The entry-level roadster in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the SLK250 mimics the luxury and style of its pricier brothers while remaining accessible to a much broader swath of buyers. This family resemblance gives the SLK250 a prestigious aura that sets it apart from other sporty two-seaters.
What's New for 2014
The formerly optional glass panel in the power-retractable hardtop is now standard.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz SLK250
The SLK250 gets its spunk from a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 201 horsepower. You can go with the standard six-speed manual transmission or select a seven-speed automatic.
The SLK250 carries enough standard equipment to put it firmly in luxury territory. All examples get automatic wipers, heated power-folding mirrors, dual power seats with lumbar adjustment and driver memory, aluminum interior trim, a power tilt/telescope steering wheel and an eight-speaker sound system with HD radio. Interiors can be spiffed up with two available grades of leather and walnut or ash wood trim.
Beyond all that content, you have a healthy selection of option packages:
- Premium: Gets you remote roof activation, heated seats, Harman Kardon surround sound with satellite radio and an iPod interface, and the AirScarf neck-level heating system.
- Dynamic Handling: Outfits the SLK with an adjustable suspension and beefier brakes.
- Sport: Includes AMG wheels, sportier styling touches and red interior lighting.
- Multimedia: Adds navigation, a larger in-dash touchscreen, voice controls, a six-CD changer and Mercedes-Benz's COMAND electronics interface.
- Distronic Plus: Bundles adaptive cruise control with a sophisticated collision mitigation system known as PreSafe.
- Lighting: Adds adaptive bi-xenon headlamps with washers.
Available separately is Magic Sky Control, an interesting feature that electrically adjusts the tint on the glass roof panel.
The SLK250 is easily scalable toward luxury, performance or both. Some options—like leather and the automatic¬ transmission—are considered necessities by most folks shopping in this class. And the AirScarf feature is undeniably nifty. Beyond that, buyers should carefully set their priorities so as not to spoil the roadster’s price appeal.