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STYLING | 8 out of 10
An appropriately luxurious look
new shoes and a nose job
Very, very similar to models that cost three times as much
Car and Driver
The current Mercedes-Benz SLK saw a redesign in 2005 and was refreshed last year with restyled front and rear ends. The arrow-like nose is capped by a big three-pointed star, and side strakes and dramatic details elevate the look far above the first-generation SLK's effete softness. Motor Trend says it includes a "larger mesh in the grille and redesigned foglamps" up front, as well as a "nose job-trimmed back a bit, with the wings fleshed out for a more Formula 1 look." Motor Trend notes the "taillamps are now tinted" and "exhaust tips are squared off," while Car and Driver observes "the rear bumper is more sculpted and adds a mock diffuser." The look is wedgy and purposeful, and it bears more than a passing resemblance to the heftier SL-Class grand tourer. The SLK55 AMG got similar updates, but "the changes are less evident because of its larger grille," according to Car and Driver. The SLK55 AMG performance edition also wears bigger wheels, aerodynamic body add-ons, and a flat-bottom steering wheel; the same details can be applied to non-AMG cars by ordering a Sport Package.
The interior is a high-class, low-key affair with lots of dark leather and low-gloss plastic putting a priority on driver controls. Edmunds adds that the Mercedes-Benz's 2010 design for the SLK-Class is "beyond reproach," and Kelley Blue Book is impressed that "Mercedes has done a wonderful job of organizing the SLK's interior without losing the look and feel common to all Mercedes products." TheCarConnection.com's editors agree, though we observe that, for better or worse, lots of secondary controls-particularly on the radio-have been uniformly designed and grouped in squadrons of matching buttons. It's visual unity, but operational chaos at times. For 2009, the SLK received some updates inside; Car and Driver reports "new gauge faces and a new three-spoke steering wheel" among the most notable changes, along with "an updated navigation system" that Edmunds says will display along an "expanded 6.5-inch LCD screen."
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLK puts on an SL-like sporty face that matches its purposeful cockpit.