German Miata? 1999 Mercedes Benz SLK230 Kompressor R170

Tip and Words by DT tipper/contributor Andy L. 

Remember when Mercedes Benz was synonymous with blue-chip
reliability and unmatched quality? Me neither. Well, it has been a
while, anyway.  Something happened right around the year 1999 that
sullied the reputation of this storied car maker. As an example, find this 1999 Mercedes-Benz SLK230 Kompressor offered for $7,200 in Eagle, NE via craigslist.

For the first part of the millennium, [Mercedes-Benz’s] cars were cross-pollinated with bad genes from the other side of the pond and build quality plummeted.  Buying a Benz would still set you back an arm and a leg, but costly repairs would come a lot more often. The immaculate fit and finish once found in each MB was absent.  The purchase of a Benz became less about acquiring an heirloom-quality piece of motoring machinery and more about conspicuous consumption.  Post-warranty used Mercedes’ of this period were, and still are, tossed from owner to owner like hot potatoes.  Each new owner was and is trying to avoid getting burnt by the next depreciation and repair hit.

Luckily, MB has gone to lengths to redeem its reputation for quality in recent years.  Initial build quality is back near the top of the heap again and range-topping models hearken back to the era of gullwing doors and bulletproof, heavy-oil luxury cruisers.  Anyhow, this little Kompressor was manufactured right when it all started going wrong for MB.  It is hard to say if it has any Dodge Stratus blood in its veins.  You can, however, be sure that it is a retractable hard-top with a supercharged engine, RWD, a manual transmission, a clean title and only 56K miles.  Those are certainly a lot of cool traits to have in a car for a mere $7200.  For what it’s worth, it also happens to be a Mercedes Benz.

See another folding hardtop equipped 2-seater for less?