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You are in the Prices Paid - Buying & Leasing Experiences
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Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, Coupe, Convertible
#6 of 127 SLK350 on order
Oct 29, 2004 (3:51 pm)
smoothyazn: Yes, I put a deposit down on an '05 SLK back in June - was number 7 on the dealer's list. I test drove a 7-sp auto, irridium silver/black, in late Sept. and can confirm that it is light years ahead of the SLK230/320 from 2004 model year in any way you can think of. Faster, sounds better, looks more masculine, feels more comfortable. I owned one of the first SLK230's, and this doesn't even remind me of it.
My new car is due 12/17 at Mercedes of Escondido. Only options are xenons and premium package, and accessory wheels.
My dealer charges MSRP - no markups. I ended up ordering the 6-spd and a different color (capri blue/black) after my test drive, just because the automatic seemed a little too busy and complicated for me, and because this is a weekend car anyway -- not for commuting. Also, 80 percent of their orders were for silver!
I saw in ad in our San Diego paper for a launch edition SLK350 for $59,500, for people who don't care about money and want to jump in front of the line.
They did not have an SLK55 there and won't for several months, but for what it's worth the extra .5 sec advantage 0-60 isn't worth the extra $15K. Looks are subjective, but IMHO the extra front fascia ducts and sculpting on the SLK55 seem a bit overwrought, and the four tailpipes on what is still a small car might be overkill for some. It might all look better in black. Finally, you can't get a stick with the AMG version. However, if you like the look and have the $60K+ to spend, I have no doubt it will be blast to drive. 362hp!
Road and Track just published an SLK review in their November issue, by the way.
#7 of 127 Re: SLK350 on order [billymay]
Nov 01, 2004 (11:04 pm)
the dealerships down here also charge msrp. they don't budge either. I wouldnt pay 59K for the launch edition unless it was fully loaded. The value will depreciate very much the next year and you would lose alot of money if you tried to sell it. The dealership here has several SLK's on pre-order and receives on average about 4 a month. I am thinking of waiting till prices start to settle down. I have never owned a mercedes before but I have been hearing that they have some quality issues lately. I drive a lexus and the engine is excellent, no maintenance necessary at all. I love the new look on the SLK350, it is a total chic magnet, also not too many people have it. I don't mind paying MSRP for new hot model, I just don't like it when the sales person makes 5-6K off of me.
#8 of 127 Re: SLK350 on order [smoothyazn]
Nov 04, 2004 (1:47 pm)
Absolutely agree on not paying $59K. Prices will settle. Mercedes doesn't usually move off MSRP for the first couple of years of a hot model, though -- the SL, CLK cabrio and SLK are all going to have strong demand for a while. In the long run, you're always going to take a bath on a new car, so to me it's all about the enjoyment.
Sometimes you can find an almost-new car, but an almost-new SL costs essentially what a new one does. CLKs and SLKs similarly won't be available as lightly-used bargains for a while. Demand here in southern California is very strong.
Regarding reliability: This will be my second Mercedes (first was a '98 SLK). I've heard M-B take some licks for quality, and I do believe that Lexus is a much better drive-it-and-forget-it car. M-B isn't the only German marque with issues. I just sold my '02 BMW 325 coupe which went through power window and sunroof motors faster than it used oil. Then the front brakes needed doing at 21K miles for $642 (covered under included service, because it was under 3 years old). My SLK, in 7 years, had a bad instrument cluster ($500 my cost after warranty expired, dealer helped cover the rest) and a bad fuel tank sender (due to California gasoline formulation, which affected other makes as well - covered under warranty.) Other than that, it was fine. I guess the point of my longwinded explanation is that complicated cars will always have more issues, and M-B makes complicated, high performance cars. As a footnote, my old SLK held its value extremely well - I sold it for 60% of MSRP after 7 years (low mileage, though).
My dealer experience with M-B has been superb -- enough that I sold my BMW and ordered the new SLK. Given the warranty, and M-B's recognition that quality has been a sore point, I'm hoping that they got the new model right. I did, however, go with the manual instead of the much-touted 7-speed automatic, which seems needlessly complex (and also less fun). Anyway I'm not losing sleep over it.
So, yeah, expect more maintenance with an SLK, but you're right about the looks. Saw a silver one this weekend, parked far away, and even in a common color, with the standard wheels, it looks almost exotic.
Having driven Lexuses, I can vouch that they're better built than any German car. Problem is, I think it's a tradeoff between maintenance and lust factor/soul. You will pay to drive a Benz, but every time I dropped the top on my SLK I was glad I bought it instead of a Lexus. My brother felt the same way about his 911, which was a pretty demanding car when it came to seals, adjustments and maintenance. It looked and sounded great, and that's worth a few trips to the dealer. My two cents, anyway.
#9 of 127 Re: SLK350 on order [billymay]
Nov 04, 2004 (4:15 pm)
Congratulations on your new SLK 350. I totally agree with you about the appeal of the car. I've seen many hot looking roadster/coupes lately such as the S2000, G35 Coupes, and RX 7 but none of them compared to the new exotic SLK 350. Those other cars are very common on the road and hopefully with the new SLK, the price tag will help to keep it exclusive. So far there are only 30 SLK 350 here in Hawaii.
I am working with a local used luxury car dealer who has a deal with Mercedes of Honolulu to purchase their new vehicles for under MSRP. They will sell me the car for a little under MSRP and we will both profit from the deal. The options that I will add on to the car is:
lighting package, Power seats, AMG package, entertainment package, and wood trim. The total including destination charge and 4.6% sales tax comes out to little over 59K. Hopefully I can get it for 55-57K.
I have been reading that other SLK 350 owners are having their dashboard customized since it is made of plastic material and you can easily leave scratch marks on there. Other than that the car is perfect.
For the price you paid on the car, you get your value back when other drivers show you their envy on the road.
#10 of 127 NEW SLK 350
Nov 11, 2004 (11:56 am)
I've owned my new SLK 350 for about 2 weeks now. What a thrill! The car, with the options that should be standard in this calibre of vehicle, cost much more than the suggested base model MSRP (45,600 vs. 54,000). I just can't wait for the break-in period to pass so I can see what the engine can really do. Overall the car is very responsive, quick on take off, and turns a lot of heads. The optional premium sound system by Harmon Kardon gets you SUPERB sound and the Command Center console, but will add about $1700.
#11 of 127 Re: NEW SLK 350 [myslk350]
Nov 11, 2004 (10:14 pm)
wow cool... I am picking up my SLK 350 tomorrow in Honolulu. I ended up paying MSRP for the car. I did my research and ask several dealers on the mainland how much they are selling their cars. They stated that everyone is paying MSRP due to the high demand and waiting period for the car. I paid 59K fully loaded including tax and destination charge. I can't wait to take it for a joy ride with the top down. The Valvona wood trim is worth it. I will post up my experience with the car in the next few days.
Nov 14, 2004 (6:07 pm)
With the strong demand for MB's coupes and convertibles as of late, the residuals for these must be quite high and very attractive to lease. Has anybody been quoted lease residuals and money factors for an SLK350? The SLK350 is a gorgeous car.
Funny you had a bad experience with a 325Ci. It is totally who you talk to though. Everybody has different experiences. My Dad has an '04 X5 (which according to some is the red-headed step child of the BMW lineup) that he took delivery of in February with over 17K miles and hasn't had one hiccup. My friend's Dad has 2 S Class MBs, an '00 S430 and an '02 S500. They have each given him an immense amount of trouble. The COMMAND system on both cars went haywire after the warranties were up.
#13 of 127 Re: Leasing [nyccarguy]
Nov 15, 2004 (3:26 pm)
Nyccarguy: Yes, I'm sure it's a luck of the draw to some extent (unless you buy a Lexus...) Don't get me wrong - I loved running even mundane errands in the 325Ci. I believe the X5 is a totally different platform, but I'm sure there are some shared components. If the BMW dealer had been great, I probably would have overlooked the flaws. But every time a window died, or the steptronic needed to be flashed (to fix a clunky disengagement in sport mode), I had to get on a wait list for the next appointment. That exacerbated even the minor problems. It doesn't take too many days of not being able to lower the driver's window on your $37K car to make you think a bit. Maybe it's not completely fair to blame the car, but you really do buy the dealer network with the car...
Both this SLK and the last were basically bought as weekend cars, and my M-B dealer is superb. ("When do you want to bring it in? Sure, no problem!") My current everyday driver is an '05 Jeep Liberty. We'll see how that goes. My '96 Grand Cherokee wasn't so hot. They cost less than half what an SLK does, so I'm more forgiving.
I'm starting to view European cars as fun second cars (SLK, SL, 911) or dream cars (SLR, Carrera GT, GT2/3). For the most part, they're overkill -- I don't need 300 or 500hp to pick up the dry cleaning or go to the gym. So, when I apply that standard to the SLK350, it's a fast and gorgeous drop top (as you say) with a good warranty that in the long term is more maintenance/repair intensive. When I sold my last SLK to a private buyer, her everyday ride was a Lexus RX300, so I don't think I'm the only one who is starting to think this way.
I do wish the German makers would make more of the complexity optional. I specifically did NOT order the new 7spd auto, power seats and some other items because the SLK is already complicated and not too lightweight. I drove someone else's '87 560SL last month, top down and, while the SLK would devour it on any track, the fun quotient was pretty good for a chassis that goes back to the late 1960s, IIRC.
#14 of 127 Re: Mercedes-Benz SLK: Prices Paid & Buying Experiences [lee_w]
Dec 13, 2004 (9:50 am)
I bought one of the first AMG SLKs back in 99. I have not been happy with the purchase. The AMG package itself is great, but at the core you've still got an "entry level" Mercedes. For example, the $10,000 in options doesn't improve the overall fit and finish or quality of the interior parts. It's frustrating purchasing a $50,000 car and have it come with cheap cupholders and other low-grade entry level parts. The new model SLK may have a higher overall build quality than the previous model, but I still think that you're better off with a stripped down SL than an overbuilt SLK.
#15 of 127 Re: NEW SLK 350 [smoothyazn]
Dec 28, 2004 (6:49 am)
I'm very surprised that everyone seems to be paying MSPR for the SLK 350. I recently pick up a new SLK 350 in Ct. It's Capri Blue/black, AMG,HEATING & LIGHTING PKGS. the dealer came in $2,000 UNDER MSRP. and I waited only 7 weeks for the car.