Mercedes-Benz SLK 280

Many owners may not realise it, but this is a 'sports car'

Evo rating
Price
from £30,975
  • Loads of urge, fine chassis
  • Annoying auto box, slightly iffy image

It may not amount to an image crisis, but all the SLKs that I see on the road seem to be driven by women of a certain age. And with certain hair. Which is a shame, because the latest SLK is a proper driver's car that deserves to be taken seriously. Observe this 280. Looks like a baby SL55, packs a potent 3-litre V6, scoots to 60 in a smidge over 6sec, and has that magical disappearing roof. Bit of a shocker, though, to discover that this particular car, with extras like the ten-spoke alloys and seven-speed auto, costs a whopping £38,440. Save £1770 and go for the manual 'box - the auto flicks constantly and jerkily between ratios, and the switches for the manual over-ride are a non-intuitive fiddle, the shifts ponderous. Otherwise the 280 goes really well, rides firmly but not crashily and has a playful streak, too, if you're prepared to look for it. Wonder how many owners ever will...

Specifications

EngineV6, 2996cc, 24v
Max power231bhp @ 6100rpm
Max torque221lb ft @ 3500rpm
0-606.2sec (claimed)
Top speed155mph (limited)
On saleNow

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