Reviews

2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class Walk Around


The SLC is elegant and nicely sculpted, more masculine than the previous SLK, with chiseled low sheetmetal. The new grille for 2017 is a diamond pattern, fairly vertical, standard in black, or chrome with the Sport Package. At the rear there are LED taillights. The familiar silhouette rises at the beltline.

The transition from the blunt nose to the tapering rear end isn’t as smooth as it might be, and it looks more distinctive with the top down than up.

Just as the AMG SLC43 is totally different behind the wheel, so does it look different, with a glossy black air deflector, big air intakes with chrome fins, a silver front splitter, shiny black 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome exhaust tips, and a silver chrome diffuser apron.

Interior

The squared-off cabin fails to match the curvaceous and meticulous levels of the Mercedes-Benz sedans and the crossovers, or even the smaller CLA and GLA. The new flat-bottomed steering wheel tries to convince you that the instrument panel is fresh, but the clean analog gauges are about it. Same buttons, switches, and seven-inch infotainment screen embedded in the dash.

The cabin is tight when the top is up, turning the SLC300 into a quiet coupe. It’s the high point of the car’s overall design. With the top down, there’s some turbulence, reduced by a mesh divider between the seats, and windstops that close the openings in the rollbars behind each seat. Now that’s detail. Meanwhile, the available Airscarf whispers warm air onto the occupants’ necks. It’s a charming feature.

The hardtop comes standard with a panoramic glass roof with available Magic Sky Control, which lightens and darkens the glass. More detail. Visibility can be difficult with the top up.

Given the long hood and short cabin, there is remarkably little cabin space. However, if you compare it to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, it feels generous. Taller folks will want more legroom, and more seat travel, as the seats are located close to the dash. Deeper footwells would be nice, too.

Cubbies for storing small things are surprisingly lacking. The center console compartment has maybe enough room for a camera without a long lens. Don’t look to the trunk, either, certainly not with the top down. You might get away for a weekend with two people, as there’s backpack-sized space under the floor. In total, there’s 10.1 cubic feet with the roof up, 6.4 with it down.

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