2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class

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The 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class dukes it out on comfort with more sporting rivals.

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz SLC might be more familiar under its old moniker, SLK. It’s still the same idea, and virtually the same car, though some mild updates have been recently applied.

We think the Mercedes SLC 300 and the uprated AMG SLC43 still are charming two-doors worthy of consideration if you’re interested in a Z4, or in a folding-hardtop convertible. They’re not Porsche-like track stars, but they’re strong performers with better comfort.

We give the SLC a 7.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Review continues below

Mercedes-Benz applied a new front end to the SLC a couple of years ago, but the shape’s still petite, boldy grilled, and pert at the rear. The cabin’s less curvy and more cluttered with old-style controls; it’s nothing like the latest Benz cabins that surround passengers with waterfalls of wood and wide high-resolution screens.

The calling card for the SLC is the folding hardtop that stows or raises in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 25 mph. When it’s up the SLC has true coupe security and soundproofing–and on some models, a photochromic glass roof that automatically darkens.

The roadster trims out two ways. The SLC 300 sports a 2.0-liter turbo-4 with 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It urges the roadster to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. The Mercedes-AMG SLC43 is the more interesting car to drive when probing the limits of grip. Its responsive twin-turbo V-6 has 362 hp, its sport driving modes tip into the available torque eagerly, and 60 mph arrives in just 4.6 seconds. Get the Dynamic Handling package, and the SLC43 pulls out all the stops, with various steering and suspension improvements as well as a limited-slip rear differential that helps it whip around tight corners with more poise.

Safety scores aren’t available from crash-test agencies, but the SLC comes with automatic emergency braking and a rearview camera. Other luxe touches include sport leather seats, navigation, Bluetooth audio streaming, and an infotainment system saddled with Mercedes’ unsatisfying COMAND interface.

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