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Mercedes-Benz SLC Review

Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC

1/10

Mercedes-Benz SLC

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Mercedes-Benz SLC

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Mercedes-Benz SLC

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Mercedes-Benz SLC

5/10

Mercedes-Benz SLC

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Mercedes-Benz SLC

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Mercedes-Benz SLC

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Mercedes-Benz SLC

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Mercedes-Benz SLC

10/10

1 / 10

  • Launched in 2016
  • Convertible
  • Petrol, diesel
  • Launch year
    2016
  • Body type
    Convertible
  • Fuel type
    Petrol, diesel

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heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Quality roadster with a hard-top

Best bits

  • Folding metal roof offers best of both worlds 
  • Impressive nine-speed automatic gearbox
  • Plenty of standard equipment 

Not so great

  • Small boot reduces in size when the roof is lowered
  • Dashboard looks dated now
  • Driving experience not as fun as styling suggests

Read by

Mercedes SLC frontright exterior

Overall verdict

Mercedes SLC front interior

On the inside

Mercedes SLC frontright exterior 2

Driving

Mercedes SLC rear exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes SLC leftside exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Mercedes-Benz SLC offers a rare combination of compact size, reasonably affordable price and a folding metal roof. A strong range of engines, along with the excellent nine-speed automatic gearbox, add to the overall package. However, a dated interior design and small boot hold the SLC back against other rivals."

Mercedes SLC frontright exterior

Mercedes-Benz created a major trend for convertibles with folding metal roofs when it launched the original SLK in 1996. Fast-forward to 2016 and the company had a new name for its latest version of the two-seat roadster: SLC.


Updated styling brought the SLC into line with pricier models in the Mercedes-Benz range. Its big chrome grille looks imposing and wears the three-pointed star with pride. Inside, the SLC does show its age, with an interior that lags behind modern rivals.


The ultimate party piece is the electrically operated folding metal Vario-roof. It fully opens or closes in just 20 seconds, and even works on the move at speeds up to 25 mph.


Looking at the cars the SLC competes with, the metal roof will have big appeal to buyers. Solid metal (or glass on panoramic versions) has a security advantage over fabric soft-tops. It also means extra insulation against noise, and adds to the all-weather credentials of the SLC. Even with the roof down, the level of wind noise in the SLC’s cabin is well suppressed. 


Such a complex folding roof does have downsides. In particular, it affects the luggage space on offer in the SLC’s boot. Dropping the top sees the car lose 110 litres of carrying capacity, taking it down to just 225 litres. That’s less space than some city cars, meaning you will have to pack carefully.


The payoff for the compact dimensions is a car that feels genuinely sporty whatever roads you happen to be on. A low driving position adds to the special feeling; there’s no doubt that you are behind the wheel of a genuine sports car. Looking out across the bonnet, even a trip to the shops is likely to feel slightly exotic.


Hitting the country lanes will bring out the best in the SLC. Precise steering allows you to place the car easily on the road, with the relatively compact dimensions adding to the experience. It may not be the sportiest car in its class, but the SLC offers just enough to entertain. The only downside is a ride that can become uncouth on models fitted with bigger wheels.


Engine options include a number of four-cylinder turbo petrols, along with a high-performance turbocharged V6 in the range-topping AMG SLC 43. There is also a single diesel engine offered, which may make sense for cruising long distances. An impressive nine-speed automatic gearbox came as standard for many models in the SLC range. 


Mercedes-Benz was generous with equipment across all versions of the SLC, helping justify the higher list price compared with key rivals. Cruise control, sports seats, air conditioning and a wind deflector were all standard equipment. An extensive options list means there is plenty of opportunity for personalisation, too. 


Although there may be younger rivals on offer, the Mercedes-Benz SLC still offers a compact and classy two-seat roadster experience. For some, the badge on the grille will be all that matters, while others will enjoy making the most of the folding metal roof.


Ready to get your top quality Mercedes-Benz SLC?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC

Mercedes-Benz SLC

SLC 200 Final Edition 2dr

  • 2020
  • 2,399 miles
  • Mercedes-Benz of Guildford
  • Surrey, GU11RU
Price:£37,995
PCP: £710.92/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £710.92, Customer Deposit: £5,699.00, Total Deposit: £5,699.25, Optional Final Payment: £14,110.92, Total Charge For Credit: £6,697.37, Total Amount Payable: £44,692.37, Representative APR: 9.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 9.48%, Excess Mileage Charge: 15.6ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC
Mercedes-Benz SLC

Mercedes-Benz SLC

SLC 180 AMG Line 2dr

  • 2018
  • 22,176 miles
  • Mercedes-Benz of Guildford
  • Surrey, GU11RU
Price:£26,995
HP: £734.54/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £734.54, Customer Deposit: £4,049.00, Total Deposit: £4,049.25, Total Charge For Credit: £3,507.69, Total Amount Payable: £30,502.69, Representative APR: 9.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 9.45%

Is the Mercedes-Benz SLC right for you?

Roadsters with a retractable hard-top have a specific appeal to those who want a convertible, but the added protection of a metal roof. Popular in the early 2000s, cars like the SLC have fallen from the spotlight lately.


For those who want a relatively affordable premium sports car with the security of a folding metal roof, the SLC is essentially the only option. It offers an engaging driving experience, although is best suited to relaxed cruising than outright speed. 


Anyone considering an SLC needs to take the limitations of the interior and relatively small boot into account. However, the Mercedes-Benz badge could be enough to persuade many buyers.


What’s the best Mercedes-Benz SLC model/engine to choose?

We would skip past the entry-level SLC 180 and jump to the SLC 200 petrol as the best engine option in the range. It offers a blend of decent performance and economy, and keeps purchase costs to a reasonable level. 


Plumping for an SLC 200 with the optional nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox is also recommended. It suits the nature of the SLC better than the standard six-speed manual and comes with steering wheel-mounted paddles, should you want to change gear yourself. 


Trim levels on the SLC are few in number, and the basic Sport model offers all the equipment you reasonably need. Unless you are particularly keen on the bigger wheels and bodykit of the AMG Line version, it’s not worth the extra money.

What other cars are similar to the Mercedes-Benz SLC?

The SLC has two main rivals, both of which also come from German manufacturers. Closest in spirit is the Audi TT, which brings sharp styling and a minimalist interior to the convertible party. Unlike the SLC, it has a fabric convertible roof, but it does offer a wide range of engines. With a mid-engined layout and a strong focus on the driving experience, the Porsche 718 Boxster is SLC’s other arch rival. 


Mazda sells the affordable Mazda MX-5 in an RF version, which features a simpler retractable metal hard-top roof. The Mazda badge might lack cachet for some, though.


Learn more

Mercedes SLC front interior

On the inside

Mercedes SLC frontright exterior 2

Driving

Mercedes SLC rear exterior

How much does it cost to run

Mercedes SLC leftside exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Has the Mercedes-Benz SLC been discontinued?

Yes. Production of the Mercedes-Benz SLC ended in early 2020. To mark this, the firm produced a "Final Edition" SLC. This was available with the choice of three petrol engines: a 181bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the SLC 200 and a 242bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the SLC 300, plus the flagship 387bhp AMG SLC43.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

What is the difference between the Mercedes-Benz SLK and Mercedes-Benz SLC?

The two cars are essentially the same. The SLK was renamed SLC when it was facelifted in 2016, to fit in with the new way that Mercedes-Benz names its cars. Th SLC got some new updates -including new headlamps - but was essentially unchanged from the old SLK.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross

What replaced the Mercedes-Benz SLC?

The Mercedes-Benz SLC was not directly replaced, ending a run that started back in 1996. Roadsters of this size have fallen out of favour in recent years and there's not the demand for them that there once was.

heycar editorial team

Answered by

heycar editorial team

What does AMG mean?

AMG is the performance division of Mercedes-Benz. The company started in Germany with the original name AMG Engine Production and Development Ltd. It was started by two ex-Mercedes-Benz mechanics known as Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher. Aufrecht’s birthplace was Grossaspach, and if you take a look at all of the first letters, you’ll get A (Aufrecht) M (Melcher) and G (Grossaspach).

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

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