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SLK 350
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all

I've had a Porsche Boxster S (986) for just over 2 years. It was 3 years old when I bought it. For the first year or so I was delighted with it and couldn't imagine buying anything other than another Porsche. The only choice I could see was would it be a Boxster or a 911. But the past year has seen problem after problem with the car. The dealer now even gives me a 15% discount on repairs :eek: For those of you unfamiliar with Porsche dealers, 'discount' is a word they just don't use in this country.

Mainly it has been problems with the suspension, but there have been a coulpe with the engine also. I'm going to change it in the next few months and am considering an SLK 350. I doubt it would be a new one because I'd like a nicely equiped one and don't want to take the initial hit on depreciation, so I'd probably be looking at a 12-18 month old car, preferably with under 15K miles.

All advice on buying would be greatly appreciated. What to look out for, common problems, ownership experiences etc. Is it worth paying the extra at a dealer, or should I look for a private sale. Has anyone owned both a 986S and a SLK 350?

Look forward to your opinions.

O
 

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SLK 350
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One option that I highly recommend is the heat scarf. It allows you to drive comfortably in fairly cool temperatures with the top down.
 

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SLK280 Mars Red
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55 Posts
I was looking in to Porsche Boxster and 911 before I bought the SLK. I think SLK is better with hard top and smoother ride than Porsche. I own the car for 5 months and so happy with it. When you buy SLK you have to buy the one with Command Unit. Do Not buy one with Audio 20. Your car look cheap when you have Audio 20 in it. I went to dealership to ask them to change to Command Unit, but they say it can't be done. I have to look in to some audio mod or stuck with the cheap Audio 20....Good luck
 

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2006 SLK 350
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Duo-Art said:
One option that I highly recommend is the heat scarf. It allows you to drive comfortably in fairly cool temperatures with the top down.
The Airscarf is an absolute MUST - especially in your neck of the woods. The Pacific Northwest is around the same longtitude as the UK and I use mine all of the time during the chilly weather we get around here. Combined with the heated seats, you can easily drive around with the top down in 40-45 degree (F) weather without any problem (except if it's raining).
 

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2005 SLK 350/ amg kit
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250 Posts
SLK 350
looks anf feels nicer than porshe. Pushed to the limit for the first time at 6000 miles tonite, by the time i went thru the gears ( almost redline in each gear ) felt i was flying,
in 6 gear abouth 95 MPG still the car has kiking power when punch the gas,
Just one big problem driving round town (THE WIFE ) chiks friendly ( like thay say love the car love the driver)
 

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SLK 55 AMG
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3,560 Posts
See if someone can show you around a 350 and test drive it. The most important bit is to first know if the car feels right for you.

And good luck on your purchase!
 

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I was in a similar situation - Boxster or SLK350 (both new). I decided on the SLK for the following main reasons:
* Quieter in all cases - especially with the top down. You can relax in this car! But put your foot down and it sounds *good* ;)
* Torquey engine - it's certainly quicker than the normal Boxster, and I suspect marginally quicker than the S, especially at low revs.
* Softer ride - I loved the handling of the Boxster, but I think I prefer a slightly softer ride. Of course you can get sports suspension if you want it harder :)
* Boot space - The SLK350 will fit my biggest suitcase, even with the top down. Having all of the boot space in one place rather than two is great.
* Hardtop - Can be a coupe or a softtop - best of both worlds!

You really need to find a dealer and give it a try. They let me have 3 test drives - two of which were 3 hours and on my own!

I'd recommend getting the auto box 'cos I think resale will be easier in the UK especially. I've tested the manual mode quite a lot on the test drives and it's pretty good, but not as good as a real manual of course. It does allow you to have some fun in windy roads though, which was my main requirement. The auto box was the best compromise for me - I want to relax when I want to relax, and have some fun what I want to have some fun. Full manual is just a pain for me ;)

Heated seats and airscarf is good for our climate ;) Metalic paint is a must. I'm personally getting most options, except the COMAND system - I'm getting my own sat nav system.


One thing to be aware of is that there's a change to the range with the auto gearbox - it's getting flappy paddles from June. Currently they have buttons for going up AND down the gears on both sides of the steering wheel. Not sure if this will affect resale prices of 'older' models? You might want to use it as leverage for some money off the car you do get.

Hope you get one, and love it!

P.S Check out a black one. I was going to get silver until I saw the black. A matter taste of course, but I liked it :)
 

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SLK 55 AMG
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btw: if you buy a second hand 350, ask the seller/dealer if the car has an oil consumption problem.

The first batch of 350's would go through a quart of oil every few thousand miles... This is a no no, and the engines were often replaced free of charge. It did not affect all cars, but nevertheless something to check.
 

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I had a boxster s before and bought the slk350.

The other variants seemed not powerful enough and the slk55 just to heavy on fuel to justify the extra cost.

HOWEVER, I am a sporting driver and i hated the auto box on the car, its ok if your a boulevard cruiser but it did not suit me. Although you have some form of manual override for the 'box it did not do what you wanted it to do all the time and the manual changes were slow.

I bought the manual car and loving it. I bought a basic spec car, why pay 2 K extra for sat nav when you can get a protable nicer unit- with camera database( ie snooper) for £500.
all in all i feel the engine is better with more torque than the boxser and it seems more...... well together- there are also less of them about.
 

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BMW
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PhilD73 said:
P.S Check out a black one. I was going to get silver until I saw the black. A matter taste of course, but I liked it :)
Yes, and so does every stone lying in the road it seems. My last 911 was metallic black and it was depressing seeing one or two new chips every week. At least they don't show so much with silver. Black looks spectactular when it's clean though,
 

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SLK 350
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I just picked up a '05 350SLK in February this year. I was going to buy new but our local dealer failed to phone me back after a lengthy discussion and test drive!
Whilst I was waiting for them to call, I spotted a 10 month example with only 2000 miles on the clock in TOP MARQUES. A few phone calls later and I was on my way to the South West to collect it! Saved myself £8k on new into the bargain! Fortunately, when I saw the car it was indistinguishable from new. The original owner had specified the full AMG kit also. I was not going to specify this on my new order, but now that I've had the car, despite the price if I was buying new again I wouldn't hesitate. Most people who have seen the car say the body kit makes it.
I specifically went for the manual after having test driven the auto. It suits this type of car more. There is a Mercedes myth from the days when Mercedes couldn't make a decent manual gearbox, that nothing other than an auto should be considered. Whilst being well aware of this, I have read numerous road tests by respected road testers who infact favour the manual due to the fact that it is such a very good gearbox. To be honest, it is every bit as good as any BMW box I have had over the last 15 years.
To those who say it will affect resale values. You have to consider that new it is £1800 more for the automatic. On balance manual cars appear to resale around £1kless than an auto.
Anyway, buying a car like this should be an emotive one, where concerns of resale value should be further down the list of priorities. It is a Mercedes roadster after all and will never be a bad used proposition, whatever the gearbox.
Airscarf/heated seats were a must for me. Since getting my car, the only times I have had the roof up have been when it has been raining.
Leather and metallic are also strongly recommended. Iridium silver/dusky red leather were my choice.
Mine also has the Bi-Xenons, which I have it on good authority are excellent, I just haven't driven mine in the dark to find out yet!
You will not regret getting this car! I don't think I have ever been as enthusiastic over any car I have owned (and that is saying something!), I am looking for any excuse to get it out of the garage and go for a drive!

Best of luck with your choice!
 

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SLK 350
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all your replies. Like you say, I won't know until I drive one! My Boxster is metallic black and it is an amazing colour, but a b*gger to keep clean. Silver is kind of traditional for Mercedes though - evocative of the Silver Arrows racing cars in the '50s (no, I'm not old enough to remember them!). Has anyone had any other mechanical problems other than high oil usage? I appreciate that cars such as these aren't cheap to run, but I don't want to go from one money pit to another.
 

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SLK350
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Look through the threads and you will find the usual selection of issues. I have read a lot here for the nearly 2 years since I put my order down, and the thing that stands out is the oil consumption problem on the 350, I had it, its no joke. I got a new engine eventually and 2500 miles later I have had no further probs thank God. It took a painful 4 months of problems before the new engine appeared, and those who are out of warranty will have an £11k bill to pay. My second engine seems fine and I am getting confidence back and falling in love all over again for the spring/summer. Of course there are other issues, but this one is widespread and serious. The other area of problems for me has been Comand errors, I just get a message regularly about No Disc, and one time it froze and stopped working, and they replaced the unit...
Anyway, manual, sports suspension and Comand, heated seats, airscarf and xenons...no regrets on any of those.
 

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SLK 55 AMG
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The biggest problems with MB's these days are the electronics, and in most cases these problems occur almost straight away. Once fixed, everything runs fine until the end.

With Porsches, it seems that you need to start "maintaining" the car later on in life, and this is a little different in MB's.

Obviously you've got some things which need to be done, such as spark plugs at 50,000miles, or new brake pads, etc... but unlike some cars, the general wear and tear is more spaced out.

i.e. one car might require brake pad changes after 10k miles and oil changes every 3000miles, whilst the SLK would go just fine for 30k miles with brake pads, and 10k miles for an oil change. pieces in general are a bit more expensive, but they last a longer time.

Do you have a list of things that have been breaking on the Boxster? If you can post the list, we can give you a comparison to how well this and that particular piece would last on the SLK.

As far as particular SLK related problem go, the main one has been the oil problem.
Sometimes there are problems with the stereo system, but if the car is under warranty, the dealer just replaces the entire system. In the case of the COMAND or CD-changer etc... they're like computer hardware. Either they break in the first week of use, or they stay alive for the next 10 years no problem.
Some people had a problem with the tranny, either heavy shifting or the car lurching forward, and this was a valve or a joint which just needed replacing. Easy to identify, and relatively quick to replace.
And occasionally, if something "electronic" stops working, it's most likely just a loose cable.
Oh, and almost forgot, the early cars had an SRS error message which popped up randomly. This required changing a cable in the steering column. Most people had the problem pop-up in the first few hundred miles upon driving the car, and some like me, had it happen after 10,000miles (the only problem I've had... a normal problem, since my car was one of the first 55's made, and still part of the batch of faulty vehicles). If you do buy a new one and it's a 2004 model, just make sure this has been taken care of (assuming the car you buy has less then 10,000miles).

I personally am very pleased with my car. The SRS problem aside (replaced quickly by the dealer), I haven't had a single problem. All electronics work, engine runs fine.

My guess is that if you buy second hand with a few thousand miles on the clock, you'll have a faultless car, since all the problems (if there were any) have been taken care of. Once the initial problems are fixed, an MB runs very strong.
 

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2005 SLK 350/ amg kit
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black is beatiful but after wach and drive for few minutes i see a coat of white dust back on it and so fingerprints whatever you touch, i wish i have a different color
 

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SLK 350
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Had a drive in a 350 this afternoon at my local MB dealer. I wanted to try a manual but apparently they aren't too easy to come by, so had to 'make do' with a 7 speed auto. It was 20 months old with 8k miles on the clock and lots of toys. I got them to offer it for £32k with a fair PX price for my Porsche. I really liked the colour - benitoite blue and orient biege interior combination. My first impression is that it's a heavier car than the Boxster, but the way it leaps away from stopped under acceleration was brilliant. Really throws your head back:)

I really didn't want the auto box to begin with, but as no doubt you'll all know it can be used in manual mode. Down changes were a little delayed, but once I started to anticipate this it wasn't a problem. And it's a real hoot in the sport auto mode where it accelerates to the red line before it changes up.

It doesn't quite have the same composure as the Boxster when cornering, but you'd really have to do something stupid to loose this car. And unless you were on a track I doubt it would make difference. Also the Merc seems to have better torque at low revs which makes smooth swift progress easier in normal driving. I have to be honest and say that I fell in love with the car and hope to take delivery in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and my wife loved it too!!
 

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2006 SLK 350
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Depends on a lot of variables, e.g., what part of the world you live in, when you place your order vs. when the factory is running, what the dealer allotment is, etc. I live in Washington state and placed my order on August 3, 2005. I picked up my car on November 19, 2005. (It actually arrived at the dealer a week before then, but they had to check it out and detail it. Plus, I couldn't drive down to get it until the weekend.) I believe for my neck of the woods (West coast of the U.S.), 14 weeks is about average. Because you're already in Europe, your intervals should be much less.
 

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2008 SLK55 AMG
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outofthebox said:
Anyone know what the delivery time is on a new one?
I ordered mine in the 1st week of January 2006. It was built in the 2nd 10 days of February and I got delivery of the car on March 30. UK deliveries should be faster. I live on the southwest coast of the US.
 

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2007 ML320 CDI - Silver/Ash
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Did you purchase the SLK?

To the post above - I was able to purchase my SLK55AMG within 48 hours of calling the dealer, with a $2,000.00 discount off sticker.
 
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