Planet-9 Porsche Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
498 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After being totally underwhelmed (more like down right disappointed) by the 2.7L base Cayman, I decided to explore other options.
I stopped by the Mercedes store today and looked at their various offerings. The SLK350 is classified as a roadster, 2 seater, 3.5L V6, front engine, RWD. It is slightly larger than a Cayman. A little longer, a little wider, sits an inch or two higher (easier to get in and out), and wieghs 1000lbs more. I thought that is would feel a lot heavier than the Cayman, but it did not. It handles quite well as a roadster, not as a track day car, but for a street ride on the curvy mountain roads, it does an excellent job. The engine is rated at 302hp, but with the 7 speed auto, it is MUCH quicker than the base Cayman and the ride is so much more refined that there is really no comparison. For the same money, $70,000 +/- the Mercedes delivers a better package overall. Even though it is a convertible, (hard top convertible, no soft top), it is much more quiet than the Cayman. The Mercedes just felt better at everything that a 2 seater sports car should do compared to the new Cayman. The engine has far better response and the acceleration is much better than the Cayman base.


The automatic has a normal shift mode, a sport shift mode, and a manual paddle shifter mode. The sport mode shifts felt a little abrupt, kind of like a person that is just learning to shift fast with a manual transmission would be a good comparison. But the normal mode was very nice, not slushy or uncertain, but smooth and quick. The paddle shifting is quite the experience, the computer matches the RPM's so perfectly, it is absolutely smooth up and down. When in manual mode, there is a small green upshift indicator that tells you the computer thinks you will get better performance by upshifting instead of sitting in the gear that you are in. If you fail to downshift and lug the engine, the computer will perform the downshift even in manual mode. I was impressed with the complexity and well designed operation of the 3 modes (I presume the sport mode will learn eventually and shift better (as it had in other MB vehicles that I've owned)

If I was buying a track car, I would buy the Cayman S, but for a street ride (no track use, as I am keeping my 987 for the track) the Mercedes wins hands down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
That automatic still doesn't have a properly locking up torque converter. You have to get an AMG to get that. Yes they finally have a manual mode in some random, undocumented models. But no lock-up and I think they still only allow you to go into manual mode while car is standing.

I did not like the current SLK at all. It has almost no storage with the roof open (trunk gone), much less than a Boxster). The waistline is very high, the windshield short. It feels like looking out of a MG bunker.

The SLK drives nice enough but I ended up with an e89 Z4. Much more storage, lighter (IIRC), proper automatic, normal waistline height. You make sure you get rid of the runflat tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I have had both (280 not 350). The slk 280 first. I don't feel it is 1/2 the car the Cayman is. The Cayman is lightyears ahead of the SLK in virtually every respect, except possibly AC. The AC in the SLK is the ****. I found the seats in the slk not uncomfortable, but the headrest really accentuated how hard the ride was. The 7spd auto had intermittent faults, and decided I needed to pull over and restart the car a couple of times? The car had 35k miles I think...so it wasn't ragged out. It was a decent attempt at a sports car, but frankly it just didn't do much for me. It wasn't a bad car, got alot of compliments, sounded good. To each their own, but the 987CS is a better apples-to-apples comparison, and a better sports car in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
After being totally underwhelmed (more like down right disappointed) by the 2.7L base Cayman, I decided to explore other options.
I stopped by the Mercedes store today and looked at their various offerings. The SLK350 is classified as a roadster, 2 seater, 3.5L V6, front engine, RWD.
Interesting. So just to make sure I understand, you just compared a 2007 or 2008 base Cayman worth maybe $25K with a brand new Mercedes SLK350 worth 3 times that amount? You must be speaking about the 2007 or 2008 since you posted in the 987 forum and those were the only 987 years of the 2.7L. Honestly, I'm not shocked that you found the Mercedes more to your liking. If I had $70K to spend, that Mercedes wouldn't be in my top 10. Frankly, I don't think think there is another sub $30K car that stacks up to my 2008 base Cayman 5MT for sheer driving pleasure and smiles per mile. Nope, it's not super comfy in stop and go traffic and no, it's not a convertible. That's not why I bought it though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
The SLK350 is not available with a 6MT. The Cayman is. It is therefore impossible to compare the two cars. They are different cars for different enthusiasts with different priorities. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of vehicles to choose from and we can all buy (or lease) what best fits our criteria. So, enjoy your SLK350, and I will enjoy my '15 Base Cayman 6MT. Choice is a wonderful thing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,574 Posts
In a Car & Driver review of sports cars...........this is how they came out...........I have no idea what their criteria was for ranking but I share for amusement purposes if nothing else. (May be price/value if I were to guess...).

Rank In Sports Cars


1. Porsche Cayman
Price: $53,650 - $76,250

2. Porsche Boxster
Price: $53,150 - $83,150

3. Porsche Cayman GT4
Price: $85,650

4. Chevrolet Corvette
Price: $56,395 - $65,395

5. Jaguar F-type
Price: $65,995 - $165,995

6. Mercedes-AMG SLK55
Price: $73,525

7. Alfa Romeo 4C
Price: $57,495 - $67,495

10. Mercedes-Benz SLK-class
Price: $47,925 - $60,125
Show More in Sports Cars (11 total)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Is this a 981 vs SLK comparison? If yes, I suggest this thread moves to the correct forum. If not, it's an absurd thread to compare a $25K 987 to a new SLK. I'm pretty sure this group would take the used 987 all day long over a new SLK and save $50K for a rainy day
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
498 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Interesting. So just to make sure I understand, you just compared a 2007 or 2008 base Cayman worth maybe $25K with a brand new Mercedes SLK350 worth 3 times that amount? You must be speaking about the 2007 or 2008 since you posted in the 987 forum and those were the only 987 years of the 2.7L. Honestly, I'm not shocked that you found the Mercedes more to your liking. If I had $70K to spend, that Mercedes wouldn't be in my top 10. Frankly, I don't think think there is another sub $30K car that stacks up to my 2008 base Cayman 5MT for sheer driving pleasure and smiles per mile. Nope, it's not super comfy in stop and go traffic and no, it's not a convertible. That's not why I bought it though.
No, you misread my post.
I compared a new 2016 base Cayman to a new SLK350.
I also have a 2006 Cayman S that I enjoy, but it is rather rough on the freeways and I was looking for a non S or something a little softer for street use.
The comparison was based upon my total disappointment with the 2.7L in the base Cayman which led me to look at other vehicles.
My summation was that if a person is not going to track their car, that the SLK has a much more refined ride, but still offers very good handling (better than most can drive, especially legally on the streets), has more power, and a few better creature comforts in the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
Brian, it kind of sounds like you are not comparing the two cars, but rather contrasting them.
They are not very much alike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
No, you misread my post.
Techincally speaking, not sure I did since you posted in 987 and never said "new", bit it's all cool. If you already have a 987 and you are looking for a complimentary car and have $70K to spend, I do suggest a bit of diversity and a MB might be just the ticket to have a different sort of car. For me, I drive the Cayman on weekends and nice days (or easy commutes) and drive an X3 the rest of the time. I love the diversity of the 2 vehicles and the different dynamics and strengths each has.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,616 Posts
I drove a 1990's SLK 230 for about 5 years. The interior was fantastic. The sound isolation from outside was great, but I think about the equal of my 2014 BS. The road noise was a problem, about the same as my 2014 BS. The steering and handling weren't great in that car. In fact, after a quick evasive lane-change on the freeway, the back broke loose and would not lock back up (no yaw control on that car). The car was totaled, but protected me very well. After that, I went into a 2001BS with PSM, and have never looked back.

The Mercedes I had was great for luxury and feeling special, but not at all thrilling. The Boxsters are.

But my experience is 13+ years old. (Where did the time go?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,616 Posts
PS: For those who've heard of the green car curse, my SLK was a lovely shade of blue-green.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
TO OP:

A few years back we had a 987 Boxster. Before we opted to get the 981 series Boxster, we seriously considered the SLK350. In comparing the two I figured the similarities were many:

Drop Top
Six pistons firing to propel
Roadster designs
RWD
German engineering
Not sitting at every stop light
Both strong lines visually
Both interiors modernized (981 was now)
Used pricing similar in the Porsche Base line models

*************************Then I considered the differences after seeing/driving*******************************

SLK came almost fully loaded w/few upgrade options
SLK had that nice heater scarf (wife loved that!)
SLK is/was for more luxury and long haul daily drives
SLK has the front engine design
Porsche mid engine flat six
Porsche is designed for sports car handling rather than pure luxury
More trunk spaces in Porsche
I could get a manual (wanted one too!)
Feel more connected to the road in the Porsche
In doing Auto Cross the Porsche fit the need more as it was designed as a sports car not a luxury Roadster

We obviously opted for the Porsche

My opinion is this. If you EVER want to track your car on a consistent basis GET THE PORSCHE. If it is you desire to have a luxury roadster for top down getaway drives, get the SLK. Seems our thoughts are similar and virtually in line...LOL!! :dance:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,962 Posts
The SLK350 is not available with a 6MT. The Cayman is. It is therefore impossible to compare the two cars. They are different cars for different enthusiasts with different priorities. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of vehicles to choose from and we can all buy (or lease) what best fits our criteria. So, enjoy your SLK350, and I will enjoy my '15 Base Cayman 6MT. Choice is a wonderful thing.
That's too bad, MB doesn't make too manuals but they did a great job with the r171 SLK. Never been a fan of the 987 so never considered it. The SLK is a fun and comfortable car, it's both roadster and coupe, quiet and refine. Not as sporty as a 987 but definitely a better daily driver. I do missed mine now and then. To me, the r171 SLK is beautiful, not a fan of the new r172 which looks like every other MB out there.





 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,355 Posts
That's too bad, MB doesn't make too manuals but they did a great job with the r171 SLK. Never been a fan of the 987 so never considered it. The SLK is a fun and comfortable car, it's both roadster and coupe, quiet and refine. Not as sporty as a 987 but definitely a better daily driver. I do missed mine now and then. To me, the r171 SLK is beautiful, not a fan of the new r172 which looks like every other MB out there.








That is a beautiful car !

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
498 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
TO OP:

A few years back we had a 987 Boxster. Before we opted to get the 981 series Boxster, we seriously considered the SLK350. In comparing the two I figured the similarities were many:

Drop Top
Six pistons firing to propel
Roadster designs
RWD
German engineering
Not sitting at every stop light
Both strong lines visually
Both interiors modernized (981 was now)
Used pricing similar in the Porsche Base line models

*************************Then I considered the differences after seeing/driving*******************************

SLK came almost fully loaded w/few upgrade options
SLK had that nice heater scarf (wife loved that!)
SLK is/was for more luxury and long haul daily drives
SLK has the front engine design
Porsche mid engine flat six
Porsche is designed for sports car handling rather than pure luxury
More trunk spaces in Porsche
I could get a manual (wanted one too!)
Feel more connected to the road in the Porsche
In doing Auto Cross the Porsche fit the need more as it was designed as a sports car not a luxury Roadster

We obviously opted for the Porsche

My opinion is this. If you EVER want to track your car on a consistent basis GET THE PORSCHE. If it is you desire to have a luxury roadster for top down getaway drives, get the SLK. Seems our thoughts are similar and virtually in line...LOL!! :dance:
That is an excellent summary, I came to the same conclusion. If a person wants to autocross the car, the Porsche is the hands down winner. For an occasional HPDE, either car can satisfy that need. For regular HPDE events, the Porsche wins.

Since I have a 987 that I am keeping until/ unless I trade for a newer Cayman with a 3.8, I decided to buy the Mercedes.

The 2016 base 981 was the same price (within $500) of the SLK350 and the SLK has a significant advantage in HP and torque, plus an much smoother and much quieter freeway experience, the SLK wins hands down. (in my opinion)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Being a 987 owner, I feel this is the perfect thread for my 2 cents worth. 1st when I sit in my car, all before me is 911, the dash, the leg room, the hood, the doors. The shifter is old school closer to the floor than in later models. A/C, Bose w/aux. The best part is when I look behind me, the engine is in the same place as a Carrera GT. The M97 fitted to the 997 has tons of aftermarket parts available. Tons of suspension, brakes and tire options, I basically see the car as a shell that I can go wild with. I've never been one to have the sun beating down on my head, so I quite prefer the chassis rigidity of the coupe. Right now, I'm in the process of adding a turbo to my car, 2.7 turbo I love the sound of that. It's like some wonderful thing from the late '70s. I could increase my displacement but, as I don't plan to race it, 345 hp is more power than a base 997 and 8.3 hp/lb that's close to a stock c6 corvette 8.0 hp/lb. I smile when I see articles in excellence about six cylinder 914's and they don't even have good air conditioning. Sorry Porsche, but since I've got my mitts on a 987, I have no interest in DFI, PDK, or 3.0 turbos. At the end of the day, the SLK is just a tractor, Might as well be driving a Hyundai.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top