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Mercedes-Benz SLC

FACE TO THE FUTURE (some text hidden)

By Car & Driving

Having re-badged its compact roadster as the 'SLC', Mercedes is continuing to evolve it. Does it all add up into an appealing package? The experts at Car & Driving decide..

Ten Second Reviewword count: 91

After two decades of selling its SLK model in the compact roadster segment, Mercedes re-launched the car in 2016 as the 'SLC', the name change acknowledging this model's traditionally close relationship with the brand's C-Class saloon, a car with which it shares most of its technology. Fresh additions to the model line-up have revitalised the range: the sporty top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 variant for example - and the entry-level SLC 180 derivative. In visual terms, stand-out SLC features include the standard-fit diamond radiator grille and the optional LED Intelligent Light System.

Backgroundword count: 120

The third generation SLK roadster proved moderately successful for Mercedes. Launched in 2011, it generally out-sold its key rival, Porsche's Boxster, two to one but that wasn't enough to satisfy the Stuttgart brand. Hence the move in 2016 to re-name and re-style the car, the 'SLC'-tag positioning it as the 'sporty' option for a Mercedes C-Class buyer wanting a roadster-style car for weekend or holiday use. Strip away the marketing flam though and to be frank, things are much as before. Visually, this car continues the SLK recipe that's been stablished since 1996 - long bonnet, compact cockpit and folding hard top roof - but adds to it a raft of fresh technology that should play well with potential buyers.

Driving Experienceword count: 340

The mainstream engines start with the SLC 180 which features a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine developing 156bhp. Next up are the 2.0-litre petrol variants, the SLC 200 which offers 184bhp and the SLC 300 which delivers 245bhp. The efficiency champion remains the 204bhp diesel model, the SLC 250d. For high performance, there's a fresh range flagship, the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43. This car mates a 367bhp, 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine with a modified version of the AMG sports suspension familiar from the old Mercedes-AMG SLK 55, and the combination is reflected in the sporty performance figures, with the SLC 43 accelerating from rest to 62mph in 4.7 seconds. The SLC 180 and SLC 200 models are fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The brand's latest sport/comfort-oriented 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is available for these models as an option and fitted as standard in the SLC 250d, the SLC 300 and the AMG SLC 43. Mercedes thinks that a big SLC selling point will be its 'DYNAMIC SELECT' vehicle dynamics system, one of those that enables you to alter your car's engine, transmission, steering and suspension characteristics at the touch of a button. The five modes - 'Comfort', 'Sport', 'Sport+', 'Eco' and 'Individual' are easy to select using the DYNAMIC SELECT button in the upper control panel on the dashboard console. The selected mode is shown on the colour multifunction display and also appears as a pop-up message on the head unit display. DYNAMIC SELECT is a standard feature in the SLC 300 and SLC 250d. In the SLC 200 with 9G-TRONIC, transmission mode selection is available as an option. The SLC 43 features an AMG Sport exhaust system as standard and uses the two adjustable exhaust flaps to adapt the sound to the mode selected via DYNAMIC SELECT. This is optional on some other models and keen drivers will also want to look at the extra-cost 'Dynamic Handling package' which features a 10mm lower chassis, an adaptive damping system, a direct steering system and the brand's clever 'ESP Dynamic Cornering Assist' package.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

Combined mpg:

36.2

70.6

Extra urban mpg:

45.6

72.4

Height (mm):

1301

1303

Length (mm):

4133

4143

Max Speed (mph):

147

155

Power (PS):

184

367

... and 4 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Convertibles

Performance
60%
Handling
50%
Comfort
70%
Space
60%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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