/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 (photos)

The SLK350 went through some changes for the 2012 model year, going from luxury cruiser to high-revving sports car.

Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne Cunningham
35054558_OVR.JPG
1 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The SLK350 used to be a baby roadster, a lightweight open-top cruiser in Mercedes-Benz's lineup. But the 2012 model features a more aggressive design and engine.
Back to review.
35054558_FT.JPG
2 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
Vents in the hood and sides, along with a lower air intake, help give the SLK350 a performance look.
Back to review.
35054558_SS02.JPG
3 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The new engine uses direct injection to feed six cylinders, and makes 302 horsepower, plenty for this roadster.
Back to review.
35054558_SD.JPG
4 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The SLK350 is strictly a two-seater, and although the cabin is compact, Mercedes-Benz includes useful ergonomic features such as putting the power seat controls on the doors.
Back to review.
35054558_SS03.JPG
5 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The SLK350 comes with a retractable hard top, standard, which folds up or down in just 20 seconds. When up, it creates a nicely curved roofline.
Back to review.
35054558_SS04.JPG
6 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
Mercedes-Benz put nicely curved back glass in the roof, and CNET's car came with a panoramic roof option, another glass panel on top. The car can also be optioned with an electrochromatic roof that changes opacity at the touch of a button.
Back to review.
35054558_SS06.JPG
7 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
Mercedes-Benz managed to keep air turbulence down to a minimum in the cabin, but there is still quite a bit of external noise when driving at speed with the top down.
Back to review.
35054558_SS07.JPG
8 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The roof folds up into the trunk, taking up some space. However, this trunk space is still very deep, and would easily fit a couple of roller bags.
Back to review.
35054558_INT.JPG
9 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The SLK350's cabin is nicely appointed, as you would expect in a car that starts at $55K.
Back to review.
35054558_SS08.JPG
10 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
Mercedes-Benz gave the SLK350 a sport steering wheel, with a flattened bottom and sculpted thumbholds over the spokes.
Back to review.
35054558_SS09.JPG
11 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The steering wheel holds buttons for voice command, stereo, and phone control.
Back to review.
35054558_SS10.JPG
12 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
These white-faced gauges give a performance look to the instrument cluster. The center monochromatic screen shows trip information, plus a coffee cup icon representing the drowsy-driver detection feature.
Back to review.
35054558_SS12.JPG
13 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The SLK350's seven-speed automatic uses a lock-up clutch for tight gear shifts, which transmits power more directly than a torque converter to the rear wheels.
Back to review.
35054558_SS13.JPG
14 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The dial for the COMAND system, set in the console, controls all onscreen functions.
Back to review.
35054558_SS15.JPG
15 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The navigation system uses a hard drive for map storage, and can render buildings in 3D.
Back to review.
35054558_SS16.JPG
16 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The navigation system includes traffic data, which it uses to route around trouble spots.
Back to review.
35054558_SS19.JPG
17 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The Bluetooth phone system includes a full address book, automatically downloaded from a paired phone.
Back to review.
35054558_SS20.JPG
18 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The car recognizes a good number of audio sources. Music Register refers to the onboard hard drive, which has room for music storage.
Back to review.
35054558_SS23.jpg
19 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
With both iPods and USB drives, the system organizes music by album, artist, and genre. It also displays album art.
Back to review.
35054558_SS27.JPG
20 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
The Harman Kardon audio system uses 11 speakers and a 500-watt amp to produce excellent sound.
Back to review.

More Galleries

2023 Toyota Sequoia debuts bold new look

More Galleries

2023 Toyota Sequoia debuts bold new look

57 Photos
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is ready to catch big air

More Galleries

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is ready to catch big air

55 Photos
2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

More Galleries

2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

64 Photos
The best Nintendo Switch games to play right now

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play right now

41 Photos
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is one cute ute

More Galleries

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is one cute ute

38 Photos
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: My, what big everything you have

More Galleries

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: My, what big everything you have

75 Photos
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gains S-Class tech and swagger

More Galleries

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gains S-Class tech and swagger

49 Photos