Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 Porsche Panamera VS 2011 Mercedes S-Class Near Phoenix, AZ

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2011 Porsche Panamera

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2011 Mercedes S-Class

Safety Comparison

The Panamera has standard child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S-Class doesn’t offer child safety locks.

Compared to metal, the Panamera’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mercedes S-Class has a metal gas tank.

Both the Panamera and the S-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

The Panamera’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the S-Class’ (10/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked third.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in reliability. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 9th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche Panamera S is faster than the S550:



Zero to 60 MPH

4.6 sec

5.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.2 sec

13.2 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

13.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

109 MPH

102 MPH

Top Speed

176 MPH

132 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche Panamera Turbo is faster than the S65:



Zero to 60 MPH

3.3 sec

4.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.2 sec

9.2 sec

Quarter Mile

11.7 sec

12.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

119 MPH

118 MPH

Top Speed

193 MPH

158 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Panamera gets better fuel mileage than the S-Class:





18 city/27 hwy

19 city/25 hwy



16 city/24 hwy

15 city/23 hwy



11 city/17 hwy



18 city/26 hwy



16 city/24 hwy

14 city/21 hwy

Turbo V8/Auto

15 city/23 hwy


The Panamera S4/Turbo’s standard fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the S-Class (26.4 vs. 23.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Panamera’s brake rotors are larger than those on the S-Class:


Panamera Turbo

Panamera Turbo Opt.

S550/S400 Hybrid


Front Rotors

14.2 inches

15.4 inches

16.1 inches

13.2 inches

15.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

13.8 inches

11.8 inches

14.4 inches

The Panamera offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The S-Class doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Panamera stops much shorter than the S-Class:



80 to 0 MPH

204 feet

229 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction and acceleration, the Panamera has larger standard rear tires than the S-Class (275/45R18 vs. 255/45R18). The Panamera’s optional rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the S-Class (295/35R20 vs. 275/40R19).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Panamera is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the S-Class.

The Panamera Turbo 4 handles at .97 G’s, while the S600 pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Panamera Turbo 4 goes through Road & Track’s slalom 9 MPH faster than the S550 (69.1 vs. 60.1 MPH).

The Panamera S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the S550 (25.7 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Panamera’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the S-Class’ (39.3 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Porsche Panamera may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 700 pounds less than the Mercedes S-Class.

The Panamera is 10.9 inches shorter than the S-Class, making the Panamera easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Panamera’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The S-Class doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Panamera offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The S-Class doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Panamera’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The S-Class does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Panamera offers an optional rear wiper. The S-Class doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To help keep rear passengers entertained, the Panamera offers optional rear seat controls for the radio which can play a separate audio source. The S-Class doesn’t offer rear seat audio controls.

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