Handling, steering, braking, fuel economy, decent ride, neck warmer vents, fit and finish.
Manual shifter and clutch, engine refinement, access.
The SLK features a retractable glass and metal top that lets it credibly serve as either a coupe or an open-top roadster. The base SLK250 features a 1.8-liter, 201-hp turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers ample thrust. Our tested SLK250 with the six-speed manual returned a very good 26 mpg overall, but we weren't impressed with the rubbery shifter action. The more powerful engines come with a seven-speed automatic. Handling is crisp and enjoyable, with communicative steering but it can be a handful at its limits. The ride is firm, but civilized enough for lengthy trips. The small cabin is well finished, but narrow. Reliability is still unknown.