2018 SLC 300 New Car Test Drive
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC is the car formerly known as SLK. To go with its new name, the 2017 SLC presents a freshened face, touched up around the grille, headlamps, and air intakes.
By any name, this car has not been redesigned since the 2011 model year, and it is the size of a subcompact. It's clunky when compared to the elegant Mercedes-Benz coupe line. The SLC is especially dated in the cabin, where there are a few new surfaces, some revised gauges and a new steering wheel, but not enough changes to turn an awkward K into a swoopy C.
There are just two models, the Mercedes-Benz SLC300 and the racy Mercedes-AMG SLC43. The SLC300 is more of a comfort machine than a sports machine. The Mercedes-AMG SLC43 is meant to address the performance aspect.
It's hard to believe that the hardtop roadster sports car has been around for two decades (not counting the true pioneer, the 1957 Ford Skyliner), but that's how long it's been since Mercedes-Benz reintroduced it with the SLK. The 2017 SLC efficiently carries on the design.
The SLC300 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, to accelerate the car to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, a brisk performance. The engine has a fairly flat torque curve, so there's little drama or high-rpm thrill.
The Mercedes-AMG SLC43 is a totally different car, with its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. On top of the hood-busting power, a Dynamic Handling package makes cornering balanced and responsive, including when the car is being pushed hard. Steering and suspension improvements, plus a limited-slip rear differential, further help the Mercedes-AMG SLC43 get around corners. It uses the same 9-speed automatic transmission as the SLC300, but it's programmed to shift quicker. It'll get to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, which is very quick. A standard Dynamic Select system provides five drive modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual.
The 2017 SLC comes in just two models, SLC300 with its turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and Mercedes-AMG SLC43 with its twin-turbocharged V6 and suspension upgrades.
Standard features include Bluetooth and the Mercedes COMAND infotainment system. But not a rearview camera. Available safety equipment includes active braking assist, and lane keeping assist.