Advice wanted - buying an old SLK

kwakdonut

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Have never driven an SLK either manual or auto, so no, am no expert but having driven both manual and auto MB's of other classes, I know that the auto's are better.

It is still a very personal thing though. I have nothing against manual boxes or manual MB's but most people expect MB's to be auto's regardless of which one they are.

As long as you are happy and the OP is happy with whatever choice he makes, then does it really matter?
 

A210AMG

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^ as above almost every Merc is Auto and for a reason they make some of the best Auto box's around.

More often than not they are quicker than the manual equivalent. You also get cruise as standard with the auto. Anyway with todays roads who wnats to be operating clutch every few seconds in traffic. I guess at least with the SLK the handbrake isn't the fly off type as that with manual takes a little getting use to.
 

Rovinghawk

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Have never driven an SLK either manual or auto, so no, am no expert but ......I know that the auto's are better.
Examine that statement and see whether there's any uniformed bias in it.

most people expect MB's to be auto's regardless of which one they are.
The OP didn't ask what most expect, he asked for information as to which is better; this forum should be about helping him rather than propagating prejudices.

As long as you are happy and the OP is happy with whatever choice he makes, then does it really matter?
That's why my advice was to try both rather than blindly follow the herd.

RH
 
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finisterre

finisterre

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thanks for that, I am now laughing.

I guess the difference is in how much you want to involve yourself in the drive? I think automatic will suit Mrs F, she has never cared about anything other than colour and style.
 

tpwuk

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Have you ever driven a manual slk230? How do you know my car is 'just rubbish'?

RH

Yes I have thanks. My friend and next door neighbour has a 1999 SLK 230 Kompressor Auto, which I've had the pleasure of driving on a few occasions and a few years ago, my wife and I had a 24 hours test drive of a 2001 SLK 230 Kompressor with a manual gearbox, which was rubbish.

I didn't say your car is rubbish, just your gearbox! :D
 

Matt32AMG

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One thing to consider is, I think a manual car will always be a cheaper purchase than its auto counterpart. As to which is better is down to the individuals preference, mine is Auto. Having driven both options I haven't changed my mind on that. While you can have manual with the SLK320, my current car SLK32AMG, manual wasn’t an option, though that said it is stated that it can change gear quicker than a manual transmission, and is 30% quicker than the standard auto box.

Another valid point to not discount, is an Auto box does protect the engine from being over revved or abused. :)

I wish you luck with your future purchase.
 
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finisterre

finisterre

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The OP didn't ask whiat most expect, he asked for information as to which is better; this forum should be about helping him rather than propagating prejudices.

RH

Actually I was thinking about reliability and servicing costs, personally I like the drama of changing gear and love the idleness of point and go.
 

Londonscottish

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thanks for that, I am now laughing.

I guess the difference is in how much you want to involve yourself in the drive? I think automatic will suit Mrs F, she has never cared about anything other than colour and style.

Rovinghawk is right- very few people are actually in the position to compare.

My point was that Merc's generally come with autos and that the market, to a certain extent, expects it - and so it may be harder to sell

A quick analysis of cars for sale on Autotrader throws the following up (rounded to the nearest 100).

S Class - 700 for sale of which none are manual - 0%
E Class - 2200 for sale of which 200 are manual - 8%
C Class - 4200 for sale of which 700 are manual - 15%
SLK - 1000 for sale of which 200 are manual - 16%

So manuals were more commonly specced on new SLK's than on other Mercs - but they were still outsold 5:1 by autos.

That shouldn't stop you buying one - it just makes it harder to find one and it may be harder to sell.
 
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finisterre

finisterre

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I would have thought that the VED difference between pre 2001 and later cars would be nothing compaed with the possible running costs.

I would go for a younger car.

Yes I checked the comparative VED rates on the Parker site.

230 auto X reg and before is £205.
After Y reg it is a princely £245

Thanks for pointing that out. You are right I think, limiting it by age might be pointless. Unless of course they decide to up the VED again which seems unpleasantly likely.
I shall see if DVLA have their own list, it would be galling if Parkers have it wrong.
 

Dryce

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Thanks Dryce, I shall have to read that a couple of times to get it all but it looks like I shall have to take notes. *grin*

The VED situation is confusing because they said one thing, then another, and then it all sort of petered out.

Check the online VED calculators. I think you'll find that the difference is only about £40 or £50 per year. Pre 2006 cars are banded differently.

[Edit: I see you already checked!]
 
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Dryce

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thanks for that, I am now laughing.

I guess the difference is in how much you want to involve yourself in the drive? I think automatic will suit Mrs F, she has never cared about anything other than colour and style.

I only drive autos. The MB ones are good and it's probably wrong to say a R170 SLK manual is rubbish - just that the car and the 5 speed auto go well together.

The Tip auto allows you to easily override the box - you move the lever left to shift down and right to shift up / back to D. It's not quite a manual - it's more a limiter in that it simply tells the gearbox what is the highest gear to use - so the car may shift lower but won't shift higher than the selected ratio. But to all intents and purposes it acts like a smooth changing manual.

Where MB score IMO with the auto is that they use a switch under the accelerator to signal kickdown and the car will shift down more than one ratio depending on its speed. You can feel the pressure point where the switch is activated so you have some control.
 
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finisterre

finisterre

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We're paying the £245 for our 2004 model.

Thanks I was worried about car tax costs because looking at carfueldata.org
VCAcarfueldata.org.uk - Search Results - Further Information

I get 235 g/km which is £425 on this table The cost of vehicle tax for cars, motorcycles, light goods vehicles and trade licences : Directgov - Motoring

And that is £220 more than an X-reg and that might not be enough to massively change annual running costs but will mean the month that the tax it is renewed we will be wondering why we bought it and if we should change it for something a lot more efficient. £425 tax would seriously compromise the joy of ownership.

Oh and the DVLA site is useless.
 

tpwuk

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I only drive autos. The MB ones are good and it's probably wrong to say a R170 SLK manual is rubbish - just that the car and the 5 speed auto go well together.

The Tip auto allows you to easily override the box - you move the lever left to shift down and right to shift up / back to D. It's not quite a manual - it's more a limiter in that it simply tells the gearbox what is the highest gear to use - so the car may shift lower but won't shift higher than the selected ratio. But to all intents and purposes it acts like a smooth changing manual.

Where MB score IMO with the auto is that they use a switch under the accelerator to signal kickdown and the car will shift down more than one ratio depending on its speed. You can feel the pressure point where the switch is activated so you have some control.

You can also control gear changes by the speed you tap the pedal.
 
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finisterre

finisterre

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On the DVLA website I missed this. which widens the scope of our search quite a lot, we may even find a few more quid for a nice shiny one.. :)

* Band K includes cars that have a CO2 figure over 225g/km but were registered before 23 March 2006

I am sorry for calling you useless DVLA it was my lack of rigour.
 
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finisterre

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You can also control gear changes by the speed you tap the pedal.


Yes, I had never driven an automatic before we took one out from MB Sheffield last week, I noticed I had to be very careful on the motorway or it dropped a gear when I changed lane.
 

Rovinghawk

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Rovinghawk is right- very few people are actually in the position to compare.
Thank you.

S Class - 700 for sale of which none are manual - 0%
I'd be amazed if was any different on a car like this.

SLK - 1000 for sale of which 200 are manual - 16%
?

So manuals were more commonly specced on new SLK's than on other Mercs - but they were still outsold 5:1 by autos.
Popular is NOT the same as better.

That shouldn't stop you buying one - it just makes it harder to find one and it may be harder to sell.
The argument about lower selling price is countered by the lower buying price- depreciation works in your favour here when buying a used car.

RH

btw- I think it was Honest John who listed one of the SLK auto's bad points as gear changes mid-bend when they were very much unwelcome.
 

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