The Mercedes-Benz SLC (originally known as the SLK) was a two-door retractable hard-top roadster that rivalled the likes of the Audi TT and BMW Z4.

The third-generation SLK was launched in 2011, before being renamed as the SLC as part of its mid-life facelift in 2016. The car ended production in 2020 and has not been replaced in the Mercedes-Benz range.

As part of the mid-lift update and name change, the SLC gained some exterior styling tweaks, a new nine-speed automatic transmission, updated interior tech and a few mechanical additions.

“The standard nine-speed automatic gearbox ensures smooth and effortless acceleration”, Carwow explained, while also pointing out that the SLC had sharper steering than the outgoing SLK “thanks to adaptive dampers with selectable settings.”

While the majority of reviewers agreed that the SLC was an improvement over its predecessor, several outlets found it hard to recommend the Mercedes-Benz over its rivals. “The SLC doesn’t have the levels of fun offered by the likes of the Audi TT and BMW Z4 or even, for that matter, smaller and cheaper roadsters including the Mazda MX-5“, What Car said.

While the interior was well-built – a hallmark of Mercedes-Benz models – many reviewers also commented that the design and tech was quite dated inside, even at launch.

It might have not been all that engaging on the road, nor all that practical day-to-day, but as Top Gear concluded, “the SLC works well as an easy-going 24/7 roadster.”

No longer on sale, the Mercedes-Benz SLC and SLK hold an Expert Rating of 56%, based on 37 reviews published by the UK motoring media.

SLC highlights

  • Attractive exterior looks
  • Well-built inside and out
  • Efficient diesel engine
  • Capable long-distance cruiser

SLC lowlights

  • Rivals are more engaging on the road
  • Small boot
  • Dated interior
  • SLK’s top-spec V8 engine not available

Key specifications

Body style: Two-seat roadster
petrol, diesel
Price when new:
From £31,170 on-road

Launched: Summer 2011
Last updated: Winter 2019/2020
Replaced: Spring 2020

Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Safety rating

No safety rating

The Mercedes-Benz SLC was not crash tested by Euro NCAP during its production life.

Eco rating

No eco rating

The Mercedes-Benz SLC was not lab tested by Green NCAP during its production life.

Reliability rating

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The Mercedes-Benz SLC/SLK has a lower-than-average reliability score, according to exclusive extended warranty data provided by our partners at MotorEasy. Please note that this score covers both the SLC, and the three generations of SLK models that preceded it.

Almost 60% of all reported problems with the SLC/SLK relate to its electrical system, with an average repair bill of around £230. The other area to look out for is the suspension, which accounts for a third of repair claims. This type of claim was the most expensive fault on average, but fortunately, the average bill for these was only about £260.

If you’re looking at a used SLC, make sure any extended warranty cover you purchase covers all of these potential problem areas.

Similar cars

If you’re looking at the Mercedes-Benz SLC or SLK, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Alpine A110 | Audi TT | BMW Z4 | Mazda MX-5 | Porsche 718 Boxster | Porsche 718 Cayman | Subaru BRZ | Toyota GT86

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