As a toy for the wealthy, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 scores, offering a well-balanced, fun drive, but you will have to ship luggage separately for road trips. Good cabin tech is available, but adds to a costly bundle.
For the 2009 version of its SLK-class roadster, Mercedes-Benz made some styling changes and updated the electronics in the cabin. The car can be had as an SLK300, SLK350, and SLK55 AMG. The SLK350 features a newly refined engine.
As a roadster, there isn't a lot of room in the SLK350, but it is very fun to drive. Our test car, without the Sport package, didn't deliver extremely sharp performance. Everything felt a little softened, better for standard driving conditions.
The retractable hard top affords a real rear window, but forces some design cues. The antenna gets mounted to the side of the car, which looks a little odd, and the gap for the trunk panel comes all the way up to the B-pillar.
These controls heat the seats and turn on the Air Scarf feature. We were impressed to find that the heating in the seats runs up the backs. The Air Scarf blows warm air from the head rest onto your neck.
As the cabin is cramped for space, Mercedes-Benz mounts cup holders high up on the instrument panel. These work fine for short cups, but anything particularly tall will interfere with the driver's view.
The track screen shows what source the music is playing from, as well as any other available information, such as song title and artist name. Choosing music from any audio source is done with the set of buttons to the lower right of the screen.
Mercedes-Benz has embraced Bluetooth cell phone integration, and offers a good interface for the SLK350. The list of compatible phones is limited, though, with mostly Nokias, Motorolas, BlackBerrys, and the iPhone.