Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 Blue Efficency - iDrive

The Merc SLK 200 - a blend of dainty style and raw power

Price: £29,970

Engine capacity: 1.8 (4 cylinders, 16 valves, turbocharged)

Power output (PS @ rpm): 184 @ 5250

Max torque (Nm @ rpm): 270 @ 1800-4600

Top speed (mph): 150

0-62 mph (seconds): 7.3

Fuel economy (mpg): 41.5

CO2 emissions (g/km): 149-158

Mercedes’ first small roadster, the 1955 190 SL, had a reputation for being a bit of a ladies’ car. Thankfully, by the time the 190SL was reinvented in the form of the first SLK in 1996, we’d left that sort of crass gender stereotyping far behind, and a good thing too – not least because this latest version of the SLK would otherwise have had your average Mercedes-Benz showroom looking like a poor imitation of a Little Britain’s Emily and Florence sketch, full of car-mad chaps in unconvincing drag, clamouring to have a go. It’s that appealing.

Mercedes’ first small roadster, the 1955 190 SL, had a reputation for being a bit of a ladies’ car. Thankfully, by the time the 190SL was reinvented in the form of the first SLK in 1996, we’d left that sort of crass gender stereotyping far behind, and a good thing too – not least because this latest version of the SLK would otherwise have had your average Mercedes-Benz showroom looking like a poor imitation of a Little Britain’s Emily and Florence sketch, full of car-mad chaps in unconvincing drag, clamouring to have a go. It’s that appealing.And just to make things even better, it appears that the cheapest version, the SLK 200, will be the pick of the range, rather than just making up the numbers. The SLK 200’s badge suggests a capacity of two litres – it’s actually 1.8 but turbocharging and direct injection make it feel like almost three. Mercedes’ engineers have been doing a bit of acoustic tuning to make it sound nicely gravelly in the mid range without affecting top-end smoothness, too. The 250 and 350 versions provide even more shove if you need it but I think the 200 will more than do the job on British roads.

The SLK’s styling has been improved as well – gone is the almost dainty appearance, in favour of a square-jawed, muscular look shared with the more expensive CLS and SLS. The folding hard-top is retained, but with a twist. As an alternative to the metal roof, a glass version is available with something called Magic Sky Control; flick a switch and particles in the glass reposition themselves either to block the light or to let it pass through. Clever stuff.

Incidentally, in case you’re wondering what the BlueEFFICIENCY bit is all about, it’s Mercedes’ eco brand and signifies the SLK has a host of fuelsaving measures, including a stop-start system of the sort that used to be found only on a few miserly economy models. There’s even going to be a diesel later in the year, so if you get an SLK, you’ll be able to burn rubber without burning too much fuel.

THE COMPETITION

Britain invented the roadster but Triumph, MG and TVR have faded away, leaving the field to the Germans. The main threat to the SLK comes from Mercedes’ arch-rival, BMW, with the Z4, but Porsche’s Boxster is an alternative to the top-of-the-range SLK 350.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

    £18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

    Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific