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Mercedes-Benz SLC 250d AMG Line review

Date: 12 October 2016   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Category: Roadster
P11D price: £36,940
Key rival: Porsche Boxster
On sale: April 2016

Now I know what you're thinking: the Mercedes-Benz SLC isn't exactly company car material.

It's a two-seater convertible that costs just shy of £37,000 after all. However, take a glance at the headline figures for this diesel-powered 250d and you may start to see an argument for the premium roadster forming.

The car emits 114g/km of CO2, meaning a 22% BIK tax band for the current 2016/17 year and offers a combined official fuel economy figure of 70.6mpg, which is very impressive considering the engine's 204hp and 500Nm of torque and 0-62mph time of 6.6 seconds.

These figures not only beat most rivals, they also compete with many popular hatchbacks and saloons.

Elegant design

There's no two ways about it - the Mercedes-Benz SLC is a beautiful car. Celebrating 20 years on sale, it replaces the SLK here in the UK and gets a couple of notable updates including a revised grille and new LED lights. Inside there's some new aluminum trim detailing and a redesigned instrument cluster.

Interior quality, as we've come to expect, is excellent and there's a surprising amount of storage options available in the cabin too (although you have to pay £50 for cupholders) alongside plenty of space for two to stretch out on long journeys.


The boot is small, as you would expect for a convertible, measuring at 225 litres with the roof open and expanding to 335 litres when the roof is closed. It's still bigger than many of its rivals, though, and can now be opened and closed at speeds up to 25mph.

Versatile diesel engine

There's a choice of four engines, but it's the 250d here that is predicted to account for around 70% of sales.

It's a powerful, smooth and impressively versatile unit, albeit quite conservative on the road, which proved at home both in the city and on the motorway.

The nine-speed automatic is perfectly suited to the engine and there's plenty of lowdown torque to make easy work of overtaking manoeuvres. The steering is expertly weighted too and the car proved grippy in the corners.


Although most people will want to take every available opportunity to have the roof down, wind and road noise is minimal with it up and ride quality is very good for a convertible too, making the SLC a surprisingly good motorway cruiser.

That headline figure of 70.6mpg seems a little unrealistic even for the out-of-date current NEDC cycle, though, as we only managed mid-40s on test.

AMG Line luxuries

You've got a choice of two trims in the SLC. Here we're testing the range-topping AMG Line, which includes kit like aircon, leather seats, satnav, DAB radio and sports seats as standard. It's not the most generously equipped of cars and options are expensive.

Among the vast amount of options available, we'd recommend the Airscarf neck-level heating, which makes it possible for you to have the roof down and be comfortable in colder weather for £395, although heated seats are also a must for £330.

Wing Mirror

Parking aids and the reversing camera are also worthwhile investments, costing £675 and £350, respectively. We'd also consider the Driver Assistance package that consists of blind spot monitoring, a lane-keeping aid and a distance alert to the car in front, although it's a little pricey at £1695.

Fitted to our car is also the Dynamic Handling package, which lowers the suspension, adds adaptive dampers and modifies the steering to give a more sportier drive. It doesn't transform the SLC into a dynamic sports car; however, the changes are notably positive and worth the £995 investment.

The rivals

Although its pegged against cars like the Porsche Boxster 718 and BMW Z4, neither offer a diesel version in the line-up, so on the costs front, only rivals such as the Audi TT can be compared. 

Unfortunately, the SLC doesn't fare well against the cheaper Audi. Comparing like-for-like, the SLC offers the cheaper running costs, but its 75.9ppm whole-life cost figure is beaten by the TT's 70.5ppm, largely because of the Audi's superior residual values.

Mercedes-Benz SLC roadster

Model price range: £30,495-£39,385
Residual value: 36.5%
Depreciation: £23,465
Fuel: £4,378
Service, maintenance and repair: £3029
Vehicle Excise Duty: £60
National insurance: £3670
Cost per mile: 75.9p
Fuel consumption: 70.6mpg
CO2 (BIK band): 114g/km (22%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £135/£271
Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles
Boot space: 335 litres
Engine size/power: 2143cc/204hp


A conservative roadster with surprisingly good comfort levels and indicated official figures. Just watch out for those expensive options.
  • Elegant looks
  • Impressive running costs
  • Comfortable on the motorway
  • Interior quality
  • Conservative drive
  • Stingy equipment levels
  • Expensive options