1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 Kompressor from North America


A great roadster, very well balanced, fun to drive


The paint peels off the interior surfaces.

Tail light recall, no problem since.

Headliner sagged, and had to be replaced.

The valve cover has some kind of corrosion that my mechanic says is harmless, but it looks bad, and he said there's no easy way to fix it.

General Comments:

This is a very well balanced car.

It is solidly built -- I have had no maintenance issues to speak of.

When it is thoroughly warmed up, it feels as smooth as an electric car. Very refined feel.

Not a speed demon, but faster than it seems. If you shift the automatic down to 3 or even 2 in slow urban traffic and keep the revs up, the supercharger is always on tap, and the car is very darty and responsive.

Going from 60 to 110 seems to take no time at all.

The car likes high speeds. Very stable and balanced at well over 100 mph.

The seats lack lumbar support, and are uncomfortable for any trip over an hour.

Gas mileage (premium only) varies. If you drive it hard through the mountains, downshifting and really laying into it, 17 MPG. Normal city driving, about 23 MPG. Gentle highway driving in fifth gear with cruise control, maybe over 30.

It feels remarkably massive for such a small car, but it handles well and predictably in fast mountain driving.

It is a classic, unadorned, fuselage-like design that will age well.

The retractable hardtop alone makes the car worth owning.

When the top is down, there is very little trunk space.

There are some things that can go wrong with the car that are very expensive to fix.

Having a good Mercedes mechanic you trust makes life much easier (and cheaper).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2012

1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK Kompressor from North America


Solid, classic design, fun ride


Engine revs, but the transmission sometimes won't engage after stopping, turning and while driving. Have to shift into park, then drive, and it's fine for a while.

Gets stuck in high gear when accelerating. Have to shut the engine off, then re-start, and it drives OK until it happens it again.

Occasionally it has to be shut off and re-started because of rough idling - almost stalls, then perfect after re-start.

Any suggestions?

General Comments:

With all these problems, it still gets me to work.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th April, 2011

1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 2.3 from Cyprus


Complete rubbish - do NOT buy!


Head gasket blown.

Heater started dripping water onto passenger's side.

Transmission blown, 2nd gear would not engage.

Air flow meter changed twice a year.

Supercharger blown (2200 euro replacement from MB).

Intermittent electrical faults.

Rust on body work due to bad quality paint prep.

General Comments:

Ladies and Gents.

This is unquestionably the worst car that I have ever owned, absolutely everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

It is very uncomfortable on long trips and very much unreliable. In my three year period of ownership, I ended up being best friends with the people in the MB garage. To be completely honest, I would have paid to get someone to take it off my hands in the end.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th March, 2011

16th Mar 2011, 11:34

I was gonna call BS until I saw that your first year of ownership and how low the miles were. You did get a lemon.

1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK SLK230 230 turbo from North America


The interior is a problem that can't be overlooked


The plastic interior of the car was a poor call by Mercedes. They admit to making thousands of them from 1997 through 2006. The red interior especially scrapes to black when touched with a pocketbook, watch, or some other not uncommon object one uses in a car. Because of the number of vehicles involved and the potential cost to them, they will not help rectify this situation in those cars. Retreating the plastic is a temporary fix, and does not stand up any better than the original coat.

General Comments:

It is a shame that this car was made with inferior materials, but a greater shame that Mercedes will admit to the problem, but not help rectify it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th October, 2010