Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2004 Mercedes Benz CLK VS 2004 Porsche 911 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2004 Mercedes Benz CLK

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2004 Porsche 911

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes CLK have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Porsche 911 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes CLK are height adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Porsche 911 doesn’t offer height adjustable seat belts.

The CLK has standard front and rear seat side-impact airbags and head airbags, which act as a forgiving barrier between the passengers and the door. Combined with high-strength steel door beams this system increases protection from broadside collisions. The 911 doesn’t offer rear-seat side-impact airbags, only ones for front seat occupants.

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the CLK deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The 911’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The CLK has a standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. The ESP then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. A skid prevention system costs extra on the 911.

The Mercedes CLK has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Daytime Running Lights decrease the chances of collisions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The 911 doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The CLK has standard Tele Aid, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 911 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies.

Both the CLK and the 911 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags and four wheel antilock brakes.

Warranty Comparison

Mercedes pays for scheduled maintenance on the CLK for 4 years and 50,000 miles. Mercedes will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Porsche doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 911.

There are over 60 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the CLK’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The engines in the CLK have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the 911 have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the CLK55 is faster than the Porsche 911 (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.3 sec

12.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

13.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107 MPH

104 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The CLK320 gets better fuel mileage than the 911 automatic (20 city/26 hwy vs. 18 city/26 hwy).

The CLK Coupe has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 911 (18.5 vs. 16.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The CLK Cabriolet’s 16.4 gallon tank has almost a gallon more capacity than the 911.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. Whatever factors cause this tendency, the CLK has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The 911 doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The CLK stops shorter than the 911:



80 to 0 MPH

228 feet

232 feet

Road & Track

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CLK’s wheelbase is 1 foot, 2.3 inches longer than on the 911 (106.9 vs. 92.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CLK is 1.2 inches wider in the front than the average track on the 911.

The CLK’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.2% to 48.8%) than the 911’s (40% to 60%). This gives the CLK more stable handling and braking.

The CLK500 Coupe goes through Road & Track’s slalom 3.8 MPH faster than the 911 (66.5 vs. 62.7 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the CLK500 Coupe is quieter than the 911 Turbo Carrera 4 (47 vs. 55 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the CLK Coupe is rated a Subcompact car by the EPA, while the 911 Coupe is rated a Minicompact. The CLK Cabriolet is rated a Subcompact car by the EPA, while the 911 Cabriolet is rated a Minicompact.

The CLK Coupe has 11.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 911 (81.5 vs. 70). The CLK Cabriolet has 21.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 911 Cabriolet (85.2 vs. 64).

The CLK Coupe has .4 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room and 4.3 inches more rear headroom than the 911.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The CLK Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 911 with its rear seat up (10.4 vs. 4.6 cubic feet).

The CLK Cabriolet has a larger trunk with its top up than the 911 Cabriolet with its top up (8.6 vs. 11.7 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The CLK’s standard tilting steering column adjusts to different sized drivers and makes entering and exiting easier. Porsche doesn’t offer tilt steering on the 911.

The CLK’s memory seats store positions for the driver and front passenger. The 911’s available memory system is only for the driver.

The CLK’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 911’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

The CLK’s standard rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 911’s standard intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The CLK has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The 911 doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

A power rear sun shade is optional in the CLK Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The 911 doesn’t offer a rear sun shade.

The CLK’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The 911 doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

The CLK has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The 911 doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The CLK’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The 911 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the CLK has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 911 doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the CLK offers an optional Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The 911 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the CLK has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The 911 doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

With optional voice command, the CLK offers the driver hands free control of the radio and cell phone by simply speaking. The 911 doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the CLK owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CLK will cost $90 to $999 less than the 911 over a five year period.

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