Mercedes SLK 250 CDI in the test

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Mercedes SLK 250 CDI in the test
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D his story almost had around Started 30 years ago: Due to new fleet consumption regulations in the USA, Mercedes astonished its customers with the five-cylinder diesel OM 617 under the hoods of the S-Class and W123 Coupé. However, he was spared the then R107 roadster series. Today, among other things, the decent running culture qualifies modern diesel engines for use in all imaginable vehicle types.

Appearance of the Mercedes SLK 250 CDI. Wait a minute - running culture? The 204 hp version of the OM 651 four-cylinder engine was previously less known for its particular suppleness. And indeed: the cold start in the morning tends to raise your eyebrows. It nails audibly under the long bonnet, and vibrations creep into the first-class finished interior.

Lush 500 Newton meters at 1,600 rpm

But a few hundred meters later, all that's left is a dull, robust soundscape, which the new exhaust system rolls out and knocks out vigorously across the entire rev range - unusual, but surprisingly roadster-compatible. Whereby: When it comes to revving power itself, the 2.1-liter engine of the Mercedes SLK 250 CDI is rather cautious, relying instead on its torque lobe, which rests in the combustion chambers and which it swings violently from 1,600 rpm. And a lot of Newton meters can't do any harm in a sports car, especially not a lush 500 of them. This has to be tamed by the well-known, hard-working seven-speed automatic, which, however, does not want to separate from kickdown even in manual mode.

Overall, however, the engine and transmission prove to be a perfectly coordinated team even in the new environment and help the Mercedes SLK 250 CDI to good driving performance. The 1.6-ton SLK reaches the 100 km /h mark in seven seconds - three tenths slower than the manufacturer promises.

The Mercedes SLK 250 CDI needs 7.8 liters

If a diesel is lost in a sports car, consumption counts at least as much. The factory specification: 4.9 L /100 km. The reality: 7.8 L /100 km. But if you adapt your driving style to the corresponding test cycles, you can achieve values ​​below five liters even in normal road traffic. And those who drive the Mercedes SLK 250 CDI in a species-appropriate manner can still travel around 770 kilometers with the test consumption - and have a lot of fun doing it.

For example, if a flawless strip of asphalt winds through hilly stretches of land, the Mercedes SLK 250 CDI test car, equipped with the optional AMG package, dynamically winds its way up climbs and down into valleys. Now the adaptive dampers (1,416 euros surcharge) can work in the sport position, in which they reduce the side tilt to a minimum from the outset. In S-mode, the automatic follows the increased speed, quickly shifts back when braking hard and up with manual gear selection without delay. And if the driver misses the turn-in point - the variable-ratio steering itself is not the problem, because it implements all commands immediately, but becomes harder when changing course extremely quickly. The mostly neutral Mercedes SLK 250 CDI also shows its slightly oversteering driving behavior, supported by special ESP programming.

Casual chassis of the Mercedes SLK 250 CDI

But what if the road thwarted all dynamics and shows your holey face marked by the need to save? The chassis of the Mercedes SLK parries casually, which is surprising in view of the tight basic set-up even in normal mode. Important for the impression of comfort: the seats. They are pleasing with their firm upholstery and gripping lateral support and, like the stylish sports steering wheel, have sufficient adjustment range. SLK drivers get that regardless of the engine; Lush torque, minimal consumption without sacrificing driving dynamics are only available in the Mercedes SLK 250 CDI - so the story doesn't start a day too early.

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