Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2007 Mercedes Benz SL-Class VS 2007 BMW 6 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2007 Mercedes Benz SL-Class

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2007 BMW 6

Safety Comparison

Both the SL Class and the 6 Series 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, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Engine Comparison

The SL Class has more powerful engines than the 6 Series:



SL550 5.5 DOHC V8

382 HP

391 lbs.-ft.

SL55 AMG 5.4 supercharged V8

510 HP

531 lbs.-ft.

SL600 5.5 turbo V12

510 HP

612 lbs.-ft.

SL65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

604 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

650i 4.8 DOHC V8

360 HP

360 lbs.-ft.

M6 Coupe 5.0 DOHC V10

500 HP

383 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the SL550 5.5 DOHC V8 is faster than the 650i 4.8 DOHC V8 (automatics tested):

SL Class

6 Series

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.3 sec

5.6 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

3.8 sec

4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

104 MPH

103 MPH

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 6 Series:



SL550 5.5 DOHC V8

6000 RPM

2800 RPM

SL55 AMG 5.4 supercharged V8

6100 RPM

2600 RPM

SL600 5.5 turbo V12

5000 RPM

3500 RPM

SL65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

5500 RPM

2000 RPM

650i 4.8 DOHC V8

6300 RPM

3400 RPM

M6 Coupe 5.0 DOHC V10

7750 RPM

6100 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

An engine control system, which can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders, helps improve the SL Class V12’s fuel efficiency. The 6 Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The SL Class has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 6 Series (21.1 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the SL65 AMG’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the 6 Series:



6 Series

M6 Coupe

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

15.4 inches

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

The SL Class stops shorter than the 6 Series:

SL Class

6 Series

80 to 0 MPH

203 feet

209 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

169 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the SL Class has larger tires than the 6 Series (F:255/40R18 & R:285/35R18 vs. F:245/45R18 & R:275/40R18).

The SL Class’ standard 255/40R18 front and 285/35R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio), which provides a stiffer sidewall than the 6 Series’ standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires. The SL55/SL65’s 255/35R19 front and 285/30R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the 6 Series’ optional 40 series front and 35 series rear 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 6 Series, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the 6 Series don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The SL Class has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The 6 Series’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 6 Series doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The SL65 AMG handles at .93 G’s, while the 6 Series Convertible pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The SL Class goes through Motor Trend’s slalom 2.9 MPH faster than the 6 Series Convertible (67.4 vs. 64.5 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

The SL Class is 11.7 inches shorter than the 6 Series, making the SL Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The SL Class’ standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The 6 Series doesn't offer a retractable hardtop.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the SL Class offers cargo security. The 6 Series’ non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the 6 Series, the SL Class has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, seatbelt height, outside mirror angle and climate settings and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

Consumer Reports rated the SL Class’ headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the 6 Series’ headlights, which were rated “Good.”

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 6 Series doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

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