50 without the windscreen. If you get the plexiglass windscreen then you can drive with it top down all you want, and with the windows up, there's very little wind noise up to 80mph. I've taken it up to 140mph with the top down and I can definitely say it's stable and the wind isn't as bad as I thought it would be.

As to the suitability of the car as a daily driver, I think it's great. Warms up quick (my daily commute is 0.8 miles though), manual transmission is very good (much better than the R170), suspension is a little soft to my liking (but probably good for everyone else). If you're really into cornering, get the sport suspension. The standard suspension rolls way too much when I'm cornering hard, so bad that I'm seriously considering H&R springs or the cup kit when it comes out. The 200K would come with 16's so your ride quality should be very good even with the sportier suspension. I can't comment too much on the 200K engine...but hey if you feel like you don't have enough power you can always upgrade the ECU at Vaeth for something like 20+hp.
 

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BMW
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900 Posts
sjones - 5/12/2005 5:24 PM
Also, I was thinking of the manual gearbox because I quite enjoy an engaging drive and thought I would save some money.
You won't necessarily save money overall because you will probably get less back when you come to sell the car for a manual than an auto. It's one of the few options that you don't lose the money on, as many SLK buyers want an auto. However, if you want a manual box then don't let that put you off.
 

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SLK350
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693 Posts
For work its perfect IMHO. Cruise on the motorway no probs. I have manual with sports suspension which I also think is fine as a daily drive. 200 auto is slow for my taste, 350 manual has a kick to kick arse in most situations.

The only thing I used to do in a Honda Civic (GFs car) and cant in mine is pile in a ton of stuff and not care about minor damage inside the car. With this its 2 seats and reasonable luggage top up, less top down but not bad for a roadster.

There is some wind noise top up, if you want a silent car look elsewhere. Though not silent it is quiet at speed though with the top up.

Oh and it turns heads if you want to make an impression.
For me the best bit is dropping the roof and putting my foot down, just listen to that 350 roar as you launch at the horizon.
 

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SLK350, BMW K1200LT
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808 Posts
joyfulheart - 5/13/2005 8:04 PM


The only thing I used to do in a Honda Civic (GFs car) and cant in mine is pile in a ton of stuff and not care about minor damage inside the car.
I have my Kangoo van for that (yellow, not white - I'm a YELLOW van man[:D][:D])
 

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SLK 200
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261 Posts
Well.... all sounds good... however... dont forget that you are asking a biased forum... we all chose to buy an SLK therefore we cannot say we are representatinve of the entire driving population...
but yes... all the above is very true... plus the SLK looks beautiful!

P
 

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R171 200K
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115 Posts
Have you thought about a used bmw 330 or something similar, I think from reading your post that it would be more suited to your needs. Obviously you don't get the stunning looks of the slk but that seems lower down on your list of priorities. Although not a speed freak being on a motorway for a few hours means you will probably appreciate more power then a 200 can offer even if you won't be using it to its full potential.
 

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2005 R171 200K auto
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21 Posts
i have a 3 week old slk 200 (i live in manila philippines) and i am using it for my daily drive to work which is about 20 km one way. this 20 km is city streets with many traffic lights and uneven roads. I think that the 200 engine is more approriate in these conditions. the other car that i considered before buying the slk was a base boxster or used boxster S but the slk won out when i considered that as a daily driver in city streets, slk will be much better in terms of fuel economy, reliability and ride quality. 99% of the time i drive alone and carry only a small briefcase, so the passenger seat and trunk are already very generous as far as space is concerned.

one thing the slk is , is that its a definite head turner. almost everybody on the street who sees it has to have a second look. where i park at work, the security guard says that anybody who passes by has to look more closely in the car and peek through the window (hence smudge marks on the window!). if you're embarassed by all that attention, get a more normal looking car!
 

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SLK 280 Amber Red
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Discussion Starter #12
hey - thanks for all the feedback (and quick too)

I am pleased to read that it certainly isn't bad on motorways etc, and I was thinking of the non-sports suspension because it would be a little more forgiving.

I take the point about the BMW alternative, and indeed have looked at those as part of my hard-top alternatives, but it doesn't have the wow factor. I am especially keen on nice interiors (because that is the bit i tend to stare at for a long time), and the beamer was a little too 'old man' - my father loves it so therefore it is out!

I used to own a modern soft-top which was great fun, but was very wind-noisy with the roof up on the motorways (so much that conversations were at higher-than-normal volume and telephone conversations were difficult). Ideally I would like to have the same fun (and the SLK is way nicer and classier all round really) but have improved soundproofing so I can talk to a guest or on the phone.

Anyway, I need to organise a test drive of the auto vs manual on the 200 engine, and I'll let you know...

thanks for all the advice,

Steve [:)]
 

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SLK 350
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378 Posts
My 350 is my only car. It's a manual, standard suspension.
It handles everything that I currently need in a car, and it also means that I don't get to do the specified driver much (2 seats), although most of my friends want to be seen with the car.

The only thing I can't do in this one, that I could do in the R170, is get a wheel chair in the boot (mum's).
 

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C320 Estate/SLK280
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I had two very long test drives - 200 vs 350. Oxford dealership very friendly and helpful once they know you're serious. I found the 200 noisy and rough. And sluggish with the 5-speed auto. I just can't live with the vibration of a 4 after 30 years of 6s (Rovers, Jag, Mercs - all 6s).

I like refined cars (do a lot of motorway, often from Cotswolds to London and back) but don't actually need to tear around pretending to be 25 again (my old 300E and newish C320 estate are perfectly OK) so I decided to compromise and get a 280. With normal rubber and suspension. That, I reckon, would make fine everyday transport. And it's being built now for delivery in June.
 

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2005 SLK350
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235 Posts
My '05 SLK350 is my daily driver, as was my '01 SLK320 before it.

I'd say the SLK handles 98% of my transportation needs...while offering 3000% the fun of my former, larger, more practical, European luxury sedans.

When I needed more passenger space, I rented a car. When I bought furniture, or lumber, or whatever, I'd have it delivered.

I married a woman with a minivan in March. The minivan was certainly not a factor in marrying her! But the minivan handles the other 2% nicely, so car rentals and deliveries are pretty in my past, now.

Can't see buying another sedan, at this point. Even if I didn't have access to a minivan.
 

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SLK200
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I have an SLK for about a month now and have found it much more practical than I expected. My other ccar is a jeep Grand Cherokee and I barely use it anymore. The SLK is quiet, fuel efficient and I can keep a lot of stuff in it.

For trips I purchased a set of 'Roadsterbags' from a german company. I paid just under 100 Euro and about 25 Euro for shipping them to ireland. It consists of two small wallet style units and two quite large suitcases that exactly fit in the booth of the SLK under the roof cover (So you can still drive with the top down). With this I fit almost as much luggage in the SLK as I did in the BMW520 I had before it.
 

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SLK 200
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261 Posts
Hi fschoonbaert

Do you have the website of this german company. The cost of the roadster bags sounds considerably cheaper than the original "SLK bag"
Thanks

P
 

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SLK200
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Ofcourse I can. Should have done that at the first post. The URL of the company is www.roadsterbag.com. It is regretfully only in German as far as I can see, but here is the URL to the relevant Mercedes sets.:

http://www.roadsterfun.de/html/koffersets4.html

I noticed they now quote a price of 199 Euro for the set of 4 pieces. I paid only 99 Euro. I found them on eBay where they often list their products (located in Germany)and start the auctions at much lower prices. They were very responsive and will deal with your transaction in English.
 
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