Needed alignment after 50 miles. Dealer aligned under warranty.
Recalled for new emission sticker (no mechanical fault). Dealer installed in 5 minutes.
Roof "C" Pillar rubbing against trunk liner when roof was retracted. Dealer fixed by melting plastic trunk liner and depressing the liner while the plastic cooled. Fix worked, but plastic area is visually degraded in trunk.
Fuel gauge started registering 3/4 tank regardless of fuel condition. Dealer replaced fuel level sensor inside fuel tank.
Front passenger disc brake rotor badly scored with less than 1000 miles on vehicle. Dealer found some type of foreign material or debris inside the caliper. Dealer did not replace rotor.
Interior plastics are painted rather than being a solid color with the color contained within the plastic as in most cars. Paint is very soft and chips when contact is made with seatbelt latch, garment buttons, etc. In light colored interiors, these chips show the dark color of the base plastic. Dealer cannot repair, but will replace if they become excessive.
Folding metal hardtop puts this car above the competition from Porsche, Audi, and BMW. When the top is up, the vehicle looks and feels just like a coupe. The top is impervious to the weather and permits the car to use automatic carwashes. However, when the top is up, there is a massive blind spot on the driver's side.
The 2.3 Litre supercharged engine is a marvel of power and economy. I easily get 30 MPG on the highway and 22-24 in town while having power to spare. However, the engine noise is coarse and does not sound like a sports car. While some may think I was crazy, I prefer the supercharged 4 to the normally aspirated V6. The 2.3 litre engine is nearly a match for the V6 performance-wise and gets much better mileage.
The interior is gorgeous with real leather and polished aluminum accents everywhere. The instrument panel gauges are very classy and retro in appearance, and the two-tone black and tan interior of my vehicle looks great.
The seats have good lateral support, but are not comfortable on long-drives as they are fairly stiff and have almost no lumbar support. Expect to get out and stretch every few hours.
Overall, the car feels more solid and heavier than it really is, which is mostly a good thing. However, the steering uses recirculating ball design (same as older Buicks) and does not transmit much road feel to the driver.
The car handles extremely well, with flat cornering and grippy tires, but is not as exciting to drive as the BMW or Porsche. This is disapointing when you really want to feel like a speed racer, and great when you simply want to cruise with the top down.
I would say that one differentiator between the SLK and the other roadsters is that because of the solid feel and steering, you don't always feel like the car will dart away unless you watch it every second.