Mercedes SLC (2016-present)

Its got sporty styling, but the Mercedes SLC is best at a relaxed pace

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Efficient diesel engine
Stylish design
Well-equipped

Weaknesses 

Not much fun to drive
Expensive - official prices start at over £30,000
Bumpy ride
Best New Discount

Mercedes-Benz SLC Roadster slc 300 amg line 2dr 9g-tronic

Total RRP £40,240

Your quote £32,857

You Save £7,383

The Mercedes SLC sounds like a brand new car, but in fact, it’s just an updated version of the SLK, which has been renamed to fit in with Mercedes’ new badging policy.

So while this two-seat convertible has had some minor changes, its rivals, including the Audi TT and Porsche 718 Boxster have been completely renewed with the latest technology.

It does, however, have something key that neither of its rivals do: a metal roof. This can be opened or closed electronically at speeds of up to 25mph. Once closed, it's more secure than the fabric roofs that are fitted to the Audi and Porsche.

The downside is that it does add weight, though, and this gives a clue about the SLC's character. Despite its sporty looks, it's designed to be comfortable and luxurious. The engines are designed to be smooth and efficient, rather than outrageously fast - with the exception of the top-of-the-range AMG 43.

Inside, the SLC is comfortable and compact, with high-quality materials and new technology, which now supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, giving you the ability to turn your dashboard screen into a display that resembles your smartphone, where you can control apps and have messages dictated to you, for example.

The most popular car is the diesel-powered 250d: even though the SLC is a roadster with supposedly sporty performance, the reality is that few buyers head to the SLC for on-road thrills.

Indeed, it’s far from the most engaging sports car on the market, with the 718 Boxster and the TT being more fun to drive and engaging, Turn the steering wheel in the SLC and it feels lifeless. In rivals, you can feel the wheels turning underneath you and get a sense of the grip that they have, so you’re more at one with the car, which is more fun to drive.

It’s agile enough on the road, especially if you choose the right driving mode, but the ride quality is sorely lacking: on poor surfaces on when negotiating potholes, the SLC does have a tendency to shudder, with the suspension working overtime to keep the car from bouncing up and down.

The SLC looks the part, but spend any time in one and the deficiencies of its age – especially when compared to its rivals – are thrown into sharp relief.

It's also not a cheap car, with some versions of the TT undercutting the SLC by a few thousand pounds.

Last Updated 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 20:00

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / unlimited miles
Boot size: 
225 litres
Width: 
1,810mm
Length: 
4,133mm
Height: 
1,301mm
Tax (min to max): 
From B (£20) to I (£355 in first year and £230 thereafter)

Best Mercedes-Benz SLC for... 

Mercedes SLC 250d
The diesel SLC returns very impressive official fuel economy of 70.7mpg and low CO2 emissions of 114g/km, making for low running costs.
Mercedes-AMG SLC 43
A 0-62mph acceleration time of 4.7 seconds virtually matches the Porsche 718 Boxster. From behind the wheel, it feels quick too.
Mercedes SLC 200
A triple whammy of high fuel consumption, unimpressive performance (0-62mph in 7 seconds) and a hefty official price of more than £30,000 make this a model to pass on.

Understanding Mercedes-Benz SLC car names 

  • SLC
  • Engine
    250d
  • Trim level
    Sport
  • Engine
    The three figures give an indication of how powerful the engine is - a larger number means more power. If it's followed by a 'd', then this indicates a diesel engine. The fastest model uses a different system: it's known as the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43.
  • Trim level
    There are three variants: Sport, AMG Line and a range-topping AMG. Sport is the base version, with additional equipment being added to the AMG Line for additional money. The AMG 43 version is a more expensive special performance variant with even more standard equipment.

Mercedes-Benz SLC Engines 

SLC 200, SLC 300, SLC 250 d, AMG SLC 43

There’s a straightforward engine line-up with the SLC, with just four variants.

On the petrol side of the range are three units, with two based on a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine. Propping up the range is an engine tuned to produce 184 horsepower (hp), which only results in a pretty lacklustre 7.0-second 0-62mph time, which is relatively pedestrian for a sporty roadster. A fuel economy figure of 43.5mpg is pretty much par for the course.

The more powerful SLC 300 increases the output of the 2.0-litre engine to 245hp, which has the effect of trimming quite a bit off the 0-62mph sprint, taking it down to a more-like-it 5.8 seconds. It does feel tangibly quicker on the road, too, and sounds it too, thanks to the barking sound from the sports exhaust. Despite the power boost, fuel consumption is also an improvement, increasing to 47.1mpg.

As you might expect, the economy champion is the diesel variant, the 250 d. With a mightily impressive 70.6mpg and emissions of just 114g/km, this version is one that is most attractive to British buyers. It sounds a bit rough and rattly, though and shows its age compared to more recent – and quieter – Mercedes diesels.

The range-topping AMG 43 acclerates from 0-62mph in 4.7sec, which feels pretty quick and is only 0.1 second off the Porsche 718 Boxster’s pace.

Mercedes-Benz SLC Trims 

Sport, AMG Line, AMG

Mercedes-Benz has kept the trim offering simple for the SLC. Standard equipment with the base Sport specification includes 17in alloy wheels, a 7in touchscreen and air conditioning.

AMG Line includes 18in alloy wheels, as well as sportier additions to the outside, which make the car appear to be lower to the road, along with firmer suspension, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, leather sports seats and interior trim upgrades.

The Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 adds an AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather and Dinamica man-made suede, with red contrast stitching, Airscarf neck-level heating, Parktronic parking assistance, brighter LED headlights and high-performance brakes.

Mercedes-Benz SLC Reliability and warranty 

While not at the top of tables for reliability, Mercedes ranks as average. It was the 18th most reliable brand out of 32 in last year's Auto Express Driver Power survey.

All Mercedes cars are covered with a three-year warranty, with no mileage restriction.

Used Mercedes-Benz SLC 

Mercedes SLK models, which are little different to the SLC, are in plentiful supply, having been on sale since 2011, with prices for three-year-old cars, starting from around £17,000.

Even cars that are just a year old have gone down in value to around £22,000, making used ownership considerably more affordable than new.

Mercedes-Benz SLC Prices

Mercedes-Benz SLC AMG Line

slc 180 amg line 2dr

  • Doors 2
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 48.7mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £26,256

You could save up to: £6183

slc 180 amg line 2dr 9g-tronic

  • Doors 2
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 48.7mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £27,664

You could save up to: £6375

slc 200 amg line 2dr

  • Doors 2
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 43.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £28,541

You could save up to: £6794

slc 200 amg line 2dr 9g-tronic

  • Doors 2
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.9mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £29,949

You could save up to: £6986

slc 300 amg line 2dr 9g-tronic

  • Doors 2
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 47.1mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £32,857

You could save up to: £7383