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By Tom SeymourMercedes-Benz likes to describe its SLK roadster as the perfect combination of passion and efficiency and even though that notion may sound slightly oxymoronic, the description holds true.The SLK is a sports car that is usable in everyday life and even customers that will pay nearly £40,000 for the 250 BlueEfficiency AMG don't want to be flittering away hundreds of pounds a week on expensive petrol costs.When driven in Eco mode, it is capable of a respectable 42.8mpg and additions like start-stop function help to cut emissions down. However, if there's the opportunity to have a blast on some open road, the SLK will rocket off in sport mode with a 0-62mph time of 6.6 secs and on to a top speed of 151mph.To deliver in both areas is a difficult task and to some extent striking that balance does mean that customers looking for something more sports focused might not be satisfied.That's not to say the SLK can't handle some enthusiastic driving. When pushed hard on country roads the car always grips with complete confidence and the paddle shift automatic box gives a satisfying bark as it cycles up through its seven gears. The cabin is a refined and relaxing place to be too. Spending several hours on the road behind the wheel of a roadster usually prompts the dread of being cramped up in a tiny space, but the SLK feels spacious and it's quiet and comfortable when cruising on the motorway.Its USPs include Mercedes' optional air-scarf technology which blows warm air around the driver and passenger's neck when the weather might not call for putting the roof down, but you just feel like it anyway. The retractable-hard top roof is extremely easy to operate and a boot protector reassuringly protects any luggage or shopping when it folds away.The SLK's mixture of efficiency and performance means it won't alienate female customers and there is enough driving enjoyment to be had to bring in younger male customers too. However, the SLK still doesn't quite hold the same brand appeal for men as the BMW Z4. It will be up to the Mercedes marketing team and dealer network to get bums on seats for test drives to convince more men to get behind the wheel.SpecificationPrice £39,725Engines 1.8-litre 202bhp Performance 0-62mph 6.6 secs, top speed 151mphTransmission 7-sp autoEfficiency 42.8mpg, 153g/km CO2RV (3yr/30k) 48%Rivals BMW Z4, Porsche BoxterNew car marketNewsDealerConferenceUsed car analysisNews RecruitmentdigestDealerprofileShowroomFirst drive Mercedes-Benz SLK 250 BlueEfficiency AMGPassion with efficiency Mercedes SLK 250 AMG