Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 25 Oct 2016
Roadster is a noun and describes an open-top car or a horse riding on the road. A true roadster is something hard to find these days, the perfect balance of a compact body, near perfect driving position and connected drive make driving a roadster a truly special experience.
Introducing the new Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class. Previously dubbed the SLK, Mercedes-Benz has re-introduced their baby roadster as the SLC. With the new title comes a wealth of facelifted upgrades, which includes the increasingly popular Mercedes diamond inspired grill and generally wider, more pronounced body panels and styling.
New & Better
While this latest generation SLC is not a massive departure from the previous SLK, Mercedes-Benz has however improved little elements overall throughout the entire vehicle. Though it’s hard to always pinpoint each and every change, the overall result is a notable improvement in terms of overall ride quality and solidity on the road.
The engines available within the SLC range provide a refreshed approach to modern motoring. Following the global trend of increased efficiency and environmental awareness, Mercedes-Benz has brought smaller, yet more muscular new engines to the range, including the 2.0-litre four cylinder turbocharged petrol motor in this SLC300. The engine develops 180 kW of power with 370 Nm of torque. The most impressive part for me about the entire experience is the noise which this SLC300 is capable of producing. When you engage the drive mode known as “Sports+,” the SLC engines comes to life, it simply pops, crackles and makes the entire roadster experience really enjoyable.
When you look up in the SLC within 20-seconds, the hard-top roof can be folded into the boot. Mercedes-Benz helped pioneer the hard-top folding roof and the one on the SLC is flawless.
Sporty & Supportive
Despite its small body and small overall cabin, the Mercedes-Benz SLC remains as comfortable as it is supportive. The deep bucket seats help hold you well in the bends and its wealth of aluminium trim panels and the embossed SLC gear selector fill the cabin with an air of impressive class and true Mercedes-Benz style sporty elegance.
Media and entertainment sources are delivered compliments of the Mercedes Command media interface, which is easy to operate, clear and precise. All navigation is controlled via a multi-directional navigation jog wheel in the centre of the cabin. The vehicle features dual-USB input slots in the central glove-box as well as the alternative to pair your device and stream media or voice via Bluetooth. With the modern Command interface, you also have the ability to use services such as Apple Car Play and its wealth of media sources including satellite-based radio services.
SLiCing It Up
The Mercedes-Benz SLC 300 beautifully encompasses the essence of a true roadster. Its compact body, suave sophisticated appearance and purring engine all help contribute an overall fun-filled top-down driving experience. It is more of a burbler than a shrieker and provides the perfect platform for a cruise along a beachfront boulevard.
The SLC range starts from R684 476, with this SLC300 retailing for R756 136 inclusive of a 6-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.
As with any high-end automobile, the options and specs list can be extensive, but I would certainly opt for the below:
– Airscarf neck-level HVAC (Cost – R7 000) as fitted to review vehicle
– Heated Front Seats (Cost – R4000) as fitted to review vehicle
Both these options make it a pleasure to drive, even top-down in the colder weather. You can also spec the optional Harman Kardon audio system at R13,000 not that it is essential in my opinion.
Watch my full video review and drive in SLC by clicking the below link: