Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2006 Mercedes Benz SL-Class VS 2006 Porsche 911 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2006 Mercedes Benz SL-Class

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VS

2006 Porsche 911

Safety Comparison

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The Mercedes SL Class has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. 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 SL Class 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 SL Class and the 911 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four wheel antilock brakes and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Mercedes SL Class weighs 537 to 1480 pounds more than the Porsche 911. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty Comparison

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

Reliability Comparison

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The engines in the SL Class 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.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2005 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Porsche vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Porsche is ranked 31st, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

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The SL Class has more powerful engines than the 911:

Horsepower

Torque

SL500 5.0 SOHC V8

302 HP

339 lbs.-ft.

SL55 AMG 5.4 supercharged V8

493 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

SL600 5.5 turbo V12

493 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

SL65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

604 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

911 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.

325 HP

274 lbs.-ft.

911 S 3.8 DOHC 6 cyl.

355 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the SL Class’ engines produce their peak torque and horsepower at lower RPM’s than the 911:

Horsepower

Torque

SL500 5.0 SOHC V8

5600 RPM

2700 RPM

SL55 AMG 5.4 supercharged V8

6100 RPM

2750 RPM

SL600 5.5 turbo V12

5000 RPM

1800 RPM

SL65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

5500 RPM

2000 RPM

911 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.

6800 RPM

4250 RPM

911 S 3.8 DOHC 6 cyl.

6600 RPM

4600 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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An engine control system which can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the SL Class V12’s fuel efficiency. The 911 doesn’t offer a system which can shut down part of the engine.

The SL Class has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 911’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 16.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The SL Class has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 911 AWD’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 17.7 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the SL65 AMG’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 911:

SL65 AMG

911

911

Front Rotors

15.4 inches

12.52 inches

13.78 inches

The SL Class’ brakes have 25% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the 911 (668 vs. 535 square inches), so the SL Class has more braking power available.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the SL Class has larger tires than the 911 (F:255/40R18 & R:285/35R18 vs. F:235/40R18 & R:265/40R18). The SL Class’ front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 911 (255/40R18 vs. 235/35R19).

The SL Class’ standard 285/35R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the 911’s standard 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the SL Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 911 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

The SL Class has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 911, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The SL Class offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Porsche doesn’t offer an active suspension on the 911.

The SL Class has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The 911 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The SL Class has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The 911 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the SL Class’ wheelbase is 8.3 inches longer than on the 911 (100.8 vs. 92.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the SL Class is 3 inches wider in the front and .1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 911.

The SL Class’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.4% to 49.6%) than the 911’s (38.4% to 61.6%). This gives the SL Class more stable handling and braking.

Chassis Comparison

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The SL Class’ standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The 911 doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The SL Class has a much larger trunk with its top up than the 911 Cabriolet (10.2 vs. 4.4 cubic feet). The SL Class has a much larger trunk with its top down than the 911 Cabriolet (7.3 vs. 4.4 cubic feet).

With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the SL Class offers cargo security. The 911’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics Comparison

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

The SL Class’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 911 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The SL Class’ 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 SL Class’ 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.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the SL Class 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.

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