2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2008 Mercedes‑Benz SLK‑Class. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Performance of SLK350
  • Handling of SLK350
  • Reasonably comfortable ride
  • Retractable-top operation
  • Passenger space and comfort

The Bad

  • Automatic-transmission operation
  • Difficult to park
  • Control layout, especially cruise lever
  • Two-passenger limit
  • Modest cargo space

Notable Features of the 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

  • Manual or automatic
  • Retractable metal roof
  • Available lowered sport suspension
  • AMG appearance package
  • Anniversary Edition 10 package

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Mercedes-Benz redesigned its smallest sports car for 2005, giving the retractable-hardtop SLK-Class roadster a 3.5-liter V-6. For 2008, an anniversary edition called Edition 10 is available and marks 10 years on the road for the SLK.

Formula One racing cars and the automaker's SLR McLaren supercar inspired the styling on the SLK-Class. It's offered in SLK280, SLK350 and SLK55 AMG variants, and they carry on relatively unchanged for 2008. The SLK competes with the BMW M6 and Cadillac CTS-V.

The Edition 10 package, available on the SLK350, includes a standard automatic transmission, 17-inch wheels and red-stitched interior.

The SLK350 holds a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 that drives a six-speed manual gearbox or an optional seven-speed automatic transmission with Touch Shift operation. This engine benefits from variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust valves.

An SLK280 version with a 228-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 and either the six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic debuted in the 2006 model year. Mercedes-Benz also offers an SLK55 AMG edition with V-8 power that turns out 355 hp.


Exterior
The roadster features an arrow-shaped nose and a long hood. The SLK-Class has a steeply sloped windshield and taut body lines, and its retractable hardtop goes up or down in 22 seconds.

A lowered sport suspension is available. Alloy wheels hold 17-inch tires, and the perforated and ventilated 13-inch front disc brakes have four-piston calipers.

There's also an ...
Vehicle Overview
Mercedes-Benz redesigned its smallest sports car for 2005, giving the retractable-hardtop SLK-Class roadster a 3.5-liter V-6. For 2008, an anniversary edition called Edition 10 is available and marks 10 years on the road for the SLK.

Formula One racing cars and the automaker's SLR McLaren supercar inspired the styling on the SLK-Class. It's offered in SLK280, SLK350 and SLK55 AMG variants, and they carry on relatively unchanged for 2008. The SLK competes with the BMW M6 and Cadillac CTS-V.

The Edition 10 package, available on the SLK350, includes a standard automatic transmission, 17-inch wheels and red-stitched interior.

The SLK350 holds a 268-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 that drives a six-speed manual gearbox or an optional seven-speed automatic transmission with Touch Shift operation. This engine benefits from variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust valves.

An SLK280 version with a 228-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 and either the six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic debuted in the 2006 model year. Mercedes-Benz also offers an SLK55 AMG edition with V-8 power that turns out 355 hp.


Exterior
The roadster features an arrow-shaped nose and a long hood. The SLK-Class has a steeply sloped windshield and taut body lines, and its retractable hardtop goes up or down in 22 seconds.

A lowered sport suspension is available. Alloy wheels hold 17-inch tires, and the perforated and ventilated 13-inch front disc brakes have four-piston calipers.

There's also an AMG appearance package that adds 17-inch wheels, side skirts, a front air dam with wire mesh inserts, a trunklid spoiler and a lowered suspension. It's available on either the SLK280 or SLK350.


Interior
The roadster's interior features silver-colored switches and trim elements. The sculpted dashboard blends into the door panels on each side. Large chronometer-style gauges dominate the two-passenger cockpit. Trunk space is 6.5 cubic feet with the top down and 9.8 cubic feet with the top up.

For cool-weather driving with the top down, an optional Airscarf neck-level heating system blows warm air from the headrests.


Under the Hood
In the SLK350 model, a 3.5-liter V-6 with variable timing for both intake and exhaust valves develops 268 hp and 258 pounds-feet of torque. The SLK280 roadster contains a 228-hp, 3.0-liter twin-cam V-6. Either the six-speed manual gearbox or the seven-speed automatic with Touch Shift operation can be installed. A 355-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 powers the SLK55 AMG, which comes with the seven-speed automatic.

Safety
Side-impact airbags, all-disc antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system are standard. A BabySmart child-recognition system prevents the front passenger-side airbag from activating.

Driving Impressions
Acceleration is energetic and refined with the 3.5-liter engine. Automatic-transmission operation can be rude. It can get jerky at low speeds in lower gears and delivers a sizable jolt if you hit the gas pedal while slowing down.

Steering and handling are strong points, inspiring confidence and poised behavior. Better yet, the SLK's ride is easily tolerable for a sports car of this caliber. Sure you feel the bumps, but most are dispensed with rather handily.

The seats are adeptly supportive and snugly bolstered, yet surprisingly comfortable. Space is ample inside, and top-up visibility isn't bad. When parking, however, the driver may have no clue where the pointy front end is located. Wide doors make parking-lot spots a problem.



Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.9)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Very cool car to drive

by Chad from Tacoma, Washington on August 10, 2018

It is a classy and peppy sport coup. I find, despite its size, there is a lot of headroom. The sound system is not good though and if you want to update it to an aftermarket system good luck: requires ... Read full review

(5.0)

Fantastic roadster

by Filip54 from Palm Springs, CA on April 2, 2018

Great car, very comfortable for a sports car and with plenty of power when you need it! Retractable convertible hard top is smooth, fast and super convenient for the warm weather. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The SLK-Class received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker