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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 cars for sale

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  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £11,995 £11,995

    Variant name:SLK 200K 2dr Tip Auto ,Derivative:SLK200 KOMPRESSOR ,Variant: SLK200 KOMPRESSOR

    • Year: 2010
    • Mileage: 33015 mi
    • Engine size: 1.8
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    Drayton-Mercedes-Benz of Stoke
    01782 437113 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £16,990 £16,990

    Variant name:SLK200 BLUEEFFICIENCY AMG SPORT ,Derivative:R172 ,Variant: SLK200 BLUEEFFICIENCY AMG SPORT Summer and winter get the roof down with the Mercedes Amg Roaster full service history 9 months mot or more and 2 keys come with the car features include black leather hide neck warming air flow cruise control heated seats looks and drives superb lovely car A 2 YEAR WARRANTY is available with Breakdown Recovery, MOT Test Insurance for ONLY £349 All of our cars have a full mechanical appraisal, HPI checked & cleared, 6 month warranty Included with the option of a further 2 years, Including MOT insurance, roadside recovery, parts, labour, with 7 Auto Devotion sites stocking over 250 cars supplied from part exchanges across our group, Competitive Finance Available.

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 30970 mi
    • Engine size: 1.8
    For sale

    £15,990 £15,990

    Mercedes-Benz SLK 2.1 SLK250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 7G-Tronic Plus 2dr (start/stop) 1LadyOwner FMSH, 2013 (13 reg), Convertible, 37,000 miles, Automatic, 2143cc, Diesel, Nice 1 Lady Owner + Dealer Example With Full Mercedes-Benz Service And Just Had B Service, With Lovely Spec And Just Had All 4 Wheels Professionally Refurbished., Upgrades - Cup Holders, Ashtray/Cigarette Lighter, Designo Seat Belts - Red, Standard Features - DAB Digital Radio Tuner, Air Conditioning, Start/Stop System, Tinted Glass - Green, Tyre Pressure Loss Warning System, Electric Windows (2), Upholstery - Leather, 18in AMG Alloy Wheels (4) - 5 - Spoke Design with (Front 235/40 Tyres and Rear 255/35 Tyres) and Locking Wheel Bolts, Audio 20 Radio - 5.8in Colour Display, Integrated 6 - Disc CD Changer (MP3 Compatible), Bluetooth Interface for Hands - Free Telephony, Alarm System. 2 seats, Silver, Serviced By Mercedes Walsall 06/2014 @ 11,415 Miles, 09/2015 @ 19,821 Miles and Just Had B Service 07/2017 @ 36,079 Miles Including Air/Oil Fuel Filter and Brake Fluid. Full Service History Complete with Full Original Book Pack and Both Remote Keys. HPI Clear and Ready to Drive Away. Non Smoker, Please be aware that the specification of the vehicle above can sometimes differ as a result of the use of third party data., Opening Times, 9-6pm Monday to Friday , 9-4pm Saturday , Closed Sundays, Other times available by prior appointment., Finance Arranged Fully FCA Authorised, GBP 15,990 p/x welcome

    • Mileage: 37000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.143
    For sale
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £16,995 £16,995

    Satellite Navigation Command , Panoramic Retractable Hard Top, Heated Seats, Airscarf's, Front and Rear Parking Sensors , Automatic Headlights, Automatic Wipers, Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, CD Player, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Audio, Aux Port, USB, iPod Connectivity, Sports Seats, SD Card Reader , Day Lights, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Attention Assist, Speed Limit Assist , Voice Command , Electric Handbrake, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Computer, Traction Control, Eco Mode, 17'' Alloys, Full service history

    • Mileage: 21000 mi
    • Engine size: 1796
    For sale
  • Mercedes Slk 2003

    £1,900 £1,900

    Mercedes SLK Convertible. Lovely car, drives extremely well. MOT until next July 2018. 118,000 miles. Black on black. Electric hood, mirrors, seats. CD player. Electric windows. £1900 ovno. Phone/text: 07951832873 or 07748027730.

    • Mileage: 118000 mi
    • Engine size: 1998
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  • MERCEDES SLK SLK350 Convertible Auto 2011

    £13,950 £13,950

    2011 11;;Iridium Silver with Black Leather - COMAND Satnav with CD/DVD Changer and Linguatronic, Airscarf - Neck Level Heating, Sports Package, Harman/Kardon LOGIC 7 Surround Sound System, Heated Front Seats, Parktronic , Roll Over Bars Covered in Leather, Alloy Wheels-18in AMG + Sports Package, Telephone Pre-Wiring with Hands Free, Air-Conditioning, Telephone Equipment (Bluetooth Interface). Three Owners with Full Service History.

    • Mileage: 73000 mi
    • Engine size: 3.498
    For sale
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £8,699 £8,699

    Colour SatNav, Full Leather, Heated Seats, Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Traction Control, Power Steering, ABS, Parking Sensors, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Remote Central Locking, Head Restraints, Height Adjustable Seat, Adjustable Steering Column, Metallic Paintwork, Front Fog Lamps, CD Player, Radio, Colour Coded Body, Multiple Airbags, 17'' Alloys, Full service history For more information and to arrange a test drive please contact the Watford [Kings Langley] branch on 01923 270000 or alternatively Bishops Stortford on 01279 656000. Part exchange welcome, Finance available regardless of your credit rating, All our cars are Hpi checked and are supplied with upto 3 Years RAC Platinum Warranty and RAC GAP Insurance is available, We are a private company with over 30 years experience within the motor trade. Situated in Bishop's Stortford only 15 mins from JCT 27 on the M25 or 5 mins from JCT 8 on the M11 all of our cars are hpi checked and come with a comprehensive warranty., www.totallytradedirect.co.uk

    • Mileage: 43000 mi
    • Engine size: 1796
    For sale
  • Mercedes Slk 1999

    £1,500 £1,500

    Mercedes Slk , Convertible, 84,500 miles, Mot March 2018 , Everything works fine , smooth automatic gearbox , good condition for year, £1500 o.n.o

    • Mileage: 84500 mi
    • Engine size: 2300
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  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £10,499 £10,499

    Variant name:Roadster ,Variant: Kompressor Auto Great mileage on age and a lovely service history. Iridium silver metallic paint, full black leather seats, Bluetooth connection, rear parking sensors & 5 spoke alloys. (Price is £10499, pictures used from previous sale)

    • Year: 2010
    • Mileage: 55897 mi
    • Engine size: 1.8
    For sale
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £19,450 £19,450

    Exclusive Quilted Leather, Airscarf, Parktronic Parking Guidance, Sat Nav prep, Glass Roof, Heated Seats, AMG Styling Package, AMG Sports Package, Sports Suspension, 7 speed Auto, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Audio, DAB Tuner, 6 cd Changer, Auto Lighting, LED Running Lights, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, 18'' Alloys, Main dealer service history We are delighted to offer for sale this stunning 2014 64 reg Mercedes Benz SLK 250 CDi AMG Sport BlueEfficiency Roadster 7 speed Auto finished in a truly fabulous colour combination of Polar White with Exclusive two tone quilted leather upholstery. One of only a handful of SLKs available in the UK with Exclusive quilted leather upholstery the photographs of this vehicle really dont capture the beauty of the interior, viewing is without a doubt highly recommended. This particular SLK really is a stunning example with just one previous owner from new alongside MB service history and benefits from having a fabulous specification, which includes: Exclusive two tone quilted and perforated bespoke black and white leather upholstery with detailed red stitching, AirScarf neck level heating, front and rear Parktronic parking guidance, multi stage heated seats, Becker Map Pilot Satellite Navigation preparation, vario glass roof, Audio 20 stereo system with integrated 6 cd changer, DAB digital radio tuner, USB storage and Bluetooth audio. AMG Styling Package, AMG Sports Package, Sports Suspension, 18 inch AMG 5 spoke design alloy wheels, LED running lights, Bluetooth telephone, 3 spoke Sports multi function leather steering wheel with paddle shift controls, Eco start stop function, 7G-Tronic Plus 7 speed Automatic gearbox with Economy, Sport, tiptronic and paddle shift options. Auto lights, cruise control, red seat belts, 2x keys and a full book pack. A fabulous example finished in a un

    • Mileage: 25000 mi
    • Engine size: 2143
    For sale
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £9,990 £9,990

    Calcite white, Full black leather, Sport pack including 18'' alloy wheels, Red seat belts with red stitching, Driver and passenger heated seats, Air scarf, Parktronic front and rear, Bluetooth phone prep, 6 disc multi play CD, Fully automatic power hood, Wind deflector, Cruise control, Climate control, Mercedes Benz + 2 lady owners from new, Only 60,000 miles, Full service history, 8 stamps in the service book, 2 keys, 1 year MOT, HPI clear, Excellent finance options available, Comprehensive 3 year warranty options available, EXCEPTIONAL CONDITION THROUGHOUT

    • Mileage: 60000 mi
    • Engine size: 2996
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  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £18,250 £18,250


    • Mileage: 38000 mi
    • Engine size: 3498
    For sale
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