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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
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    £18,000 £18,000

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    If you are looking for perfection then you have found it here with this simply stunning Calcite white SLK that looks like it just left the showroom. This is a very rare petrol, 6-speed manual example that drives perfectly. With just 14,500 miles, 3 owners and 4 services the last in February this year including a brake fluid change at Mercedes Maidstone. 4 tyres with lots of tread, this wonderful example needs nothing. We have an MOT until September this year, 2 remote keys and 4 perfect unmarked diamond-cut wheels. The roof works perfectly and the interior is completely unmarked. No dings, dents, scratches and hardly any stone chips to speak of, if you are the most fastidious of customers then you need to see this car! Spec includes full black leather, sports suspension, tyre pressure loss warning, air conditioning, AMG styling package, AMG 18″ wheels, heated seats, rear parking sensors and AMG sports package, stop/start function. • Just 14,500 miles • 3 owners • Full service history (3 at Mercedes) • Immaculate throughout We are 30 seconds from junction 2a off the M26 and 5 minutes from junction 2 off the M20. Viewing strictly by appointment. Call us on 07711 645 465 to view. Part exchange welcome.

    • Year: pre 1900
    • Mileage: 14500 mi
    • Engine size: 1.8
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  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £10,995 £10,995

    This gorgeous V6 automatic SLK has covered just 11,400 miles and has had one owner from new. In impeccable, almost as-new condition, this SLK wants for nothing. We have just had the car serviced at Mercedes Maidstone, to add to the 2 existing stamps in the book. All 4 tyres have lots of tread, all 4 wheels are immaculate and the bodywork shows no marks, dings or scratches anywhere. In fact, the previous owner assures us this car has never been driven on a motorway! We have 2 keys and all MOT certificates and the current MOT expires 11 October 2017. Spec includes AirScarf, air conditioning, electric drivers seat, parking sensors, memory pack (steering, mirror, seat), leather steering wheel and gear stick, folding mirrors, cd changer, nappa leather, heated seats and 17″ alloy wheels. Please note the new registration is GV55ECE. • 1 owner • 11,400 miles • Recent service • MOT until October 2017 We are 30 seconds from junction 2a off the M26 and 5 minutes from junction 2 off the M20. Viewing strictly by appointment. Call us on ANYTIME 07711 645 465 to view. Part exchange welcome.

    • Year: 2005
    • Mileage: 11400 mi
    • Engine size: 3
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  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £6,990 £6,990

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    £8,995 £8,995

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