Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Three petrol engines are offered on the SLK Roadster. The four-cylinder 184bhp SLK 200 is available with either a six-speed manual ‘box or a 7G-Tronic Plus automatic gearbox. It will get from zero to 62mph in 7.0 seconds and has a top speed of 147mph (and 149mph with manual transmission). The 204bhp SLK 250 also comes with the choice of the six-speed manual or the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic gearbox.

It is capable of getting from a standing start to 62mph in 6.6 seconds and has a top speed of 150mph. The most powerful engine is the six-cylinder 306bhp 350 and only the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic gearbox is available for this model. It can complete the benchmark sprint in 5.6 seconds and has an achievable electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

Pick of the bunch for enthusiasts is the 350 – it has pace from the off and bags of power right the way through the range.

The SLK has improved but the Porsche Boxster and the BMW Z4 are better for driving enjoyment. The SLK feels agile and quick but you never get the sense that you are at one and connected to the road like you are in a Boxster or a Z4. The electrically assisted steering is too light and limits driving pleasure. If you want to cruise along the seafront then this is the car for you.

However, the SLK is an improvement on its predecessor. On the twisty and tight stuff there's plenty of grip when cornering. You can make the experience more involving (throttle is sharpened) by choosing the ‘Sport’ mode over ‘Comfort’ but the downside is (still) the lack of steering feel.