Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Porsche Panamera VS 2014 Mercedes CLS-Class Near Phoenix, AZ

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2014 Porsche Panamera

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VS

2014 Mercedes CLS-Class

Safety Comparison

The Panamera offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The CLS-Class only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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

Warranty Comparison

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

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Panamera third among large premium cars in their 2013 Initial Quality Study. The CLS-Class isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 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 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked fifth.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Panamera GTS is faster than the CLS550:

Panamera

CLS-Class

Zero to 30 MPH

1.3 sec

1.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.1 sec

4.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

6.9 sec

7.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.7 sec

12.9 sec

As tested in Motor Trend the Panamera Turbo is faster than the CLS550:

Panamera

CLS-Class

Zero to 30 MPH

1.2 sec

1.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.5 sec

4.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

5.6 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.8 sec

10.6 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

1.9 sec

2 sec

Quarter Mile

11.9 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

114.7 MPH

110.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Panamera S E-Hybrid running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the CLS550 RWD (23 city/29 hwy vs. 18 city/27 hwy).

The Panamera S E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The CLS-Class must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the Panamera’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CLS-Class doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Panamera S4/GTS/Turbo’s standard fuel tank has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CLS-Class (26.4 vs. 21.1 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Panamera Turbo/GTS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the CLS-Class:

Panamera Turbo/GTS

CLS550

CLS63 AMG S-Model

Front Rotors

16.1 inches

14.2 inches

15.8 inches

The Panamera stops shorter than the CLS-Class:

Panamera

CLS-Class

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Panamera offers optional 20-inch wheels. The CLS-Class’ largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Panamera’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the CLS-Class (115 inches vs. 113.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Panamera is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the CLS-Class.

The Panamera Turbo 4 handles at 1.00 G’s, while the CLS550 4MATIC pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Panamera Turbo 4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the CLS550 (24.4 seconds @ .81 average G’s vs. 25.7 seconds).

Chassis Comparison

The Porsche Panamera may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 250 pounds less than the Mercedes CLS-Class.

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Panamera is rated a Mid-size car by the EPA, while the CLS-Class is rated a Compact.

The Panamera has 6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLS-Class (98 vs. 92).

The Panamera has 1.1 inches more front headroom and 2.1 inches more rear headroom than the CLS-Class.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Panamera’s available rear seats recline. The CLS-Class’ rear seats don’t recline.

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 climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The CLS-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 CLS-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 CLS-Class doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Panamera has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CLS-Class doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Panamera offers an optional 115 volt a/c outlet in the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters which can break or get misplaced. The CLS-Class doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Panamera will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Panamera will retain a greater percentage of its original price after three and five years than the CLS-Class.

Panamera

CLS-Class

Five Year

39% to 40%

30% to 32%

Three Year

50% to 56%

47% to 48%

Recommendations Comparison

The Porsche Panamera won the Check it Out award in Kiplinger’s 2013 car issue. The Mercedes CLS-Class didn't win any award.

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