SLK Curiosity

Hi, I am looking into getting a later 90's to early 2000's SLK. I am more of a Porsche person, and am actually in the process of selling what I have now, and I am not so up to speed on MB products. I was wondering
if anyone would care to offer some input or advice on purchasing one of theses vehicles. I would appreciate any pointers on what to look for, as well as any glaring differences between the 230 or 320, besides the powerplant. I appreciate any input. Thank you.
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First I recommend you drive one. I have one a 2001 slk320 "sport". I love the car, but it is *not* a porsche. A porsche is more sporty to drive, firmer "road" feel, more throaty exhaust, more emotional.
The SLK320 is torque, (reasonably)fast, handles very well but most of all it is more comfortable that a "true" sports care (e.g. a porsche). I can get in this car and drive six hours, get out and still walk. It is fun to drive, but as you probably know people can't see you in those infernal SUVs, so you have to watch out for soccer moms whose driving is third or fourth down their list of priorities.
Second I recommend the normally aspirated six (the four supercharged lacked the torque I like and the supercharged six was scary, I would have gotten myself into trouble with it)
Third the vario roof can be very expensive to fix. Either get an extended warrantee or be very certain that there are no mechanical problems with it. The properly maintained engine and transmission are pretty bullet proof. I have has a small seal leak on the transmission (reparable pretty cheaply, as I recall a couple of hundred), the tail lights have a recall and will be replaced free by the dealer (if you can stand going there), is also a recall on certain harmonic balancers. Good tires are (as usual) important for noise reduction as well as handling.
The interior "paint" can wear prematurely, so a black interior is less likely to show wear. The "sport" or AMG trim is much nicer anyway.
That's about it.
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..... what about the Chrysler Crossfire... just a thought
cheers
ps appreciated the comments made re Porsche and SLK, being on the older side myself, I've been torn back and forth between the two... haven't taken either on a long distance trip though.... the better long distance comfort of the SLK certainly helps my buying decision

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Well, I have a 1989 944 right now. It is in great shape, but as many people know (and some people hate to admit, like myself) Porsche products can be finicky and prone to small engine malfunctions that can lead to extremely harsh permanent damage to many engine components. I have narrowed down my search to either a Porsche Boxster or a MB SLK. Again, on the reliability end (which I hate to admit) it seems as thought the Mercedes would be a bit more on the safe side. You don't even want to know what kind of money I have put into a 1989 Porsche, let alone what I would go through with an early 2000 model Boxster. 2-3000 dollars to fix the roof on an SLK is play money compared to what I spent fixing just a few things that are "routine" on the 944.
I really liked the idea of having the 230. I read the specs and doesnt seem as thought the 320 is much quicker. Fuel economy isn't much of an issue, but are there any issues with the forced induction on this model? I can't imagine it has much of a boost, but I am just wondering if there have been any issues linked to the supercharger.
Mainly, it has caused me great pain to sink money into a car that could a.) break down at any time, b.) not start for some mysterious reason or c.) blows up for an unexpected, unforeseen reason with me in it. This is why I want to make the switch from Porsche to MB.
Are there any particular years that are more desired, and were any changes to the body made prior to the new generation?
I appreciate you input.
And, the crossfire is nice, but I could not bring myself to drive a vehicle with a chrysler badge when what I really want is one with a MB badge.
Thanks.
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I have felt your pain. Just my advice to get the roof checked out and make certain it does not move when left in a partially open position until the timer expires. (movement indicates a possible leak in the hydraulics).

Not saying the 230 is a bad car by any stretch of the imagination. (again be careful of fancy interiors because there was a peeling problem)., just that I fond the six more to my liking in the torque department. It "feels" more muscular. More like the difference between a TR-6 and the four banger. Both motors are as smooth as they can be. Not much difference in fuel consumption. I think the 230 is a bit lighter.

Ever own a 60's or 70's british sports car?

Personal taste. The engines have gotten larger and I think the 230 is no longer offered in the SLK. I think there were three iterations.

The coach work on the Mercedes seemed better, the styleing more refined and the vario roof gives me the best of both worlds.
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OldTau wrote:

I own a 1998 SLK and a 2003 Porsche 911 Cabrio. When I want to have fun on twisty roads, for short trips, I drive the 911. But if I am going on a long trip, twisty or not, then I drive the SLK. One is for driving fun while the other is for comfort and convenience. Both cars are reliable and fun to drive regardless of weather conditions. I love the retractable hard top on the SLK.
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Hernando, re comfortable SLK; are you refering to the convenience of the automatic tranny or is it that the SLK's ride isn't bone jarringly hard?
I'm trying to decide between SLK, Boxster, TT or simply a more comfortable car like the CLK or Audi A4 ... Comments anyone?
cheers, guenter

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Guenter,
Actually, I am referring to both features! The automatic tranny is great when I drive up to San Francisco and have to stop and hold at an uphill intersection... I also get there in one piece and don't have to look for a chiropractor. But when I really want to have fun, I drive the 911 along our twisty highways 9 and 35. Nothing beats that experience!
Best regards,
Hernando
Guenter Scholz wrote:

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Thank you everyone for all of you input. I have actually made a decision on a Saab 9-3 Convertible. It is a little more practical, and was actually more exhilarating to drive than the SLK230 I test drove. It will be a great second car that I will be able to use year around, rather than just summers as I live in Northern NY where the seasons are: Winter, Cold, Colder and Construction. Thanks again.
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wrote:

Don't forget the three weeks of bad sledding they call summer :)
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