The Mercedes SLK is, in most significant respects, a very successful evolution of its predecessor. All the important quantifiable elements — economy, equipment, depreciation and sticker price — have been addressed and should now satisfy the majority of buyers.
And yet if this style-led roadster should do anything, it should make driving an event. That doesn’t require incisive, focused handling in this case. It just needs well judged driver controls, a good degree of communication and a happy compromise between comfort and precise responses.
We say ‘just’, but it is not easy to achieve this, and Mercedes has missed the mark. Yes, objectively, it’s very good. But there’s little sensation or sparkle to be found in driving the SLK, and that is hard to forgive in what should be a car that specialises in the feel good factor.