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Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG: Buying guide and review (2005-2010)

Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG: Buying guide and review (2005-2010) Classic and Performance Car
Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG
The best AMG Mercs are ever so slightly bonkers. For the first SLK55 they squeezed a 5.4-litre V8 into the R171-gen SLK bodyshell and created something wild and really rather wonderful. Naturally aspirated, the engine developed 355bhp and a walloping 376lb ft of torque – enough to rocket the diminutive SLK from 0 to 60mph in well under five seconds, all accompanied by a thunderous muscle-car soundtrack. 
OK, so the stability program – which couldn’t be fully disabled – could be a little frustrating, but such was the 55’s appetite for rear tyres most owners would forgive it that. And with the folding metal hard-top providing GT-like refinement when you weren’t in the mood, here was a car with a broad range of talents. It was also the official safety car for the 2004 F1 season. Credibility was assured.

Which one to buy? 

AMG’s hot-rod went on sale in the UK in 2005 and the last ones left showrooms in 2010. There was a facelift in 2008 that sharpened the F1-inspired snout and brought a number of worthwhile improvements – including a 10 per cent quicker gearshift for the 7G-tronic auto (there was no manual option on the 55). There was also a Black Series version with slightly more power, slightly less weight and lashings of carbonfibre, but these are incredibly rare and hence expensive.
The great thing about the ‘regular’ SLK55 AMG is that it offers fine value, with prices from as low as £15k. But a word of caution. These may be affordable, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be cheap to run. The AMG components are often fearsomely expensive to replace – particularly the brakes. (And while you’re thinking costs, note the jump in road tax for post-April 2006 cars, from £280 to £490.) Be on your guard and check the history fastidiously to avoid big bills lurking round the corner. If in doubt, get it inspected: a couple of hundred spent now could save thousands.

Performance and specs

Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG
Engine V8, 5439cc
Power 355bhp @ 5750rpm
Torque 376lb ft @ 4000rpm
Transmission Seven-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Weight 1575kg
0-60mph 4.9sec
Max speed 155mph (limited)

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2430mm
Length 4087mm
Width 1794mm
Height 1271mm
Kerb weight 1540kg

Common problems

• The 113-series V8 is ‘bulletproof’, and generally regarded as trouble-free. You hardly ever hear of any problems with them, but it’s always good to remove the airbox and check for gasket oil leaks
• A recent set of spark plugs gets a big tick. There are 16 of them (specialists charge £5 a plug, Merc dealerships £10) and it’s a two-hour job to change them, so even an independent will charge the best part of £200 for full replacement.
• Make sure the gearbox has had its fluid changed at 40,000 miles – essential to prolong its life and avoid a major bill. If the shifts are smooth it’s probably OK – their speed and trigger-points depend on how the car has been driven. 
• The gearshift in the earliest cars was rather dull-witted, but there were a number of software upgrades to improve its responsiveness, so try to confirm these were done.
• The earliest cars had a particularly impressive brake set-up with six-piston calipers. After 18 months these became a (rarely taken) option and a four-pot set-up became standard. Either is more than up to the job, but the discs are formidably expensive – budget around £1000 just for a pair of fronts, even from an independent. 
• If the handling feels out of sorts, the front suspension arms may need replacing – fortunately not an expensive job. Potentially very costly, though, is any damage to the alloys, so check for anything more than light kerbing, including the inside of the rims for pothole damage.
• Standard interiors are a little plasticky but build quality is good. Check the roof mechanism works just as it should – they’re generally reliable but any repairs will be pricey.
• The most common fault is with the heated seats; if the elements in the base and backrest need replacing it’s a £1700 job.

Owners clubs, forums and websites

• www.slkworld.com – SLK community
• www.mbclub.co.uk – forums, advice, events
• www.benzworld.org – forums, advice, classifieds
• www.mercedes-amg.com – official AMG community

Summary and prices

You should expect to pay £10k-plus for an average-miles 2005 car with a full service history. £15-20k buys you a really nice 2005/2006 example with desirable extras. The Airscarf neck-heating warm-air system is highly prized, and the Comand infotainment system too (though its satnav isn’t great). The Harman Kardon hi-fi is nice to have, as is the upgraded Designo interior. Post 2008 facelift cars start at around £20k, rising to around £27k for an end-of-the-line 2010 car.
Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG
Last updated: 27th Sep 2016
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Mercedes-Benz SLK
1795 32500 GBP


    • Engine size: 1.998
    For sale
    07874745614 View contact number
    07874745614 View contact number
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £19,750 £19,750

    One Owner, Service History, Alloy Wheels, Full Leather, Colour SatNav, Air Conditioning, Dual Climate Zones, Automatic Electric Windows, Parking Sensors, Bluetooth, iPod Connectivity, Electric Mirrors, Electric retractable hard top, Powered Folding Mirrors, Central Locking, Auto Lighting, Panoramic Sunroof, CD Player, Immobiliser, Remote Central Locking, Front Centre Armrest, Heated Seats, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Power Steering, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Stereo, We provide an Inclusive Parts & Labour Guarantee, Extended Warranty Available at Cost, Service history OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK - A SELECTION OF UP TO 200 CARS AND VANS AVAILABLE. Click on dealer 'VISIT WEBSITE' link for many more large photographs of this car. We are a West Sussex Trading Standards Approved 'Buy with Confidence Dealership'.

    • Mileage: 3083 mi
    • Engine size: 2143
    For sale
    £19,750 £19,750

    £12,950 £12,950

    2012 61;;Obsidian Black with Black Leather - Airscarf - Neck Level Heating, Heated Front Seats, Becker Nav Pilot, Parktronic System Front and Rear, Roll Over Bars with Brushed Aluminium Inserts, Remote Control for Roof Operation, Cup Holder, Analogue Clock, DAB Digital Radio, Air Conditioning - Automatic, Disc CD Changer, Bluetooth Interface for Hands - Free Telephony, Satellite navigation;;6 months warranty, Next MOT due 25/01/2019, Full Mercedes Service History - Last serviced on 07/12/2017 at 65,236 miles.

    • Mileage: 66000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.796
    For sale
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  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £16,990 £16,990

    Variant name:SLK250 CDI BLUEEFFICIENCY AMG SPORT ,Derivative:R172 ,Variant: 2014 64 Mercees SLK 250 2.1 CDI AMG Sport Convertible 7 G Tronic Facelift Model We are delighted to be able to offer this pristine example low mileage 2014 64 reg Mercedes SLK 250 2.1 CDI AMG Sport 2 Door Convertible 7 G Tronic 204 BHP Facelift model which has been fully maintained and serviced by Mercedes to the highest of standards and finished in Polar White Paintwork with contrasting black leather upholstery which is the perfect colour combination. Optional extra spec includes heated seats, parktronic including parking guidance, Mirror package - Auto dimming & Folding with a total cost of £1360. Also includes 18" AMG Alloys, Paddle shift, Bluetooth with audio streaming, Air con, DRL, Wind Deflector, Auto start / stop and full AMG Sport Body . Viewing is essential as we are confident there is no better example available on the market so call us now for more information and to avoid disappointment !

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 25086 mi
    • Engine size: 2.2
    For sale
    £16,990 £16,990