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Gone with the Wind
2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK350
By Alain Gayot

In short: A sexy, nimble and well-built roadster that’s easy to to love.

Read a review of the Mercedes Benz SLK280

The 2005 SLK350 is totally cool. We mean this car rocks. It is the perfect machine to fall in love with, and it’s perfect for transporting your love around town. First of all, it’s way cute and has a great compact figure. Keep the hard top on, for a few seconds later your roadster is ready to roar and there is plenty of roaring to come from its powerplant.

Shaquille O’Neals and Peyton Mannings need not apply, as the interior is quite confined. But once you settle into the cockpit, get ready for some fun and serious driving. With a good power-to-weight ratio, this baby is ready to fly—and that could be a challenge with regards to road policing authorities. But in the city, and for general driving, the roadster is quite easy to maneuver. A trip to the gym, the grocery store and a commute to the office all become fun. And yes, it is the perfect ride to impress a date.

This automobile comes with all sorts of comfort items, such as dual-zone climate control (even for such a small car), but we can’t rave enough about the quasi-instant climate controlled seats… a crucial feature in an open-top automobile. Trunk space is adequate, and the mechanical system for the retractable hard top has been minimized to take up as little room as possible.

Our test model came with a bunch of options, ballooning the base price of $45,500 by almost $10,000. It included a 7-speed automatic transmission, which would be hard to turn down, albeit the manual transmission is pleasant and precise.

The overall package in this roadster is sensational, and the V6 engine quite remarkable. Visit your Mercedes-Benz dealer for a demo ride: Careful, it could be love at first sight.

Warranty/Service: 4-year/ 50,000 mile warranty with 24-hr. roadside assistance program.

Base Price: $46,250 /As tested: $53,935

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door hardtop convertible

Engine: 3.5-liter V6
Horsepower: 268 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm
Transmission: Optional 7-speed automatic

Curb weight: 3,231 lbs
Wheelbase: 95.7 in
160.7/70.4/51.1 in
Turning circle: 34.5 ft

Brakes: four-wheel disc with ABS and electronic brake assist

Suspension: independent front and rear
traction control, vehicle stability control

0-60 mph: 5.5 seconds
Top Speed: 155 mph (governed)

EPA City: 18 mpg
EPA Highway: 27 mpg

Safety: front air bags, side head air bags, roll bars, dual knee air bags, Tele Aid emergency calling service

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Photography: Walter Mladina

(Updated: 07/25/08 HC)