Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 Mercedes Benz SL-Class VS 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Near Phoenix, AZ

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2011 Mercedes Benz SL-Class

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VS

2011 Chevrolet Corvette

Safety Comparison

The SL-Class offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Corvette doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The SL-Class offers optional Parktronic™ to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Corvette doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

Both the SL-Class and the Corvette 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.

The Mercedes SL-Class weighs 887 to 1380 pounds more than the Chevrolet Corvette. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty Comparison

The SL-Class comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The Corvette’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the SL-Class have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Corvette.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 9th in reliability, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 24th.

Engine Comparison

The SL-Class has more powerful engines than the Corvette:

Torque

SL63 AMG 6.2 DOHC V8

465 lbs.-ft.

SL65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

738 lbs.-ft.

Corvette 6.2 LS2 V8

424 lbs.-ft.

Corvette 2 mode exhaust 6.2 LS2 V8

428 lbs.-ft.

Corvette Z06 7.0 LS7 V8

470 lbs.-ft.

Corvette ZR1 6.2 supercharged LS2 V8

604 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Road & Track the SL63 AMG is faster than the Chevrolet Corvette (manual transmissions tested):

SL-Class

Corvette 2 mode exhaust

Corvette Z06

Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

4.5 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.5 sec

9.9 sec

8.9 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

12.8 sec

12.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

115.3 MPH

113.5 MPH

118.7 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the SL65 AMG is faster than the Chevrolet Corvette 6.2 V8 (automatics tested):

SL-Class

Corvette

Zero to 60 MPH

3.8 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.2 sec

9.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

4.4 sec

Quarter Mile

11.9 sec

12.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

123 MPH

116 MPH

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

Torque

SL550 5.5 DOHC V8

2800 RPM

SL65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

2000 RPM

Corvette 6.2 LS2 V8

4600 RPM

Corvette 2 mode exhaust 6.2 LS2 V8

4600 RPM

Corvette Z06 7.0 LS7 V8

4800 RPM

Corvette ZR1 6.2 supercharged LS2 V8

3800 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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

The SL-Class has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Corvette (21.1 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the SL-Class’ standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Corvette:

SL-Class

Corvette

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

12.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

The SL-Class’ brakes have 44% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Corvette with its standard brakes (678 vs. 471 square inches), so the SL-Class has more braking power available.

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The SL-Class has standard Brake Assist 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 Corvette doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The SL-Class stops much shorter than the Corvette:

SL-Class

Corvette

80 to 0 MPH

192 feet

212 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

152 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the SL-Class has larger front tires than the Corvette (F:255/40R18 & R:285/35R18 vs. F:245/40R18 & R:285/35R19).

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 Corvette, 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.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The front and rear suspension of the SL-Class uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Corvette, which uses transverse leafs springs. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

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

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 Corvette doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The SL65 AMG handles at .93 G’s, while the Corvette Convertible pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The SL-Class goes through Motor Trend’s slalom 1.8 MPH faster than the Corvette Convertible (67.4 vs. 65.6 MPH).

For better maneuverability, the SL-Class’ turning circle is 2.8 feet tighter than the Corvette’s (36.2 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the SL550 is quieter than the Corvette Convertible:

SL-Class

Corvette

At idle

48 dB

53 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

84 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

74 dB

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

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