With a new nomenclature, an updated powerplant and a revised exterior design, the Mercedes-Benz SLC is set to continue the legacy of the German marque's compact roadster (with a folding metal roof). The Mercedes-Benz SLK was one of those iconic vehicles that oozed style and presence. While petrolheads scoffed at the lack of outright performance from the non-AMG models, there was something oh-so-appealing about a fashionable boulevard-cruising compact Benz roadster. Now for 2016, Mercedes-Benz has rung the changes beginning with the name. This may appear to be an SLK, but it's the Mercedes-Benz SLC300 AMG-Line, to give its full title. Much like the rest of Benz’s line-up, names are changing as part of a new strategy. GLK became GLC; GL became GLS and so on.
The 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo petrol motor that we’ve recently experienced in both the C-Class sedan and C-Class coupe again does duty in this SLC300. We've previously noted that the motor feels considerably restrained and, at times, felt an unwilling participant in situations that were conducive to enthusiastic driving. Thankfully, Mercedes-Benz has tweaked the powertrain for its application in the SLC and given it a sportier note and attitude, which is evident when Sport+ mode is activated... the exhaust has a perceptibly deeper tone to it. Most modern 4-cylinder engines sound a bit bland (it was the Volkswagen Audi Group who engineered that characteristic gearshift blip) and the Mercedes-Benz is no different; it is only when you press on that the SLC300's motor sounds somewhat sporty.
Benz claims the 300 will hit 100 kph from standstill in under 6 seconds, which gives it enough paces to embarrass pretenders in their "warm" hatches. Enthusiastic driving is not the Mercedes-Benz SLC’s modus operandi though. Given the SLC's genteel and mature target market, the Benz is endowed with refined road manners. With the roof down, your favourite music playing through the audio system and a scenic road stretched out in front of you, the SLC is calm, eminently premium mode of transportation.
Mercedes-Benz SLC Price in South Africa
The SLC range starts from R684 476, with this SLC300 retailing for R756 136. The price includes a 6-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.