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Mercedes SLK 280

As Mercedes rolls out new engines across its entire range, it was only a matter of time before the SLK was offered with a new and updated powerplant.

It may have missed the summer, but the SLK 280 is the pick of the Mercedes roadster range. The V6 offers impressive performance and is a better bet than the entry-level SLK 200K. Fine road manners are the icing on the cake.

As Mercedes rolls out new engines across its entire range, it was only a matter of time before the SLK was offered with a new and updated powerplant.

The 3.0-litre V6 unit plugs the gap between the entry-level SLK 200 Kompressor and the SLK 350. With 231bhp and 300Nm of torque, it propels the car from 0-60mph in only 6.2 seconds. And while the engine doesn't sound as meaty as rivals' - including Nissan's 350Z Roadster and BMW's Z4 3.0 - it's well mannered nevertheless.

Our car was fitted with the 7G-Tronic automatic transmission - an option at £1,770. This offers quick shifts, but has a tendency to hunt for the right ratio. Keen drivers will also be disappointed by the lack of precision from the brakes.

Still, the chassis is well balanced and the steering offers crisp turn-in. This is blended with a supple ride quality, which helps improve comfort on long trips.

Using the Vario roof is simple, and there's even a fairly practical boot. As with other models, the SLK 280 suffers some scuttle shake, but the latest Merc is still a great addition to the range.

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