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2007 Volvo S80 V8 AWD Sport
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Discussion Starter #1
Guys,

I am currently considering an SLK and wanted to ask for your UNBIASED opinion on something.

First of all, I am considering an SLK280, as I cannot afford a 350 or 55 (not like I would go for this one, as I don't like autos, unfortunately). I also am not interested in a used car, since I need to lease and not many banks will lease a used vehicle.

And the fact that I can only afford a 280 is a shame, as performance is one of the main things I look for in a car. That, great handling and fun to drive in general. My current car is a Volvo S60R (for those who know what it is) and my previous one was an Audi S4. That should give you an idea of what I enjoy. The one thing I've never had is a small, fun, sporty coupe and that's what the SLK should give me.

I'm posting for two main reasons:

1) Based on this, I wanted you guys to tell me if you think this is the car for me. I think most people agree a Cayman or Z4 will outhandle a non-AMG SLK, but is the SLK so much behind? Also, does the SLK280 feel sluggish? Is it really fun to drive?

2) Is there anything I should be aware of before getting this car? I ask because it was only AFTER I got my Volvo that I started learning how quirky this car is and how many annoying litte problems it has by either reading in forums or experiencing them myself. A typical example is the very expensive, but overdone Four-C technology. A regular test-drive doesn't normally allow you to notice its problems, but one month later I was hating it.

Once again, please try and keep your opinions as UNBIASED as possible.

Thank you all in advance!

(I am posting this in 2 other MB forums, as I'd like to read as many opinions as possible.)
 

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SLK 350
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Razor 1973 and everyone else. PLEASE include your location in your profile. Many of us will not make suggestions or answer questions unless a location is specified because many answers depend on where you live.
 

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2006 SLK 350
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1,614 Posts
I would take the time to test-drive both the 280 and the 350 to get your own impressions. Before I bought my 350, I test drove a 280. I'm not a real performance enthusiast, so I didn't notice any differences in the two cars as far as its driving/handling. If its outright performance you're looking for, you might do better with a BMW or a Porsche. HOWEVER, if you want the COMPLETE package of looks, options, price, AND performance, stick with the SLK.

I chose the 350 because it was in the middle of the SLK lineup and somehow felt "just right." I didn't want to get a car that was potentially underpowered (not that the 280 is) because I've got a lot of hills to climb to get to my house and I didn't want to pay the extra money for a "hot rod" because I wouldn't appreciate nor use the extra horses under the hood. I guess it all depends on what you feel you need to make this car special for you and not just another means of transportation.

I haven't regretted my decision one bit since I purchased the car. BTW, as far as the rest of the car goes, there haven't been any major disappointments, so I think you'll be happy with either the 280 or 350. Alot will depend on how you option out your car. The airscarf, heated seats, bi-xenons, etc., are the type of things that will make your ride more enjoyable regardless of the model you choose. Hope this helps. Good luck with your decision.
 

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2007 Volvo S80 V8 AWD Sport
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Discussion Starter #4
Duo-Art said:
Razor 1973 and everyone else. PLEASE include your location in your profile. Many of us will not make suggestions or answer questions unless a location is specified because many answers depend on where you live.
I could have sworn I had added my location to my profile. Thing is I was creating an account on another forum and updating the profile on that one a a third one I've been a member of for a while and I may have left benzworld out.

Check it out now. :)
 

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SLK 350
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Thaks for adding your location. Based on the flat roads in the Miami area, I think the 280 will be fine. It might be a bit underpowerd for some people who live in mountainous areas.
 

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2004 W203 C180K Elegance Sport Sedan & 2005 W209 CLK280 Elegance Coupe
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104 Posts
depends on what you call 'underpowered' but an SLK280 should be great, particuarly in manual form. fun to drive, great handling etc.

it would be quicker than the volvo you currently have.

as for 'quirkyness' its a bit different in the SLK's. after buying mine i feel a bit cramped inside and wish it was a bit more refined. In Australia an SLK costs the same as an E class or CLK so there is lots to contemplate. but if a coupe/convertible is what you want then never look back because the SLK with the folding metal roof is the best you can get around this price range. i would still take it over a new boxster or Z4, regardless if they are quicker
 

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2007 Volvo S80 V8 AWD Sport
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Discussion Starter #7
brabus said:
it would be quicker than the volvo you currently have.
Hmmm... I'm not too sure about that.

0-60 Times & 0-60 Comparisons
Volvo S60R 6-speed (300 HP): 0-60mph in 5.4s
Mercedes-Benz SLK280 (228 HP): 0-60mph in 6.1s

Like I said about the Volvo, "for those who know what it is". hehehe :D Here's the car.
 

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06 SLK 280, on order 09 SLK 350
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209 Posts
Razor1973 said:
Hmmm... I'm not too sure about that.

0-60 Times & 0-60 Comparisons
Volvo S60R 6-speed (300 HP): 0-60mph in 5.4s
Mercedes-Benz SLK280 (228 HP): 0-60mph in 6.1s

Like I said about the Volvo, "for those who know what it is". hehehe :D Here's the car.
If those 0-60 numbers are correct for the Volvo, you won't be happy with the SLK 280 as it will feel slower, heck the 350 might feel slower, too.
 

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'06 SLK 350
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I've driven both, and the 280 has lots of power. I only got the 350 due to availability (I wanted a stick, but not a car that was black outside or in.) Just look at the HP and 0-60 times for the 280--excellent.

BTW, The one thing I do not like about this car is the hard seats.
 

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2006 SLK 350
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Boone Callaway said:
BTW, The one thing I do not like about this car is the hard seats.
They "look" hard, but I've found them to be pretty comfortable. I think they're about par for most of the sports cars that I've been in. If you want something real "comfy," you'd have to opt for something like the SC430. The SC430, however, doesn't have the same sports car feel. It's more like a sports car on steroids.
 

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Boone Callaway said:
BTW, The one thing I do not like about this car is the hard seats.
:eek: I AGREE! The manual seats in the SLK 350 are VERY uncomfortable. I assume it's the same seat in the SLK 280. The SLK 55 seats are much better and the electric seats allow many adjustments not available on the manual seats.
 

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2007 Volvo S80 V8 AWD Sport
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Discussion Starter #13
SLK280DS said:
If those 0-60 numbers are correct for the Volvo, you won't be happy with the SLK 280 as it will feel slower, heck the 350 might feel slower, too.
If this is true, then I may not get any after all. I simply cannot afford the 350. Plus the fact that manual is very, very rare (and I will not drive an auto) and there's no one around me to test drive (closest one is in north Florida), makes the decision even more difficult.
 

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2006 SLK 350
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Razor1973 said:
If this is true, then I may not get any after all. I simply cannot afford the 350. Plus the fact that manual is very, very rare (and I will not drive an auto) and there's no one around me to test drive (closest one is in north Florida), makes the decision even more difficult.
Sounds like it may be time to punt. If you're looking for an aggressive ride, you might want to check out the S2000. Not in the same category as the Z4, Cayman or SLK, but you won't take as big a hit in your wallet either. Good luck. Let us know what you decide.
 

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2007 SLK280
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Boone Callaway said:
.... the 280 has lots of power. Just look at the HP and 0-60 times for the 280--excellent.
I'd have to agree. The 280 is no slouch. While it may not be the most fastest it really is quite quick/fast all things considered. I've owned American muscle cars from the 60's an '63 XKE, several high HP motorcyles, and driven a couple of 911 porsches etc... but I'd have to say the 280 does not dissapoint me. It's not a 427 Cobra but then I didn't want that either. I wanted overall performance and refinement with decent mileage and that's exactly what I got.

It will come down to you test driving both the 280 and 350 to decide how they meet your expectations.

NewMB said:
... you might want to check out the S2000. Not in the same category as the Z4, Cayman or SLK, but you won't take as big a hit in your wallet either.
I considered the S2000 as the second choice, the retracting hardtop and torquey, silky smooth V6, pushed me to ante up for the SLK.

If you are looking for a high performance roadster on "the cheap" I'd consider the Pontiac Soltstic GXP Pontiac Solstice GXP - RSportsCars.com.
260hp & 260 ftlbs of torque in less than 3,000 lbs is going to perform strong while looking very stylish. My Bro has a standard Solstice and it's an impressive car for the price.


Boone Callaway said:
BTW, The one thing I do not like about this car is the hard seats.
NewMB said:
They "look" hard, but I've found them to be pretty comfortable.
I'd have to agree that they are very comfortable when you get them adjusted correctly. I'd also agree that they are pretty hard and my wife has complained about them being a bit too hard on her not well padded rear. If I had to improve them I'd opt for a better (higher tech) dual density foam and keep the basic seat shape.
 

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SLK 55 AMG
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The 280 is a little low on power, but 0-60 in around 6 seconds is still a relatively quick car. Faster then most people can handle ;)

The problem is that to get a proper ride and handling, you'd need to get the sports package (a bit pricey) and the SLK really needs the airscarf if you want it to have some resell value later on.

I really love the SLK, I think it's a great car, but for someone like you, I think I'd side with the idea of maybe getting an S2000 instead. It's a very cool car, great power for the engine, about as fast as the SLK280 is in 0-60 (in fact, it should do it in 5.5 seconds, same speed as the SLK350 if you know how to change gears well, maybe aided by a little clutch drop), but it can also be a little bit of a handful at times (fair number of people been in an accident with one since the back end can swing around, especially in the rain).

I'd say, go at least have a drive in an SLK (even if it's the 350) and try it with a manual if you can, otherwise an automatic. You should get a good idea of some stuff such as room, view and handling. Then drive an S2000, and also give a go to a Solstice/Sky and the new MX5 as well as a Z4.

Even if you wouldn't be considering any of those cars, you said it yourself that your experience with this kind of cars is lacking. I'd say, once you've driven all those cars, you'll have a good idea of what to expect, and thus you'll have less margin of making an error in your purchase.

Also, if you're married or have a gf or partner, ask them to come on the ride as well. The passenger can and should give their opinion as well.

I'd say, if you can find a second hand 350, you'll be able to afford it with low miles for roughly the same price as a new 280, and you'll surely find a bank to lease the vehicle for you, it just takes a little doing and research.

I think it's important when spending all this money for a car, to at least take your time and make the right purchase rather then regretting it later.

And good luck, with whatever vehicle you end up with!
 

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Great advice Shinigami. I couldn't have said it better myself. Well...maybe I could have, but I didn't take the initiative, so hats off to you!
 

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SLK 350 (2006)
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Back when I was comparing, I found the S2000 to be too small inside. Seems like there was some sort of pillar or something by my legs. I think I had a hard time getting in and out too. However, that was a couple of years ago.

When test driving the cars, save the SLK for last :)
 

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2006 SLK 350
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mtiede said:
Back when I was comparing, I found the S2000 to be too small inside. Seems like there was some sort of pillar or something by my legs. I think I had a hard time getting in and out too. However, that was a couple of years ago.
I had the same problem with the S2000 and the Z4. Felt I had to "throw" myself into the car just to get in. Getting out wasn't much easier. The other thing that I remember about the S2000 was how spartan the interior looked compared to the SLK. Pretty basic gauges and layout. But at half the cost of the SLK, I guess you have to make sacrifices somewhere.
 

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SLK55 (2006) C36 (1995)
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i'd second the suggestion on the pontiac solstice GXP. That was a serious contender when i was looking at cars, but i refused to pay $7000 over sticker at that time. It should be more reasonable now (as a comparison i got my slk 55 at about invoice, and our other benz below invoice). S2000s are nice, but not my flavor, the hp is too low, on comes on too late.
 
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