SLK-Class (R171) – MY2005-2011

Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG (R171)
Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG (R171) – photo by AngMo

Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class (R171)

The R171 was the 2nd generation of SLK, produced from 2004-2010. It featured an electronic retractable hardtop and much better dynamics than its predecessor. The AMG version – the SLK55 – was hailed as one of the best performance roadsters at the time. It came with a plethora of options as standard, in stark contrast to the Porsche Boxster at the time. However, the Boxster was considered to have slightly better driving dynamics, thanks to the SLK’s more nose-heavy weight distribution. Routine maintenance on the SLK is much less complicated than the Porsche, and the car is considered to be reliable.

Desirable Features

  • “Airscarf” – a neck heater for when the roof is down
  • Harman Kardon stereo
  • Wind deflector
  • For SLK55 vehicles: AMG “030” Performance Package – stiffer suspension, upgraded brakes, carbon fiber interior accents, lighter wheels, performance steering wheel, delimited top speed

Engines

  • M113 (SLK55 AMG)
  • M272 (SLK280, SLK320, SLK350)

Problems

  • Seals around windshield or rear windows can leak, as can trunk seals; revised seals available
  • A/C compressor squeaks or rumbles – may be due to bad pulley or bearings; revised parts available
  • A/C blower stops working or only works intermittently  – may be due to internal circuit breaker in the blower motor regulator
  • Steering wheel buttons – may stop working due to electrostatic discharge damaging the steering column module