I could not concur more! We have a 1999 SLK230 with less than 14,000 miles on it. It has been to the shop for all of the same problems for a total of 20 repair visits for 39 complaints and 49 service repair days. Latest is the driver's door window "exploded" after the 9th fix while sitting in the service bay.
Maybe lawyers are a good thing.
I own a 1998 SLK. I also had problems with the roof refusing to open/close. Other problems with the trunk lid remaining open a tiny weeny bit after opening/closing the roof.
Dealer could fix that after 9 visits and finally a threat to 'take the matter to court'.
My SLK 320, I have had the car for 11 months now. it has been to the shop for 22 or more problems. least of being that the radio mutes its self each time I hit the brakes.
The biggest problem I have had was a total electrical system failure.
Once while my car was in the shop it was taken home for the weekend by one of the workers at the lot. 60+ miles were put on the car. (after it was fixed and the trunk was full of leaves)
My god... that is a bad thing indeed... seems like dealer experiences differ quite a lot worldwide...
I have just bought slk 230 1999, guy assured me it was perfect.
I had traveled about 200 miles home when I looked in the rear window and saw smoke puthering out of the car. I pulled over at once phoned the AA who took it to local garage. The only thing they thought it may have been was an over fill on the transmission fluid being kicked out of the breather pipe. A bit like the old Granada thing.
Has any one had a similar thing happen to them. The car was pressurised tested and left for over an hour and the garage could not get it to do it again. Car is driving perfect, but obviously I am worrying about it doing it again. Had transmission oil changed and level corrected.
Just got car back today, I have owned it one week. I don't want to comment on reliability yet as car was going great guns on the M1 at 80 miles per hour. I don't think I overstretched it!
1999 SLK 230. Just coming up to 300,000 miles on this baby. No problems, other than me just wearing out the tires and other parts that just go with time and miles on the road. The German engines are what make these vehicles. I won't buy anything else.
Having had experience with Mercedes E-class, I have to agree with the title of this review. Our Ford Fusion is a far better quality vehicle.
I bought my 1999 SLK 230 K last year (66000 miles in Yellow)... A year has gone by now, and it has been perfect for my needs, and for a 12 year old car, still looks like new. Everything still works on the car, and it gets me to work the 16 miles along country lanes, often with a smile on my face...
Re driving the car; it is not a "Porsche chaser", but will hold its own against MX5s etc if you want to "play" (safely of course)... and it is a lot more comfortable than a Lotus Elise.
I personally think that the supercharged 2.3 is a great engine, and judging by the different versions of it in the Mercedes range, should be reliable. If you want a hooligan sports car, then buy a Subaru... If you want a traditional sports car with enough ooomph to leave most traffic behind, then try an SLK!...
As for reliability, my neighbour's Astra has had 2 expensive repairs on her folding roof in the last year... None on my Merc so far!!
I'm still driving and enjoying my 1999 SLK 230 today. Going strong with no major problems. I do however baby that car and do all the maintenance on it. Wish it could get better mileage than 23 MPG.