Mercedes SLK-Class 1996 to 2004 R170 (W170)

Mercedes SLK-Class 1996 to 2004 R170 (W170)

    Common Faults


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Automatic Transmission – There have been several reports of problems with this gearbox and they are rarely cheap.


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Rust – This is, unfortunately, common for majority of Mercedes-Benz cars produced in the second half of the 1990s. Wheel arches are especially affected.


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Roof – This is the amazing hard top Vario-roof from Mercedes which gives you the safety and quiet ride of a coupe and the versatility of a convertible. It makes use of an advanced hydraulic system and it was remarkably reliable. However, after almost 20 years, they can start causing troubles and servicing costs are huge.


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Pedal Box on Manuals – These have been failing too often, not being designed to support heavy use.


    Guide Price £ TBC

    Early 230K – They can develop an oil leak through the cam magnet. The oil gets into the wiring harness. Later models saw this issue resolved.





    No recalls to report. Please let Star-Tec Engineering Ltd know if one has come out we have not shown.


    Model Types


    The Mercedes-Benz R170 first appeared in 1996. It was the first car of its kind for the company, placed below the more upmarket SL-Class in the line-up. The RWD roadster with two doors and hard top featured five different engines of three sizes – 2L, 2.3L and 3.2L V6, mated to 5-speed automatic or manual and 6-speed manual later on. There were no diesel options.


    The facelift came in 2000, bringing new styling for the front and rear bumpers, new side skirts, wing mirrors and some tech features like ESP. The manual got an additional gear and suspension got reinforced on both ends. The engines were revised as well and the flagship version got the 3.2L V6 with 218hp and the 3.2L AMG version with 354hp which was incredibly powerful for such a small car. With the limiters removed, the car could go all the way up to 193 mph.


    Trim Lines & Engines


    Basic equipment comes with a number of electrical features, mostly regarding comfort. Each and every one of these cars had the folding hard top, ABS, alloy wheels, driver’s and passenger’s airbag, electric mirrors and windows, heated mirrors, PAS, remote central locking, side airbags, service indicator, sports seats and traction control.


    Optional features comprise an even longer list and include loads of goodies such as cruise control, climate control, alarm, CD, fog lights, headlight washers, leather seats and much more.






    2.0 L I4

    2.3 L I4 S/C

    2.0 L I4 S/C

    3.2 L V6


    Model History


    Even though Mercedes had already had a sporty roadster in the form of the SL-Class, a market for cheaper roadsters was being created with the likes of the Miata/MX-5. Mercedes responded with the SLK-Class, a small roadster with an automatic retractable hard top, which was not very common on the market.


    Its production started in 1996 and the initial models came with the 2.3L I4 with a supercharger/compressor, boasting 193hp, which was more than respectable in a car of that size. Similarly, you could choose between a 5-speed manual or automatic, the 6-speed manual coming several years later. Aside from the mentioned 2.3, there was another I4 engine available in the initial model with 2L of displacement and two power ratings. The N/A 2.0 had 136hp, while the 2.0 with a compressor had 192hp and the top speed of 147mph.


    The updated version came in 2000. The SLK was becoming more and more popular and buyers were willing to pay more money for it, so Mercedes offered the hugely improved model with V6 options added to the revamped I4s. The new 200 Kompressor (German spelling) had 163hp, less than the previous one, but the 230 Kompressor now came with 197 hp. The V6 had 3.2L of displacement and 218hp, but the very top was reserved for the SLK32 AMG with 354 hp which gave it massive amounts of push to go with the all new SPEEDSHIFT automatic with 35% faster shifting. The AMG version was better in every respect, proving to be a proper sports car. Only 4,333 of them were made, just 263 of them finding their way to the UK.


    Styling-wise, the facelifted SLK-Class came with new front and rear bumpers, side skirts and wing mirrors with turn signals. ESP became standard after it was also put in the A-Class to improve its unsatisfactory handling. Also, a six-speed manual was introduced and suspension was improved.




    R179 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class

    Model Year – 1996-2004

    Class – Sports Car

    Body Style – 2-door roadster

    Drive Wheels – RWD

    Seating – 2


    For information regarding our servicing options, please visit the Mercedes servicing page.

Services & Guides





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Saturday 8:30 - 13:00

Sunday Closed

Startec House, Unit 1 Davis Road, Chessington, Surrey, KT9 1TT | Company No: 07087762 | VAT No:153979467

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Mercedes SLK-Class 1996 to 2004 R170 (W170)
mercedes servicing epsom
Mercedes SLK-Class 1996 to 2004 R170 (W170)

Mercedes SLK-Class 1996 to 2004 R170 (W170)