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Roadshow Video Reviews
2009 Mercedes Benz SLK3502009 Mercedes Benz SLK350 is a peppy roadster with an interesting array of climate-control features not seen in a convertible before.
>> If any car is the spiritual descendant of Mercedes' legendary Pagoda SLs, this is it, the SLK. We have an SLK 350. Let's check the tech, but we must also check the charm. ^M00:00:12 [ Music ] ^M00:00:17 >> Now of course part of the charm with the original Pagoda SL was the good-looking cloth top, but even better that gorgeous metal hard top from whence it got its nickname. But of course, you have to wrestle that thing off with a ceiling-mounted winch in your garage. Things have gotten quite a bit easier as you can see. The retractable hard top is just part of SLK design. It's standard and just 22 seconds going either way. ^M00:00:42 [ Music ] ^M00:00:44 >> Our 350 has a 3.5 liter V6 as you might guess -- no turbos. Naturally aspirated fuel injected, 300 horsepower, 265 foot-pounds of torque. It doesn't look too amazing on paper, but it's really a nice little go-getter. This engine's good torque delivery, everything's nice and crisp, the only transmission you can get is this seven-speed automatic with Sport shift. That's a little bit of a let down. I'd love this car with a manual gearbox, but no can do. The good news is it is seven-speed, so it's quite sophisticated and it has a really useful comfort and sport switch down here. In the comfort mode, the car will start off at launch in second gear and it will even go backwards in second gear reverse to make everything very smooth. No jerky low gear to start with. On the other hand, when you go to sport, it really races the shift points quite a bit higher on the rpm. And you get a significantly sportier feel overall in the power delivery. The whole curve of how the power comes on is just noticeably better. Inside our SLK, we definitely have a simple array of technology because it's not loaded. That is the base audio system and as you can see you do get a color LCD, but it's not touchscreen. It's not terribly large. We have the AM/FM radio -- no HD radio. A bass six-CD changer built-in, that's a nice thing. And you've also got control in here for the standard Bluetooth audio system. And the nice thing about this car is it has what's called REST Mode. Capital R-E-S-T. That's Mercedes' technology that lets you use air conditioning and heating, they say up to 30 minutes after the car's been turned off. If you really let the car run if you're just gonna dart into the store for a minute, you wanna keep it cool or keep it warm. And along those lines, our vehicle has what's also called the Heating Package. That means we have heated seats, which is not that exciting these days, but we do have Mercedes Air Scraf. That's this big vent back here in the headrest and it's controlled by these buttons here on the dash. So it will blow warm air around your neck, which is always the one damn place that a convertible can never get warm. Now to make that head unit get a whole lot cooler, you go for what's called the Multimedia package. It's gonna give you a 6.5-inch screen, hard drive-based navigation, also a Harmon-Kardon Logic7 audio system, which will sound better. It can also digest DVDs for standing still video playback. Now here's the downside, if you wanna get all the audio bells and whistles is you gotta get another package to get Sirius, an iPod connector and a little auxiliary jack pigtail for a non-iPod MP3. I'm kind of annoyed by that. They should have one package that has all the audio bells and whistles. ^M00:03:26 [ Music ] ^M00:03:28 >> Let's price our cute little roadster. You're gonna do about 51 grand for an SLK350 with destination, but that includes the retractable hardtop, seven-speed automatic and the more desirable 3.5 liter V6. To do it CNET style, add 3,000 more for hard drive navigation, Harmon-Karmon audio, DVD playback and voice control and I would add a thousand more for the Heating Package that gives you that clever Air Scraf around your neck and heated seats. ^M00:03:56 [ Music ]