R172 SLK55 - first impressions

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MB Enthusiast
Dec 27, 2008
West London
This Friday I'll have had my R172 for four weeks, so it's high time I took stock of the ownership experience so far. I make no apology for drawing various comparisons with my previous SLK, and with my Yeti (which I've also been getting to know over the past month).


Driving it

Well, it's an AMG, so I suppose I should start with performance. The official figures are pretty impressive (421bhp, 0-62mph in 4.6secs) but the truth is that it has more grunt than I can ever see myself using, at least on UK roads. To a large extent that was also true of my SLK350, which despite having a mere 275bhp took less than an further second to reach the universal benchmark speed. However, despite the on-paper difference being so small, the AMG is capable of throwing you back into your seat in a way that I never experienced in the '350. This experience is quite addictive and with the car now well run in, I've taken to flooring the accelerator wherever it's safe to do so; I'm sure the novelty will wear off, but I'm not sure when. The downside is that before you know it you're tickling the national limit, so just as the engine is coming alive, my instinct is to ease back lest I attract the attention of the boys in blue - I've become a little paranoid about them lying in wait for me wherever I go, and on a few occasions I've been proved right. I've already discussed the prospect of taking the car over to Germany with a friend to let it off the leash on the de-restricted autobahns, so it's mainly a matter of finding a mutually convenient time.

It's not all about acceleration, though. The engine (my first V8) has deep-throated wuffle that I find quite sedcutive, set off beautifully by the purposeful but still restrained exhaust note, which gives a healthy double-snarl when changing up under full throttle load. The car also feels more sure-footed than either of my previous SLKs, its handling inspiring a great deal of confidence. I haven't managed to unsettle it yet - perhaps I'm not trying hard enough, but it just feels like to will go wherever you point it with a minimum of fuss. I have yet to try it with the traction control off, but that day will no doubt come. Selecting the transmission's Sport mode ups the ante, sharpening the acceleration and enhancing the aural stimulation. This quickly became my default driving mode for out of town trips, although as far as I can tell you have to select it each time you start the car, as it defaults to the "Controlled Efficiency" setting. I've only tried "Manual" once so far, and while the paddles are more tactile and responsive then the buttons I had on my '350, I still struggle to see the point of using this mode. Perhaps it will grow on me.

I've mentioned this in previous posts, but I remain impressed with the car's ride quality, and maintain that it is a considerable improvement on that of my '350, despite the new car having larger 18" wheels with (even) lower profile tyres. It's alchemy, I tell you. Not unlike the fact that the '55 manages to post better official mpg figures and considerably reduced CO2 emmisions compared with my old V6. OK, I know the cars are tweaked to turn in the best possible figures under lab conditions, no doubt helped in no small measure by the cylinder deactivation facility. That said, the car seems very reluctant to switch to 4-cylinder mode - I've only noticed it do this once while cruising at about 50 on an open A road. In stop-start town traffic, it seems to cling on to all 8 cylinders for dear life.

Did I say stop-start? Well, somewhat incongruously, the car has that as well. Although unavailable in Sport or Manual modes, it's on by default in Controlled Efficiency mode but can be switched off on demand via the dash-mounted Eco button, or more permanently via the configuration menus. This the first time I've owned a car with this facility (although I've had it on a few hire cars) and it works rather well. Anyone who's owned an older car will marvel at the consistency with which the engine springs into life instantly and without fail each and every time you release the brake (or press the accelerator, or even just turn the steering wheel), although I can't help but wonder whether that will still be the case when the car is five, or eight, or ten years old. Time will tell... It's not fool-proof, though. On more than one occasion I've pulled up and switched the engine off, only for it to start up again when I release the brake pedal. However, I've a feeling that this may have been my fault, as I'd probably failed to put the car into Park or something; I'll have to pay a little more attention the next time it happens. It can also be a pain in, erm, stop-start traffic, where you'd think it would be most useful. You soon tire of the engine constantly cutting out and in again, especially as each start-up is accompanied by an extrovert flourish courtesy of the exhaust pipes (more on that later). Although it's clever enough not to do it every single time you stop, you nevertheless find your finger reaching for Eco button after five minutes or so.

I'm already a big fan of the Hold function, which holds the brake on for you at junctions. My only gripe with it is that it also holds the brake lights on, whereas I'd rather they went out after, say, 10 seconds (simulating the way a thoughtful driver would switch to using the parking brake rather than making the driver behind suffer the prolonged glare of his LEDs). Speaking of the parking brake, I'm also a fan of the car's electronic one, which does away with having a bulky lever mounted in the the centre console. And yes, I've now finally managed to overcome the urge to reach for said lever...

Keyless Go is a godsend. It took me a little while to get used to leaving the keys in my pocket, though; initially I tended to place them on the centre console, and once or twice left them there when getting out of the car - only to realize when I went to get into the house or lock the car. On that note, I would have expected the car to lock itself automatically once the key was out of range, but it doesn't.

A side-benefit of Keyless Go is that the you no longer need to stand motionless in order to operate the roof remotely. You still need to be close to the car, but the requirement to maintain IR 'contact' with the driver's door handle on pain of the whole process grinding to a halt with an embarrassing bleepathon is a thing of the past. Not quite the convenience of SmartTop, but good enough for me to banish any thoughts of going down that route.

I've given up using Distronic in active mode, as it can be an enormous pain. Over my many years of driving I've grown used to maintaining an even distance from the car in front by adjusting the throttle, and only ever braking as a last resort. However, I can sense Distronic relying far more heavily on braking in order to maintain a safe distance, and that must be annoying for anyone following me. Worse still, it tends to panic-brake when approaching a car in front that is turning left but still has its back-end poking into the road a little. So now I just use it in passive mode, where a little red triangle warns you if it thinks you're too close to the car in front. This sometimes can't be helped, but generally it's encouraging me to leave a little more space between myself and the car in front, which can only be a good thing. In passive mode it also gives a warning beep if you spook it into thinking you're going to hit something, although it spooks a little too easily - especially when a parked car and road-centre bollard conspire to create a chicane.

The inside story...

The instrument cluster is neatly and purposefully arranged, with the speedometer on the left and tachometer on the right, with a small fuel gauge set into the former and a matching temperature gauge nestling in the latter. While the dial markings are a little clunky, they are commendably clear and easy to read. The needles are not entirely to my liking - rather chunkier and redder than they have any need to be - but they nevertheless serve their purpose. One neat, if pointless, touch - which I hadn't actually noticed until someone at the PCS get-together pointed it out to me - is the way the needles flick around the dials when you start the engine. I've also grown to like the tracer glow that highlights the segment of the dial where the needle is resting at any given time. Another neat touch is they way in which the rim of the speedometer lights up to show how much of it is available when the speed limiter is set.

Between the two dials is the ubiquitous information display - a fairly basic monochrome multi-dot affair but probably all the clearer and more focused for that. Interesting to note that Yeti's instruments follow an almost identical arrangement, with the niggling exception that the positions of the speedo/fuel gauge and rev counter/temp gauge are reversed. One other oddity is that while the Yeti permanently displays which of its seven gears its using, the SLK just plumps for "D" instead, only revealing the specific gear if you select the AMG screen (or if you're in Manual mode, which I tend not to be). On a similar note, while the Yeti provides a digital reading of the specific oil temperature as part of its standard information set, the SLK reserves this for the AMG screen.

Speed Limit Assist is very useful. It uses a camera mounted behind the interior mirror to read speed signs as you pass them, and sure enough within a second of having done so the limit pops up on the multi-dot display, where it remains for five seconds. It is also displayed constantly as a discreet overlay on the sat nav screen (although you can switch it off if you wish). One thing has me curious, though; when it passes a national speed limit sign, it sometimes displays just that, but at other times will display either 60 or 70 (with unerring accuracy, I might add). I suppose this is based on the sat nav's knowledge of whether or not the road is a dual carriageway - or could the camera possibly be detecting this as well?

The adaptive high-beam assist is particularly impressive. Essentially, you can just leave it on high-beam all the time, and it automatically adjusts the beam to account for the presence of other cars (whether leading or approaching) and street lighting. However, it is let down by the fact that it's engaged in the same way as it was on my previous SLK - by moving the indicator lever away from the steering wheel, where it stays. Two problems with this: it means that the lever no longer falls to hand so intuitively when you need to indicate or operate the screen washers; and it's a pain in the neck if you need to flash your headlamps when high-beam is engaged but inactive. In the Yeti, you engage (non-adaptive) high-beam by flicking the indicator lever in the same way as in the SLK, but it then returns to its normal position. MB could learn from this implementation, though with the adaptive mode working so reliably, it should also be possible to set-and-forget it as part of the car's set-up menus.

The new COMAND Online system, with its iDrive-style controller, is a significant advance over the NTG1 unit I had in my (admittedly 2004) R171. At first, I was disappointed to find that it didn't have a touchscreen, but having used the touchscreen Columbus unit in the Yeti, I can confirm that ergonomically the control wheel is a far better bet; it's also much easier to use than the NTG1's multi-point button. Whether it's changing the zoom-level on the sat nav map, moving around the map itself, or selecting music on the iPod, it's a lot easier to control via the wheel with an occasional glance towards the screen than it is with the full-on commitment required by a touchscreen. I also have Linguatronic for the first time (if you don't count the Yeti), and though I haven't used it much it does seem to recognize what I'm saying most of the time without ever having trained it to do so.

DAB radio is generally good. I've taken to using it by default as reception is better and clearer than FM, and I've noticed that it holds the signal all the way through the tunnel under the Hanger Lane gyratory system (where my old SLK would lose its FM signal for a few seconds about halfway through). An added bonus is that I don't have a wart-aerial mounted on the boot lid; this must be a very recent development as all other DAB-equipped SLKs I've seen (including a 13-registered one) have had one. One odd characteristic I've noticed is that you can sometimes hear a kind of scratching noise when people are speaking on DAB (I tend to stick with BBC R4). When I first noticed this, I thought there was was something rubbing against one of the wheel arches or the underside of the car, but when I muted the radio the better to hear it, it went away. Perhaps it's a characteristic of DAB reception rather than a fault with the car's radio. :dk:

That leads me on to the Harman Kardon-enhanced sound system (or Carmen Hardon, as a friend tends to call it). I was impressed with the system fitted in car I had on loan back in January before I'd placed my order, so I knew what to expect, but having now had the chance to try it more extensively I can confirm that it acquits itself very well with a wide variety of music. I needed to spend a little time getting the bass and treble settings to my liking so as not to have to adjust them from one track to the next, but I seem to have found a happy compromise.

It's great to have a mute button amongst the steering wheel controls, although it's too easy to accidentally hit mute when intending to raise or lower the volume. In fact, I've found that having separate up/down buttons for volume adjustment is an inferior solution to the more intuitive (if less attractive) thumbwheel control provided in the Yeti. As with the instruments mentioned earlier, it's a shame that while the SLK has its volume control on the right and menu controls on the left, in the Yeti they're the other way round. Not sure which manufacturer is bucking the trend here, if indeed there is one to buck.

I was initially very pleased to note that the seat adjustment controls are now mounted on the door panels, rather than on the seat base. If nothing else, this would avoid any recurrence of what might be described as a Taylforth moment in my old SLK, (I had to lean over my passenger's lap to adjust his seat when he couldn't locate the switches himself). However, I still find myself reaching down rather than forwards through sheer force of habit, not helped by the fact that in the Yeti the switches are still mounted on the seat base.

Given the fact that I'm hopeless at judging where the back of my car is, parking sensors are a must for me. However, sad to say, the SLK's Parktronic system is way behind the curve. It still relies on little indicator panels - one on the dashboard, the other on the rear bulkhead - which can be virtually impossible to see properly in strong sunlight. Contrast this with the Yeti's "optical parking system", which displays an aerial view of the car on the centre-console screen, with varying bands closing in on each part of the front and/or rear bumper to indicate the proximity of obstacles. It gets worse - while the SLK's "parking guidance" tries to help you into a parking space by giving advice on how to turn the steering wheel, the Yeti's Park Assist just gets on with it and parks the car for you, hands-free. I know some MBs also have active parking assistance, and on the SL it will actually get you out of a space as well, but I fail to see why they couldn't have made this available on the SLK.

Magic Sky Control works well enough - darkening but not completely obscuring the "panoramic" roof panel. Can't say I've found much opportunity to use it, though, especially as I tend to drive the car roof-down most of the time.

The nappa leather interior is far nicer than the rough hide of my previous SLK. OK, so it's black when I really wanted tan (long story, covered elsewhere on the forum), but it's so nice to the touch (and the seats themselves so comfortable) that my urge to have it all ripped out and replaced is rapidly abating. I may still do this one day, but that day can wait.


  • I love the feel of the steering wheel rim. When I first saw one at the dealership, I wondered why it had such an oddly-shaped wheel - flattened top and bottom, with odd bumps on the lower sides - quite different to the straightforward roundness of my previous SLK, or any other car I've owned. And yet, somehow it just works. I haven't quite decided why yet, but holding it definitely conveys a (deserved) degree of confidence in the car's handling.
  • I know it's early days, but the car is reassuringly rattle-free so far. It has none of the roof-creaks I'd come to live with in my previous SLK, but to be fair they only started to appear when that car was around 5 or 6 years old. in fact, build quality is significantly improved all-round compared with the R171. The doors definitely feel more substantial, closing with a reassuring thunk despite being frameless.
  • One of my bugbears with the SLK I had on loan was that having the door mirrors mounted so far back meant my view in the passenger-door mirror was quite restricted. However, I have now grown accustomed to this and it no longer presents a problem.
  • At last, I've got a car with automatic climate control (well, OK, the Yeti's got it too and that arrived a week earlier, but prior to that the nearest thing I'd ever had was common-or-garden air con). Also good to have folding mirrors for the first time since my W168 A-Class (and yes - the Yeti got in first with those, as well!).

Nice touches

  • If you switch off the engine while the radio/media unit on (as I invariably do), it continues playing until you open the door (although if you stay put it will eventually switch itself off in order to preserve the battery).
  • The roof switch is now contained within its own little lidded compartment, along with a dedicated button for 'tunnel mode', which gives these features a (sort of) James Bond DB5 feel.
  • The door handles have chrome-like trim on their upper-surfaces, which looks quite attractive against the grey bodywork. I know some people think that wood and chrome have no place on a high-performance car, but I struggle to see the logic in this. To my mind, this is an SLK with a large engine, not just a large engine in an SLK.
  • The boot lid has a nicely weighted action, whereby if you pull it past a certain point when closing it, it completes the operation by itself. This is a significant improvement on how the R171's, which used to require a hefty slam, and makes up for the fact that the R172 now only has one internal boot handle as opposed to the R171's matching pair.
  • The (heated) washer jets are mounted in the the trailing edge of the bonnet - not quite a good as having them built into the wipers themselves, as in the new SL, but a neat solution all the same.
  • I've grown to love the way the seat belt tensions itself after it's been fastened - almost as though it's giving me a little hug. Of course, if I dare to move off without having fastened it, I get the admonishment of a warning light and beep instead.

Quirks and niggles

Nothing here has dampened my enthusiasm for the car, but it's worth relating them all the same.

  • There's no sunshade to cover the gap between the sun visor and the area where the rear view mirror is mounted, meaning that when the sun is low in the sky it zaps you straight in the eyes. On the Yeti this area is blacked out, but MB appear to have overlooked this important measure.
  • The seam on the nappa-trimmed door rails is poorly placed, being on the edge rather than the flat (as it would be in, say, a Jaguar). This lends it a rather crude finish, both rough to the touch and unpleasing to the eye - the complete opposite of what trimming these parts should have achieved. Still, it's better than bare plastic.
  • I'd like there to be more upward adjustment for the steering wheel so that the upper rim clears the top of the instrument panel (I also had this problem with the R171). Instead, I've compensated by setting the seat lower than I otherwise might.
  • The cruise control stalk is mounted much lower than it was in my previous SLK, which during the first week or so saw me inadvertently setting the speed limit when I'd intended to indicate right. I'm used to it now, though.
  • If you switch off the ignition with the wipers running, they just stop where they are, without self-parking.
  • When reading out road names that include the word Saint abbreviated to St, the sat nav lady interprets this as 'street'. Eg: "Turn left into Street George's Drive." :rolleyes:
  • At some point after closing the boot, usually once I've taken my seat in the car, a solenoid operates (presumably some kind of deadlock), which sounds for all the world like a conker falling on the boot lid. The first time I heard it I actually got out to see whether the boot lid had sustained any damage, only to find there were no trees in the vicinity.
  • Talking of the boot lid, I've noticed that if opened with a substantial amount of water standing on it, the water can overwhelm the drainage channel and run straight into the boot. Don't recall this happening with my R171. :(
  • I was looking forward to playing with the fuel economy graph I'd seen on various R172s in showrooms, and the eco driving meter that was mentioned in a recent edition of Autocar. Alas, the AMG model has neither.
  • Much as I love the V8's engine note, I wish there was a way of controlling whether the car blips its throttle at start-up. This has happened often enough while my next-door neighbour has been on his driveway that I'm convinced he must think I do it deliberately just to show off. :eek:
  • The roof-mounted sunglasses holder seems to have a mind of its own. It's fine when it's empty, but dare to stow a pair of shades in there and keeping the lid closed becomes a war of wills. Mine usually breaks first and I end up stashing them in the glove compartment instead. Dare I mention, the Yeti has a very similar roof-mounted compartment for sunglasses, which just works without any of the shenanigans of the SLK's one.
  • When using cruise control I find myself yearning for somewhere to rest my right foot. I wasn't going to mention this as to be fair, none my previous cars (Yeti included) has ever had such a feature, but I read the other day that the Škoda Octavia is so-equipped - so perhaps it's not such an outlandish request after all.
  • The one thing I really do miss from the R171 is the easy entry/exit seat function. I've resorted to storing my standard driving position in memory 1 and the rearmost position in memory 3, and performing the operation manually whenever there's insufficient room to open the door fully, but it's a chore - especially as you have to hold down whichever button throughout. Someone must be able to make easy entry/exit work on this car, surely? :dk:
  • The seat memories don't extend to holding the lumbar support positions. Oh, and having the 'M' button mounted in line with the three position buttons means it's all too easy to press it instead of button 1 (see above); of course, if you then press button 1 as intended, you end up putting the seat's current position into that memory slot. :mad:
  • As mentioned previously, the car was not debadged on delivery as requested. In fact, I've counted a total of 15 AMG logos, and that just on the outside. Look inside and a further 7 or 8 reveal themselves; open the bonnet and there's another three on the engine cover alone. Add to that the 19 tristars (17 outside, one inside, one on the engine cover) and you begin to wonder whether MB have any faith in the inherent identity of their cars. Having said all that, I am pleased to once more own an MB that has the traditional laurel wreath emblem, which has been absent from half of my foregoing models.

Fantastic review. Need to read it again to digest it . Better than some of the pro reviews that I have seen over the years....Well done and hope you keep enjoying your car.
Fantastic review. Need to read it again to digest it . Better than some of the pro reviews that I have seen over the years....Well done and hope you keep enjoying your car.

Many thanks - glad you enjoyed it. (I need to write it again to eradicate some of the typos! :eek:)
Keyless is a much misunderstood feature - it's so much more than not just having to press the key fob and insert a key.

A great write up M.
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Excellent review. Would you do one for the Yeti please. Its more in my price range - Well a pre owned of course in a couple of years.

Cracking write up on a gorgeous car.
Love it.

Like you, I have found the flappy paddles more of a novelty than of any real practical use.
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Excellent review MOCAS!

You've inspired me to to put a bit of effort in and write something detailed myself!

Although no where near as well equipped or powerful as yours, I feel there's a similar spirit our cars share as well as one gripe - the cruise control lever is definately wrongly placed compared to my CLS - I activated cruise instead of indicating five times yesterday! :D
Excellent review MOCAS!

You've inspired me to to put a bit of effort in and write something detailed myself!

It will be very interesting to hear your views, and to see how the cars' respective characteristics compare.

Although no where near as well equipped or powerful as yours, I feel there's a similar spirit our cars share as well as one gripe - the cruise control lever is definately wrongly placed compared to my CLS - I activated cruise instead of indicating five times yesterday! :D

The cars are indeed kindred spirits. We must fix up that mini-GTG we spoke about with wemorgan while the summer lasts. :D

Good to know I'm not the only numpty when it comes to the cruise control lever. :p
Excellent review. Would you do one for the Yeti please. Its more in my price range - Well a pre owned of course in a couple of years.


If you'll forgive a little recycling, TJ, here's the initial review I posted on the Škoda forum last month. I've covered a further 500-odd miles in the Yeti since then, and the feelgood factor is still high. :)

The story so far...

Two days into my ownership of the Yeti, and based on my experience so far I know I've bought the right car.

It arrived with 29 on the clock and is now showing just over 400. Had an enjoyable run out to the Cotswolds yesterday, and down to Sussex today, with the intention getting some decent miles onto the car before the more mundane day-to-day usage kicks in. It's just had its second tankful of Shell unleaded, and the MFD is showing an average mpg of 38.8.

Any concerns I may have had about the 1.2-litre engine's ability to cope with varied driving have been allayed. The DSG seems to work well with this engine, and I was pleased to see that the car was happy to hold on to 7th gear on significant motorway inclines at around 70-75mph - I had been expecting it to need to shift down. I'm only using "D" for the time being, so can't comment yet on how it differs in the "S" setting. I'll try a more spirited driving style once the car has a few more miles under its belt, but so far I've been avoiding any sharp acceleration or high-end revs. Engine and road noise seem well suppressed, and the car has a solid and well-planted feel about it.

The cabin is a rather pleasant place to be, with the Gobi Sand colour scheme giving it a visual lift and providing a good contrast to the black bodywork. The quality of the dashboard plastic is better than I was expecting it to be, so I have put the plan to have it re-trimmed in nappa on hold. The finish of the faux-aluminium trim panel is also better than I recall from my brief test drive back in January, so that will also probably stay put for now. The plastics used on the door trims and lower centre console are less pleasing, so these will be receiving some attention at some point. Likewise the seats - as others have noted, the standard leather is nothing to write home about, but it's not just the quality of the leather itself; the way the panels have been stitched together is a little hit and miss in places. I feel a full nappa re-trim is on the cards.

Also pleased to see the subdued green back-lighting for the switchgear, after having had my eyes seared by the red illumination in an Audi A1 hire car I had while waiting for the Yeti to arrive. Having the MDI connector installed in the dash-top tray is a godsend, so I'm now very glad that I missed out on the factory-fit option. Bit miffed that I didn't get the opportunity to specify the DAB-enabled Columbus unit, but while I can still get Radio 4 on FM it's not a problem. The 12-speaker 'sound system' seems to be something of curate's egg; it copes well with much of the music on my iPod, and many of my reference pieces sound particularly mellifluous even at significantly higher volumes than I would normally use, although I did need to spend a bit of time getting the tone and fader settings to my liking. However, some tracks seem to present too great a challenge to the lower-range speakers, inducing an ear-bendingly discordant buzzing noise. At first I thought the speakers might actually be defective, but having satisfied myself that they are handling certain other tracks very well, I need to look further into why they're not coping with some particularly low bass notes. Could possibly be down to the quality of the specific recordings themselves.

In general, build quality seems to be very good. I noticed a persistent rattle coming from the rear passenger compartment on the drive home from the dealership, but having anchored the rear seat belts in their buckles this seems to have gone away. Still get a bit of noise when traversing potholes, but that may just be down to something in the glove compartment or top tray. If it persists once I've eliminated those possibilities, I'll mention it to the dealership.

I have a few niggles, but nothing serious enough to dull my enjoyment of the car. For instance, if you try leaving the car in D at a junction, putting the handbrake on and releasing the foot brake (pretty much standard practice with a modern automatic), the engine starts to race, so instead I either just sit on the brake or slip the gear lever into neutral. The multimedia touchscreen can be rather slow to respond, particularly when scrolling through long lists on the iPod, but I'm beginning to adjust to it. I think they've missed a small trick in not providing a better way of holding the variable boot floor in the upright position, where it would act as an effective bulkhead against the rear seat backs - particularly handy if using the central section in the armrest position. The manual says to support it using two of the shopping bag hooks in the boot compartment, which is OK but means that it does not sit as near-vertical as it might otherwise do, and is also a little too free to move about.

And one minor issue is making my pseudo-OCD work overtime: the fact that the symbol on the Columbus unit's on/off switch rotates with the knob means that it's hardly ever sitting straight! For the sake of my sanity, I've taken to using the steering wheel volume control instead (which is more convenient anyway). I also find myself pressing the "Radio" or "Media" button in the hope that the unit will switch itself on in response, only to find that I have to first use the on/off knob, followed by the relevant switch.

So all in all, a very positive start to Yeti ownership, and I'm looking forward to getting more miles in the bag.​

Here's a photo of the two together:

Wow, a very entertaining read! Though now I have desires to buy a Yeti :D
If you switch off the ignition with the wipers running, they just stop where they are, without self-parking.

same on my CLS .. useful when you are changing wipers. You turn off when wipers are vertical so you can bend the wipers for removal.

In rest position on my CLS, wipers do not bend back much, and therefore almost impossible to change wipers
Should take a job at Autocar! :)

very informative write-ups! Possibly good enough to be used by someone assessing the car to buy.
the cruise control lever is definately wrongly placed compared to my CLS - I activated cruise instead of indicating five times yesterday! :D

I've done the opposite on a few occasions - flashed my lights when wanting to activate cruise.
Informative and entertaining post, many thanks. The technology in the SLK makes my SL seem quite prehistoric, that said I can relate to: "...the AMG is capable of throwing you back into your seat." my old girl still does that :D
Glad to hear you're enjoying the car! It looks significantly cleaner than when I saw it at Olly's GTG and, I have to say, all the better for it ;). I do like those wheels.

You're right about the thrust of acceleration being addictive - even after 3 years it still puts a grin on my face. However, I'd suggest a track day as an alternative to a German autobahn as the best way to widen the grin even further..

I've never taken my SLK to Germany, I've done the autobahn trash thing in a number of rental cars and TBH it's a bit boring.. anyone can go fast in a straight line. I took the SLK to a VMax event and that wasn't hugely exciting either, we had a 2 mile runway to play with but thanks to the limiter I was flat out at 160 with half the runway to go.

Much more fun was to be found at Goodwood on the couple of track days I've done with the good citizens of MBClub. The track is smooth, flowing and fast - I was hitting 135 on the back straight, which is quick enough when you see the 90 degree right at the end of straight approaching! And if you can hold it flat through Fordwater then you're a better man than me - I always lift :eek:.


Great to see you are enjoying your new toy Mocas.
That is a lovely looking car
Glad to hear you're enjoying the car! It looks significantly cleaner than when I saw it at Olly's GTG and, I have to say, all the better for it ;).

I'm afraid it's still awaiting it's first wash. :eek: Those photos were taken around 10 minutes after the car had left the showroom on the day I collected it. It may never be that clean again. :D

You're right about the thrust of acceleration being addictive - even after 3 years it still puts a grin on my face. However, I'd suggest a track day as an alternative to a German autobahn as the best way to widen the grin even further..

I'm sure you're right, but I have misgivings about taking the car on a track as I I'd be a hindrance to other drivers owing to a lack of experience. Never mind not lifting off, I'd probably be braking far too often and in all the wrong places, or just generally getting in the way of other drivers.

If I was going to try track driving, quite frankly I'd need to have the track to myself. I'd also want to have a spare set of wheels and tyres so as not to abuse my road set, and then there's the question of insurance (I'm sure my policy doesn't cover track driving, whereas it does cover Germany...).

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