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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
Heated seats and Mercedes' clever AirScarf system that blows warm air at your neck will keep you toasty during a crisp autumn drive, while available sun-reflective leather should reduce the always unfortunate summertime butt scorch.
The available Magic Sky Control roof—which alters its opacity with the push of a button—is a whopping 110 pounds lighter than the steel cap.
Car and Driver
a bright, seven-inch LCD handles navigation as well as manipulating the climate control and infotainment systems.
There's no rearview camera at all, but as long as the top is down, there's little need for one.
One more clever new option is Airguide, transparent plastic shields that fit to each roll bar and pivot, allowing personalized adjustment to block cabin turbulence.
The Mercedes SLK is a nurturer at heart. It coddles its two passengers with luxurious finishes and with features that surpass any other convertible, missing just a voice control here or there to be completely on top of the game.
All SLKs come with power windows, locks and mirrors; climate control; an eight-speaker AM/FM/CD player with HD radio, a USB port and Bluetooth audio streaming; and leather seats. They also have the hardtop convertible roof, which opens via a pull lever in an egg-shaped enclosure. Pull the tab and the compact hardtop tucks away in 20 seconds. A mesh air blocker does what it can to cut buffeting, but the short-body roadster has a fair amount of turbulence.
On the SLK 350, Mercedes bundles key options in packages. The Premium package adds power seats; satellite radio; a media interface; and a Harman/Kardon surround-sound system. A Trim package wraps the shifter and steering wheel in walnut; a Lighting package adds active bi-xenon headlights and cornering lights. The Heating package adds the wonderful AIRSCARF jet of air for your neck (more below), and heated seats; the Sport package gets its own AMG-style 18-inch wheels and distinct body add-ons, as well as ambient interior lighting. A Multimedia package tops it off with COMAND controller and hard-drive navigation with real-time traffic; a six-DVD changer, a 10GB hard drive and an SD card slot for audio.
You can opt for features like push-button start; parking sensors; automatic dual-zone climate control; and a panoramic glass roof as stand-alone options. We'd highly recommend the Magic Sky Control roof, which photochromically tints its glass panel from nearly opaque to fully transparent, spanning almost the entirety of the main roof panel. Switch it to clear and the cabin opens back up. It's a tech fancy that's been talked about for at least two decades and finally is here--and works as advertised.
The SLK's other hallmark feature is AIRSCARF, the lovely touch that blows warm air on your neck to steel you for lowering that steel top more often. Think of it like the ancestor of the carefully mapped climate control in the Nissan Leaf--in that it's climate control from a psychological angle.
The SLK is the convertible that coddles: it blows warm air around your neck, and tints your roof glass for you.