Why would you buy a 2002 Mercedes-Benz SLK 32 AMG instead of a brand new car?
For about the same amount of money as a new Mazda MX-5 you could buy a 2002 Mercedes-Benz SLK 32 AMG…but why would you?
IN 2002 THERE WAS no Facebook, Google wasn’t a verb, Nokia was cool and this Mercedes-Benz SLK 32 AMG was sold in Australia for around $160,000 plus onroads . Its supercharged V6 was good for 260kW and 450Nm delivered to the rear wheels via a five-speed automatic gearbox which made it capable, back in 2002, of a 0-100km/h time of 5 seconds. Even today that’s a respectable acceleration capability.
Fourteen years later the AMG has 54,000km on the clock and is worth around $43,000. I’m taking some photographs of it for a friend, work which included a drive, of course, so I thought it’d be interesting to ponder the choice spending that $43k on an older car like this one, or something suitably sporty, top-droppable and brand new.
For instance, if you took your $43k to a Mazda dealer then you could drive away in brand-new MX-5, as opposed to this much older Mercedes. The little Mazda is more nimble and better fun to drive than the SLK, has a warranty, would be more reliable and cheaper to run, and have most of the ‘luxury’ features that in 2002 were considered special. If all you want is cheap open-top motoring then the MX-5 is what you should buy. But if you wanted to spend a little bit more then the Mustang awaits, available as automatic only but with a choice of four cylinder or V8 power. The Mustang is a much more practical car than the MX-5, just as modern, albeit not as much fun to drive and more expensive.