2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK350

I am late to this party, so let me bounce around.Thank you, Amy, for exposing the fact that, after so many years, we still grab the cruise control stalk instead of the turn signal stalk. IT MAKES ME NUTS! But I have to say, it is one of the most exacting speed controls in the business. It lasers in on your selected speed and you can precisely choose to raise and lower the upper limit in one-mph increments. Exactly.

As for all that hairdresser talk, clearly the past weighs heavily on the SLK name, much the same as the bad years of sissy BMW 3-series' relationship with yuppie stockbrokers made it difficult to turn opinion when the 3-series got its act together. I'm quick to forgive, never mind that it's my job. The face of the SLK is fairly "penetrating," if you know what I mean, and I think you do. The interior is ruthlessly black-on-black.

Trunk room? Let's remember that this is a roadster, a roadster with a folding hard top. It's amazing that there's ANY trunk, let alone one that will hold four grocery bags, a backpack, and a rolling briefcase. Height is the key to packing well.

I took a trip to northern Michigan and had a duffle, the aforementioned briefcase and backpack, and put the top down while waiting at a traffic light. It was a fantastic, breezy summer day, just perfect for a long easy cruise. The engine is reasonably powerful, although it doesn't take your breath away. It also doesn't empty your wallet: EPA is 18 city/26 highway.

The day following my happy little drive north brought a deluge that flooded my dirt drive. Stupidly, I drove right into it, keeping steady pressure on the accelerator, and made it through about a half-mile of water (traction control blinking frantically on the dash the entire way) without a problem. I wouldn't suggest anyone else try that, however.

And last but not least: Sam, Air Scarf is not even close to what it's like to be a hot-flashing woman. Because Air Scarf is nice.

Jean Jennings, President & Editor-in-Chief

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