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Discussion Starter #1
My love of Mercedes began with sedans, and I have been looking for a late model ML350 4Matic for a while to replace a Kia Sorrento. But I started to wonder about buying a two seater as well. When I was younger, I always wanted to a Mazda Miata, but I had a child instead. Now he is grown and out of the house, I was thinking about buying an SLK for my wife and I to enjoy. I had a look at the R170s, but they seem to be priced as collectors items if they are in decent condition, many around $10+K. It seems that if you shop around I could buy an R171 from 2005 or 06 and have change out of $10k.

Is there any models to avoid? Is there a particular model that is more reliable than others. Anything in particular to look out for on these vehicles? Any advice to someone like considering a purchase?
 

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^ The short and simple answer to this is - get an SLK55. The only problem you will have is trying to wipe the smile off your face. :thumbsup:
 

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I am guessing, correct me please if I am wrong, your advice is based on the acceleration available with the V8 engine. So as you say, the smile on my face as I drive it.

One of the aspects that I've enjoyed about owning Mercedes cars is the ability to fix them, especially with an SDS unit. Beyond the ability to diagnose, you have to have the actually ability to do the work. My sense is the V8 crammed (shoehorned?) into the small chassis would make regular maintenance challenging? I thought the smaller engines, SLK 280 or SLK 350 would be easier to work on.

Also, my life has been guided by iteration. I would never have purchased an S550. It would have seemed like an extravagance to me. But by buying an old E420 and becoming steeped in the mystique of a Mercedes, I worked my way up to S550, and am now considering a W222.

So maybe I'll buy a roadster drive it for a couple of months and give up on it as impractical. Or alternatively, I'd get hooked and purchase a faster and more comfortable model (more expensive).

^ The short and simple answer to this is - get an SLK55. The only problem you will have is trying to wipe the smile off your face. :thumbsup:
 

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If you aren't already set on an AMG, you can find good prices for a face-lifted SLK 350. The models from the first couple years had some engine issues, so I'd avoid those unless you wanted to put a lot research into the specific car you are getting to be sure it wasn't in the affected batch, or the problem was already corrected. They fixed it by the time the facelift came around.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good advice. Thank you.

If you aren't already set on an AMG, you can find good prices for a face-lifted SLK 350. The models from the first couple years had some engine issues, so I'd avoid those unless you wanted to put a lot research into the specific car you are getting to be sure it wasn't in the affected batch, or the problem was already corrected. They fixed it by the time the facelift came around.
 

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If not a SLK55 AMG then a 2011 SLK 350 or SLK 300. Last year model and odds are they have all the issues worked out.
 

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You should be aware that the years 2005-2008 had a balance shaft issue requiring a massive tear-down of the engine to fix. MB was sued in a class-action lawsuit of which there was a settlement. The following years 2008 thru, I think, 2015 with the 350 nomenclature (C350, SLK350, ML350, etc) have a crankshaft/piston issue requiring another big dollar fix. I understand some engines needed to be completely replaced.
 

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So far knock on wood, my 2005 SLK350 is not exhibiting any engine issues. I had to replace the intake manifold because the actuator arm for the variable intake baffles was broken. That, and the oil cooler replacement were my biggest jobs inside the engine bay.
 
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