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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

    £16,950 £16,950

    AMG Sport Edition 125, Exclusive Quilted Leather, Comand Sat Nav, Airscarf, Linguatronic voice control, Power Folding Mirrors, Crystal Grey Leather, Heated Seats, Sports Seats, Parktronic Parking Guidance, 7 speed Auto, AMG Sports Package, AMG Styling Package, Sports Suspension, Bluetooth Audio, DAB Tuner, Auto Lighting, LED Running Lights, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Cruise Control, 18'' Alloys, Main dealer service history We are delighted to offer for sale this exceptionally high specification May 2012 Mercedes Benz SLK 250 AMG Sport Edition 125 BlueEfficiency Roadster 7 speed Automatic finished in a stunning colour combination of Palladium Silver metallic with Exclusive quilted leather upholstery. One of only a handful of SLKs available in the UK with Exclusive quilted leather the photographs of this vehicle really don't capture the beauty of the upholstery ... viewing is without a doubt, highly recommended! Fabulous specification with close to £6,000 of options: Exclusive quilted and perforated bespoke Crystal Grey leather upholstery, large screen Comand Satellite Navigation System, AirScarf neck level heating, power folding mirrors, Advanced Parking Guidance, heated seats, DAB digital radio, Black Ash wood interior trim, Linguatronic voice control, road sign recognition, auto dimming mirrors, Media Interface including memory card input, HDD music register, USB Storage and Bluetooth Audio. AMG Styling Package, AMG Sports Package, Sports Suspension, Mirror Package, fully electric vario roof, LED running lights, Bluetooth telephone, fully adjustable Sports seats, 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, rain sensing wipers, speedtronic cruise control, Pedestrian Protection, tyre pressure loss warning system, 2x key

    • Mileage: 41000 mi
    • Engine size: 1796
    For sale
    The Lanmere Motor Company
  • MERCEDES SLK SLK250 CDI BLUEEFFICIENCY AMG SPORT 2012

    £12,490 £12,490

    Mercedes-Benz SLK 2.1 SLK250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG Sport 7G-Tronic Plus 2drHUGE SPEC- LOW MILE + SAT NAV COMES WITH AMG SPEC- 6 MONTHS WARRANTY, LOW MILE, FULL LEATHER INTERIOR, FRONT AND REAR PARKING SENSORS, 12 MONTHS NEW MOT, FULL HISTORY,2 SETS OF KEYS, LED DAY RUNNING LIGHT, VERY CLEAN BODY WORK, PRIVATE NUMBER PLATE INCLUDED, FULL DEALER FACILITIES,DRIVE AWAY INSURANCE,ANY PART EXCHANGE WELCOMED, Air Conditioning - Automatic, DAB Digital Radio Tuner, Tyre Pressure Loss Warning System, Electric Windows (2), Upholstery - Leather, Alarm System, Audio 20 Radio - 5.8in Colour Display, Integrated 6 - Disc CD Changer (MP3 Compatible), Bluetooth Interface for Hands - Free Telephony, Tinted Glass - Green, 18in AMG Alloy Wheels (4) - 5 - Spoke Design with (Front 225/40 Tyres and Rear 245/35 Tyres) and Locking Wheel Bolts. 2 seats, Silver, Category d, All major banks cards accepted, contact us any time on: 07989 424242, or email sales@redbridgemotortrade.co.uk, We are open 6 days a week 9.30am till 6.30pm alternative appointment can be arranged, please visit our website at www.redbridgemotortrade.co.uk to view our wide range of top models, we can arrange delivery please ask for a competitive quote

    • Mileage: 48720 mi
    • Engine size: 2.143
    For sale
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £10,990 £10,990

    Palladium silver, Gullwing red leather, Driver and passenger heated seats, Air scarf, Climate control, 17'' alloy wheels, Bluetooth, Single disc CD, Rain sensor wipers, Fully automatic power hood, Infrared vario roof (remote control roof operation), Parktronic front and rear, Roll over protection, One spinster owner from new, Only 56,000 miles, Full service history, 6 stamps in the service book, Just had a major B type service, 2 keys, 1 year MOT, HPI clear, Excellent finance facilities available, Comprehensive extended warranty options available, EXCEPTIONAL CONDITION THROUGHOUT

    • Mileage: 56000 mi
    • Engine size: 1796
    For sale
  • MERCEDES SLK SLK250 2.1 CDI BLUEEFFICIENCY AMG SPORT AUTO SAT NAV 2012

    £15,495 £15,495

    ** FINANCE AVAILABLE FROM 8.9% APR ** 53,649 MILES FROM NEW ** TWO PRIVATE OWNERS FROM NEW ** FULL FRANCHISE SERVICE HISTORY WITH 5 MERCEDES-BENZ SERVICES FROM NEW ** 12 MONTH MOT UPON PURCHASE ** DIESEL AUTOMATIC CONVERTIBLE ** ALL HANDBOOKS AVAILABLE ** CAVANSITE BLUE METALLIC PAINTWORK WITH FULL BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR TRIM ** WHITE STITCHED LEATHER WITH HEATED SEATS ** THREE STAGE AIR-SCARFS (NECK LEVEL HEATING) ** BECKER SAT-NAV SYSTEM INSTALLED ** PANORAMIC GLASS ROOF ** AMG EXTERIOR BODYSTYLING ** 5 SPOKE 18 INCH AMG ALLOY WHEELS ** AIR CONDITIONING ** LED DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS ** AUTOMATIC HEADLIGHTS ** RAIN SENSITIVE WIPERS ** BLUETOOTH HANDS FREE READY ** CRUISE CONTROL ** 2 REMOTE KEYS AVAILABLE ** 3 MONTHS PARTS/LABOUR WARRANTY ** FREE DELIVERY ANYWHERE IN UK ** COMPLETELY MOTORING CHELTENHAM and GLOUCESTER **

    • Mileage: 53649 mi
    • Engine size: 2.143
    For sale
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £15,995 £15,995

    Electric retractable hard top, Alloy wheels LARGE SELECTION OF 2 & 4 SEATER CONVERTIBLES/CABRIOLETS ALWAYS IN STOCK, OPEN 7 DAYS, PX WELCOME, FINANCE AVAILABLE, 12 MONTHS MOT www.maidstoneautocentre.co.uk, FOR FULL DETAILS AND MULTIPLE PICTURES PLEASE VISIT www.maidstoneautocentre.co.uk

    • Mileage: 26000 mi
    • Engine size: 2143
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  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £14,250 £14,250

    Variant name:SLK250 CDI BLUEEFFICIENCY ,Derivative:R172 ,Variant: 2.1 TD SLK250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Mercedes-Benz SLK 2.1 TD SLK250 CDI BlueEFF 2-Dr Convertible finished in indium grey metallic with black leather interior Specification includes Driver/Passenger Seat Height Adjustment, Power-Assisted Steering, Rake/Reach Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel, Radio/CD/MP3/CD Autochanger, Bluetooth Interface Telephone Equipment, Eight Speakers, Tinted Glass, Electric/Heated Door Mirrors, LED Daytime Running Lights Exterior Lighting, Body Coloured Bumpers, Automatic Air Conditioning, Front Electric Windows, Front Head Restraints, Front Seats Sports, Steering Wheel Leather, Centre Console, Anti-Lock Brakes, Driver, Passenger And Front Side Air Bags, Electronic Stability Programme, Front Seat Belt Pre-Tensioners, Alarm, Remote Central Door Locking, Immobiliser, 17In Alloy Wheels, Space Saver Spare Wheel and Tyre Pressure Control.

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 30808 mi
    • Engine size: 2.2
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  • MERCEDES SLK SLK280-BLACK NAPPA HEATED LEATHER SEATS-17 INCH ALLOYS 2008

    £10,450 £10,450

    Metallic Obsidian Black, Dealer Demo + One Private Owner, Benefiting from a Full Mercedes Service History With 8 Service Stamps The Last @19965 Miles, Full Black Nappa Leather Heated Seats, Multi-Function Three Spoke Sport Steering Wheel, Ten Spoke 17" Alloys with Two New Tyres, Telephone Pre Insulation, Cruise Control, Auto Lights And Rain Wiper Sensors, On-Board Computer ABS Brakes, Electric Mirror Adjustment, Climate Control, Remote Locking Alarm, Supplied With Six Months RAC Platinum Warranty With A GBP 5000 Per Claim Limit And 12 Months Complimentary RAC Membership

    • Mileage: 20000 mi
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    £250 £250

    Mercedes slk 171 wind deflecter. Used but in fab condition.   Paid over£400 a few years ago . Genuine article 

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  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £2,695 £2,695

    Air Conditioning, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Traction Control, Cruise Control, Metallic Paintwork, Colour Coded Body, Remote Central Locking, Full Leather, Heated Seats, Retractable Headrests, Height Adjustable Seat, Sports Seats, Front Centre Armrest, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, CD Player, Radio, Electric retractable hard top, Alloy wheels, Service history Iconic Mercedes Sports car motoring - Fully retractable Electric Roof - Top specification - Personal Number Plate Included in price - To be sold with NEW MOT - Three year WARRANTY available.

    • Mileage: 96240 mi
    • Engine size: 2298
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  • Mercedes-Benz SLK

    £7,450 £7,450

    When Unattended Please Call Tony 07879 443805, P.X. and Finance a pleasure, Debit & Credit Cards Welcome. Excellent Black Metallic with as new Black leather electric memory and heated seats. Full spec includes: Colour screen sat-nav, neck scarf, heated seats, Harmon Kardan premium sound system with 6 C.D. stacker and auxiliary connection, rear parking sensors, electric steering column, fully electric roof, remote locking, excellent sports alloy wheels, electric windows and mirrors, seat height and steering column adjustment, A.B.S. braking system, traction control, cruise control Etc. Just 2 previous keepers, recent big Mercedes service and new M.O.T. RAC approved dealer, RAC inspection program and RAC warranty., This car is superb

    • Mileage: 49000 mi
    • Engine size: 2996
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