Buying used: Mercedes-Benz SLK | The Independent

We get used to German cars being incredibly reliable and well made. And this one is a Mercedes, so it must be totally solid, right? Wrong. The steel used seems to have been of rather poor quality, so rust is very much the enemy here, and very much in evidence. Before discussing which engine or model, think first of the bodywork.

In particular, check the wheel arches and behind the front indicator lenses. Stone chips can lead to a rusty bonnet quite quickly, while rear subframes can also suffer badly from corrosion. And if water gets into the boot it can cause a lot of damage, including knocking out the central-locking pump.

While that’s all pretty negative, there are plenty of positives. The small SLK is a stylish sports car with a cool folding roof and just the thing for a summer cruise. The Mk1, known as the R170, came with ABS, alloys and traction control and…

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