3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK250

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MPG 22 City / 32 Highway
Pros
  • Aggressive styling
  • Commendable handling ability
  • Available manual transmission
  • Available AirScarf heating system counteracts chilliness when the top is down
Cons
  • Performance lags behind sportier rivals
  • Tight dimensions in the cabin
, Automotive Editor -
With stunning styling, strong performance and surprisingly good fuel economy, the Mercedes-Benz SLK250 is an appealing drop-top contender.

Introduction

Since its 1998 U.S. debut, the Mercedes-Benz SLK had featured styling that was almost cute. That all changed with a 2012 redesign, however, that gave the compact roadster an aggressive design that mirrored its larger SL sibling. Aside from rolling the Premium 1 package into the standard features list, Mercedes-Benz brings the SLK into 2013 without any changes.

The SLK250 serves as the lineup's base model, and has a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under its hood that pumps out 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. This engine mates to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, but a seven-speed automatic transmission is available. The SLK250 hits 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds, while still netting an impressive 23 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.

Like SL-Class convertibles, the SLK features a standard retractable hardtop that takes fewer than 20 seconds to operate. Inside the beautiful cabin, a driver and passenger enjoy eight-way power seats and an eight-speaker audio system.

Though the SLK250 is a gorgeous car, and fast enough to please most drivers, its $42,000 price places it in the direct path of strong challengers from Porsche, BMW and Audi. And that's when trading the engineering cost of the hardtop for a soft top and a lower price might have made it an irresistible bargain.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK250
Starting price
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2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK250 Base

Recommended for: Buyers who want a luxurious roadster with great mpg and peppy performance.

The SLK250 comes in a single trim level with standard equipment like: a sport-tuned suspension system; electronic stability control; staggered 17-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels; LED daytime running lights; a retractable hardtop; Brake Assist with adaptive braking technology; rain-sensing windshield wipers; aluminum interior trim; a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel; brushed-aluminum pedals; eight-way airbag protection; MB-Tex vinyl seating; eight-way power seats; heated and power side-view mirrors; power windows and door locks; a universal garage door opener; cruise control; an eight-speaker audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities, Bluetooth audio streaming, a 5.8-inch LCD screen and auxiliary input; and a four-way power-tilting steering column.

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