Anybody feel strongly about the MB SLK350?

I’m thinking about buying a 2006, low mileage (60K) version, and I’m interested in how these hold up. I’d be using for a daily driver and I don’t really want to be making boat payments for my buddy Max.

Thanks for your thoughts.

10 years old + complex folding roof + premium German brand = expensive to maintain, in my opinion. I’d take the same money and buy a newer Miata, if I fit.

+1 to @texases

A Mercedes is great for the first few years, rides nice, lots of luxury ammenities. After several years the repairs start to creep in and they are VERY expensive. Also complicated so the average home mechanic will have trouble handling any repairs. If you buy this your buddy Max will love you for all the money you spend with him on repairs, or he will hate you because the repairs are a PITA and no amount of money will make it worth his while.

If you are looking for a used luxury car take a look at a Lexus, they are made by Toyota and have a better chance of having reasonable repairs.

One of our forum members–db4690–is a former Mercedes mechanic, and I think it would be very instructive to see his comments about this model in particular, and the marque, in general. Hopefully he will chime-in.

In the meantime, one of the things for the OP to consider is whether that vehicle was maintained on the basis of elapsed time (as it should have been), or whether the previous owner(s) used odometer mileage as their guide for maintenance. Since that vehicle was driven–on average–less than 7k miles per year, I would worry about a build-up of damaging oil sludge in the engine if the oil wasn’t changed twice a year–despite the low number of miles.

Also, has the coolant been changed?
How about the brake fluid and the trans fluid?

Unless you have full maintenance records to verify how often (if ever) these maintenance procedures were done, you could be buying yourself a vehicle with a lot of expensive problems waiting to explode in your wallet.

How fat is your bank account?
Know how to make a small fortune? Start with a large fortune and buy a used Mercedes.

I love the look of a MB but would never own one. I just can’t afford to keep one on the road. The same goes for BMW and Volvo.

I might purchase a vehicle such as an SLK but not for a daily driver at that many years on it and out of warranty.

Consumer Reports doesn’t show any reliability history. Perhaps the sample size was too small. Regardless, if I had to guess, I’d go along with the crowd in saying that this car has a good chance of being expensive to maintain. Whether you like the car enough to take that risk is up to you.

Car sites like Edmunds don’t show repair and maintenance records cars older than 2009, but you can use those costs for comparative purposes. Maintenance costs are about $6500 over 5 years for 2009 SLK350 or Lexus SC430 convertible. The repair cost for the Lexus is about one third of the Benz ($3500 vs $9500). If you don’t mind paying the extra to own the SLK, then go ahead. Just be aware that it will cost more to own.

I realized these cars aren’t exactly comparable, but the SC is a higher level than the SLK IMO. Look at 2009 R&M costs for other touring convertibles. You might throw a C6 Corvette into the mix, or a BMW Z3 or Z4.

Not suitable as a daily driver; the upkeep will kill you. A couple down the street had 2 Mercedes cars, a E 320 and one like the one you want to buy. It was the husband’s toy; he drove a Ram truck as his daily driver.

They have since retired to Arizona, and since they only need one car, his will be the weekend toy.

I’d add a Benz to my stable if my resources were unlimited… and if I had a stable… which I might have if my resources were unlimited… :smile:

you could maybe afford a mustang for your stable, definitely a pinto

it s the fillies that are costly…, but rewarding…

but what do I know? I m a maverick …

A roller skate would stretch my budget… a pair of roller skates would kill it completely. :smile:
PS: LOL, liked the pun… :smiley:

Quoting @wesw

"but what do I know? I m a maverick ."

So wes, are you a steer or a heifer?

Oops, sorry. I shouldn’t pick on you like this was plan B.

As for the Mercedes at hand, it may be the very best car for sale in your area, but then again it may be a money pit.

I knew a guy 30 years ago who claimed that he and his cronies used to like to get to get together at their country club and brag about how much they spent maintaining their luxury cars. If you are part of a similar group, and can afford it, go for it.


Here’s my background . . .

I’m currently a fleet mechanic, but I was at a Benz dealer for almost 10 years, from 1999 to 2009. So I definitely know your prospective car

Now here’s my opinion. And it’s not good

I have strong feelings against the car, and advise you NOT to buy

The M272 V6 engine is IMO a complete POS. Sky high oil consumption, and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it. And there are a couple of severe mechanical problems that can ruin your day in a hurry. In one year I did 6 cylinder heads on that type of engine, all under warranty. Not exactly a good sign. The heads have numerous problems, some of the them potentially catastrophic. The valve seats tend to wear out quickly, and it’s not rare for the head to drop a valve. Obviously the results are catastrophic. As for the bottom end, what tends to happen is that the balance shaft teeth go flat. Then you need to remove the engine and transmission, just to replace that balance shaft. If you have to pay for that repair, you’ll be crying

There were also numerous problems with the variable valve timing. Both mechanical and electrical

The 722.9 automatic transmission is IMO a completely unreliable unit. It got introduced in 2004, and when I left in 2009, I was still replacing transmissions, valve bodies, etc. There was no end in sight. Some of the repairs involved essentially disassembling the entire unit, taking measurements and replacing parts. And these repairs were still under warranty at the time. Think about it, if a transmission is needing major repairs before the new car warranty is expired, how good could it possibly be?

Both the engine and transmission are not particularly easy to work on. You have to follow the correct procedures, or you’re going to regret it. Numerous special tools are needed, so your average independent may not be equipped for major repairs.

2006 was a very bad year for Benz. Regardless of the engine and transmission, electrical problems were extremely common. And the build quality in general wasn’t all that great. Totally out of relation to the price paid for the car

Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones. But I’d say the odds are decidely against you. A bad bet

As was mentioned earlier, how about buying a reliable convertible, such as a Miata

Sounds like the lost dog, deaf, blind in one eye, 3 legs, goes by “Lucky”…

I was confident that db4690 could provide more detailed information on that model than most of us could, and–obviously–I was right.

Clearly, a model that was very problematic for owners while it was under warranty would be a financial disaster for someone unfortunate enough to own it after 60k miles.

yes MG, I am nice here (since whitey left anyway)

but to answer your question…, neither.

I am still a raging bull…, sorry, that should read aging bull…



But unfortunately . . . ?! . . . I won’t be able to offer too many opinions of Benz models after 2009

I would assume that Benz models after 2009 are just like the ones before 2009; a high end car that requires high end maintenance and high end repairs.

The Benzes I’ve worked on were mostly late 70s and 80s. They were expensive for the time also.

I remember back in the day having to take a day trip to Wichita, KS with the dealer driving a brand new Benz and 4 passengers. That was one of, if not the, most miserable road trips I’ve ever been on.

A 100 degrees outside and the A/C quit 50 miles out of town. Another 30 miles and the auto transmission was getting so balky we all thought we were going to be hitchhiking soon.
That was soon followed by an intermittent bucking from the engine.

I’m sitting in the back next to the window sticker, eyeing it from the backside, and wondering why in the hxxx someone would wade into something like this.
The only reason I could come up with was to one up the neighbors…