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2019 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class Overview

William Kinton
Automotive Editor - June 11, 2020

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class returns sporting the same chassis as it did when it first hit the market in 2011. The smallest Mercedes roadster may have been refreshed and updated over that time, but it still has an air of staleness in its design that the automaker can't seem to facelift out. That being said, the SLC is still a great handling small luxury roadster with a nice interior and a compelling AMG performance option.

What's New for 2019

The SLC-Class is largely the same, with limited changes for 2019. The largest change has been the elimination of some option packages over last year.

Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class

Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class

The SLC is offered with two engine choices. The first is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that's available on the base SLC 300, offering 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque while returning an EPA-estimated 23 miles per gallon city, 32 mpg highway, and 27 combined. This engine is powerful enough to feel peppy, but it's not going to blow your mind as it can only manage a zero-to-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds.

The AMG SLC 43 gets a much more exciting 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that puts out 362 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Both engines are controlled through a nine-speed automatic transmission, although the one in the AMG is made to be a bit quicker thinking for sportier driving.

All models of the SLC 300 get a folding rigid hardtop, which can curiously be equipped with a $2,500 panoramic transparent section to get the feeling of driving in a convertible without actually exposing yourself to the elements. Additional standard features include power leatherette sport seats with memory, active brake assist, attention assist, and a seven-inch infotainment screen. Both the AMG and SLC 300 include multiple drive modes as well, although the AMG version has a more drastic difference between the settings.

SLC 300

The SLC 300 starts at $49,945 (all prices include a $995 destination fee). It serves as the entry level trim, but is also better configured to be a luxurious and stylish boulevard cruiser instead of a hard-edged sports car. Mercedes-Benz is aiming at the crowd that would find it cute, and the options and packages made available reflect that.

Most of the desirable options roll up under the $2,800 Premium Package, which offers the Airscarf, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, blind-spot monitoring, heated seats, and satellite radio. There's also the $350 Smartphone Integration Package which offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the Multimedia Package that adds navigation to the Smartphone Integration Package for $2,200.

The SLC 300 is also offered with a variety of design packages including the $2,175 AMG Line Exterior group which adds some different body styling and wheels, a different grille, and galvanized shift paddles to keep your shift paddles from rusting. Rounding out the practical side is the $1,650 Exterior Lighting Package that offer adaptive LED headlights with high beam assist and the $1,850 Driver Assistance Package with adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and pre-collision preparation when it detects a crash. Notable standalone options include a $850 Harmon Kardon audio system, a variety of leather seats that range between $770 and $2,800, and an adjustable suspension for $990.

AMG SLC 43

The AMG SLC 43 starts at $62,345 and add a lot more to the driving experience of the SLC-Class. In addition to the bigger and more powerful engine, the SLC 43 gets a standard sport suspension, a sport exhaust, torque vectoring braking, as well as a different set up for the driving dynamics to take advantage of the extra hardware. It also comes standard with the features from the SLC 300's Premium Package and the Harmon Kardon sound system.

In place of the Premium Package in the SLC 43 is the $4,550 Premium 2 Package, which offers a litany of features like adaptive LED headlights, a dashtop analog clock, dual-zone climate control, and the features of the Multimedia Package. The Premium 3 Package combines the features of the Premium 2 with the Driver Assistance Package and Parking Assist for $6,650. For those not interested in all of that but who still want Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Smartphone Integration Package is still available for $350.

Performance packages include the AMG Handling Package for $3,700 that adds adaptive AMG suspension, a limited slip differential, an AMG steering wheel, red brake calipers, and a unique IWC dashtop clock. Interior trim choices are more limited in the AMG, but real leather is standard. Finally, the $3,500 AMG Performance Studio RedArt Package is a mouthful, but it gives the SLC 43 unique styling inside and out, 18-inch AMG wheels, and red brake calipers.

CarsDirect Tip

It's rare that we recommend the AMG model, but the AMG SLC 43 is the better buy in the 2019 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class lineup. The SL 300 is more or less a fashion accessory, and top down cruising can be in a much newer package with the C-Class convertible and much cheaper in something like a Fiat 124 or a Mazda Miata RF. The SLC 43 offers a true roadster experience, providing a higher power option over the likes of the Porsche Boxster.

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