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  1. #1
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    New Owner in Devon, UK

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    I've just left the Jaguar marque after some 13 years to fulfil a long-held wish - a Mercedes SLK (well, SLC now). The choice of which variant and which options was not easy to make; we possibly have more model variations in the UK than in the USA, with the lowest powered 200 petrol (184 hp) in either basic (Sport) or AMG-line trim and with either manual or automatic transmission; then there's the 250 diesel (204 hp) also in Sport or AMG-line, the 300 (245 hp, AMG-line only) and the one true AMG version - the 43 (367 hp).

    My last car was a Jaguar XF-S, my first diesel car, and I was impressed by the smooth and quiet power delivery (275 hp, 0-60 in 5.9 seconds) and I was very sorry to see it go after 6 years.
    I borrowed an SLC 250 AMG-line for a while and found the diesel engine a bit rough and noisy and the car felt heavy at the front end. Also, the one I drove was the AMG-line trim, which struck me as mainly cosmetic bling that didn't add to the appeal (for me, anyway) and stopped me from using my local 8-car river ferry because of the low front spoiler grounding on the ramps; it was also prone to grounding just turning into my driveway. Another factor to be considered was that my wife had just parted with her Mazda MX-5 (Miata) after 13 years and would be sharing the SLC, and although she loved the SLC and it's folding roof in particular she didn't want anything as powerful as the AMG 43.

    So, ruling out diesel and AMG-line the clear choice for us on UK roads would be the petrol 245 hp SLC 300 Sport automatic, without the AMG-line trim... but this combination doesn't exist in the UK market! Black mark, Mercedes. The only petrol version we could have was the basic 200 Sport. Nice engine, the 9-speed auto gearbox seemed pretty good and I liked the interior, but the car is somewhat underpowered - and I nearly went to Audi or BMW. Then I priced up the SLC and managed to get nearly 28% off the basic list price, an unbelievable discount, so I could add on all the extras we both fancied and still stay well below budget. That clinched it.

    The car hasn't disappointed, although having the windscreen wiper controls on the same stalk as the direction indicators and headlamp dip/flash is a bit fiddly, and a bit close to the cruise control switch, but I'm getting used to it. Why on earth can't Mercedes put the wiper controls on the opposite side of the steering column to the direction indicators like everyone else? Otherwise I really enjoy driving the car although I do hanker after a few more horses under the hood. I even caught myself making enquiries about tuning chips, knowing that the 184 hp and 245 hp versions are the same basic engine and I could easily get mine up to 230 hp; I wouldn't want to risk losing the warranty on a 3-month old car, though. Maybe later.

    I hope that the SLC is a success, as sales seem slow and Mercedes have already brought out a special edition - but I don't think that adding more "bling" such as red outlining on the front spoiler will help! Taking the 300 model with its bigger wheels and variable suspension and stripping off some of the fancier "AMG" bits (e.g. those bright red seat belts!) to reduce the price might just make it more attractive to buyers, particularly in view of the new UK road tax penalty on expensive cars.

  2. #2
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    Congrats and welcome

  3. #3
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    Welcome aboard.

 

 

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