PH BLOG: AT HOME WITH SOME RANGE
Riggers falls for a diesel SLK, if only because he doesn't have to get off his backside to fill it up...
We'll go into the whys and the wherefores of the diesel SLK in more detail another time, but here we'll just focus on one thing: range. Specifically, how nice it is to actually have some in a car with sporty pretensions.
In a petrol-engined sports car of this sort, you'd often expect to get no more than 275-300 miles of touring range before the fuel gauge dropped sufficiently low for you to search out a fuel pump.
In the SLK 250 CDI I zero'd the trip having brimmed the tank, and the car's electronic brain was still giving me a remaining range of 130miles after 465 miles of driving.
The key to the appeal of this is that it's just so liberating, the opposite of the so-called range anxiety you get with electric cars. Let's call it range confidence - the ability to start pretty much any journey and know you can finish it in one fell swoop.
The diesel SLK is far from perfect, mind - the diesel rattle is genuinely intrusive and rather grates in a car that ought to be about cultured cruising - but it definitely has its appeal, not least in that brilliantly liberating range.
Though perhaps the diesel sports car formula is a little more slickly expressed in the form of the BMW 640d, albeit at almost twice the price...