One of the key differences between the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK Class and other roadster and convertible models, including other high-end small German roadsters, is that it coddles and nurtures—even with the top down. With luxurious finishes and with features that surpass any other convertible, the SLK holds true to its from-a-distance tease of being a mini-SL.
Whether you go with the base SLK 250 or the SLK 350, 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.
Across the model line, you also get Mercedes' hardtop convertible roof, which was designed in-house and remains one of the best of any on the market. It 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 SLK's short body means that you get a bit more turbulence than in longer convertibles.
For 2013, what used to be part of the Premium Package—power seats, satellite radio, a media interface, and a Harman/Kardon surround-sound system—is also now standard on the SLK 350.
Separately, 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. About the only thing missing from these systems is a top-notch voice-control system.
Other standalone options include push-button start, parking sensors, automatic dual-zone climate control, and a panoramic glass roof. One other option we strongly recommend is 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. It's a tech-fancy feature that's been talked about for a couple of decades, and it's not only here but works as well as you could imagine; switch it to clear and the cabin brightens back up.
Airscarf remains the other truly innovative feature in the SLK—and while it's been offered now for many years there are few alternatives in rival models that do quite the same thing; simply put, warm air is blown gently around your neck, letting you drive top-down in colder weather than you otherwise might.