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Old 26-08-2007, 05:57 PM   #1
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SLK 230 vs 320

Newbie here, looking at an SLK as a replacement for my non-turbo Fiat coupe

Given the price difference (a couple of grand at least it seems for an equivalent car) and extra insurance of around 130 for the 320, what are the benefits of the 320 over the 230 apart from 25 more BHP and more exclusivity? I test drove an auto 320 very briefly yesterday and was very impressed with the pick up, not been in a 230 yet

What are common faults and problems with the SLK and what are maintenance costs like (presumably much better to use a Merc specialist rather than main dealer )

I have to say that, having had Italian motors for years, I do love a nice throaty engine sound - could I replicate this on an SLK (either model) with a sports exhaust or similar?

Sure I'll have lots more questions as I get nearer to buying, thanks in advance
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Old 26-08-2007, 06:24 PM   #2
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You need to try the 230 and decide, no one here can tell you how they would compare for what you might want. It all depends what you want from the car.

For me the 230 was not enough, but for others it's more than enough. The technical data for the two doesn't give a true representation of the difference between the two. The 320 has a lot more to give when the 230 has stopped. The sound of the 320 is far superior to the 230, which is supercharged. Yet many don't get anywhere near the top end of the 230 let alone anywhere near the potential of the 320.

The roof should operate smoothly and freely. There is an initial clunk as the locks release, but then it should go down and back up nicely.

Make sure there's a good service history, pref full MB or as a minumum an MB specialist.

What age are you looking at?
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Old 26-08-2007, 06:34 PM   #3
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Cheers Pammy

Budget rather depends on a few factors, but I wouldn't want anything older than 2000 (so old shape, maybe facelifted), so I guess £9k+ for a 230, and thus more like £11-12k for the 320. It must have hide and will probably be an auto as I understand MB auto boxes are much better than their manuals.

This is a reasonable step up for me car-wise (financially so for sure) so I don't want to go for a 230, be hankering for more power (for me this is acceleration rather than top speed being pretty law abiding about speed limits ) , be disappointed and wish I'd just gone for the 320 .

I only do around 5000 miles a year so a slightly higher miler (up to 80kish) doesn't worry me as long as it has been properly maintained and had all the jobs done as per the service schedule. I presume they can handle high miles ok if looked after

Coming from Fiats, I have a certain level of paranoia about cambelts - is this a potential issue with SLKs too or do they have non contact engines or chains?

My only other non-negotiable stipulation is that it is NOT silver (just don't like silver cars), which will be a challenge as most seem to be silver I rather like them in blue

Last edited by Vickster; 26-08-2007 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 26-08-2007, 06:53 PM   #4
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AFAIK, it has a cambelt - but I don't know that there are any particluar issues with it. I haven't heard of any, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. The more mehcanically minded on here will be able to advise on that front. I simply drive mine and add the odd bit on here and there along the way

Mechanically mine has been a dream. I had some issues with speed sensors which were replaced under warranty, and also a minor issues with the roof locking up caused by the boot latch being out of line. Since those issues were resolved, the only issues I've had have been caused by me, namely getting too flaming close to a kerb a couple of months ago

I love the R170 SLK, more more than the R171, which is why I haven't replaced my Edna. She's here for the duration. I've had her since she was 3 months old but as fr which one you do need to try them both. If you'd taken out the 230 and been happy then I would have said go for the 230 if it gives you what you want, but after having tried the 320 you might find the 230 leaves you wanting.
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Old 26-08-2007, 07:04 PM   #5
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Hello,

My dad had a 230SLK from 1998 right up until this year he loved it. The supercharged engine makes a nice sound but can sound harsh at the top end. His was Auto (no choice back then) and I would not go for a manual as you say. His was on 65K when he sold it and had nothing apart from tyres, and servicing (indy not merc).

It would so over 30mpg regularly and enough room for 2 weeks luggage for France. It did several runs to Europe in its time.

I think 230 or 320 you will be happy with either especially for 9K new price of my dads was 36k (back in 98 !!)

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Old 26-08-2007, 07:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies

36k for a 230 new, blimey

I'll have to drive a 230 ...I have read that they are a bit thrashy at higher revs, which I guess you are stuck with on an auto box
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Old 26-08-2007, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickster View Post

36k for a 230 new, blimey
could be depends what it was specced up with, but that is high for a 230. Mine is a very well specced 320 and cost 37500 in 2003 If it had AMG kit then that would push the cost up significantly.

You're more likely to run higher revs in a manual than an auto as the auto box changes up appropriately so you never red line etc. But the auto box is the way to go. Manuals on the age your looking at are not generally well regarded. If it helps I always thought I would never want an auto, now I'm a total convert, at least where this box and car are concerned. The auto is brilliant.
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Old 26-08-2007, 07:32 PM   #8
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I have driven autos a fair amount in the US, normally some dog from Dodge
And I had an auto Mk1 Punto which was the worst and slowest car I ever had the displeasure to drive and own An auto holds no fear for me for a posing cruiser like an SLK, sports cars are different of course...i certainly seemed good on the 320 yesterday

In terms of wheels, what size do you run? The roads around here are awful so I don't think I'd want bigger than the standard (16s?) and decent tyres for big wheels quickly get into silly money as well
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Old 26-08-2007, 07:36 PM   #9
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Hello,

We have or had the original invoice, it had the 17" AMG alloys, red / black leather, Bose speaker cd, heated seats, tracker, integrated phone. I'm sure it had more but cannot think?

I think the options were different back then also,

Either way he recently sold it for 8K, someone got a lot of car (for the price of a pug 206cc???)




and he swapped it for this...not bad as a third car! He popped round and we look like a merc garage also..

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Old 26-08-2007, 07:36 PM   #10
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I run on 16s. Have contemplated going up to 17s, but the 16s are fine. Wouldn't go any bigger than 17 though.

I also use Michelin Primacy Pilots and rate them highly. Cost about 400 for a full set last year.
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Old 26-08-2007, 07:42 PM   #11
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400 for four tyres is enough for sure, I got 4 Toyos for the Fiat for 225 (15s)

Black does look good on an SLK, especially with the two tone beige/black leather and cream dash ...unlike my coupe, don't think yellow suits the car that well, but the two shades of bright blue are very nice too

http://atsearch.autotrader.co.uk/www...ch_full=SEARCH this is the one I drove yesterday...seemed a fair car at a fair price
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Old 26-08-2007, 07:45 PM   #12
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Hello,

Using specialist tyre companies you can find 17" tyres sometimes less than 16" as they are more popular size. I used Goodyear Eagle F1's on a Z3 I had they were great and good in the wet. On my last bm a 330 I used pirelli P zero Neros these were 19" tyres and £130 each so not too bad?

Costco can also have some good deals on certain sizes, worth checking


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Old 26-08-2007, 07:45 PM   #13
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Looks good. Has it got full servce history etc?
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Old 26-08-2007, 07:47 PM   #14
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I think all MB engines are chain driven. I expect the 320 was only available as an auto too.
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Old 26-08-2007, 07:49 PM   #15
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Hello,

Sure I have seen 320's with manual box's.

btw isn't the same engine in the crossfire, we had a friend with one of them and that was manual?
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