Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Mercedes Benz SL-Class VS 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Mercedes Benz SL-Class

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VS

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

Safety Comparison

The SL-Class’ front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Corvette doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The SL-Class has standard NECK-PRO Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Corvette doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The SL-Class offers an optional PRE-SAFE Brake, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Corvette doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the SL-Class helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Corvette doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The SL-Class’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Corvette doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The SL-Class’ optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The Corvette doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The SL-Class’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Corvette doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the SL-Class and the Corvette have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Mercedes SL-Class weighs 474 to 1001 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’ 2014 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes second in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

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

Torque

SL550 4.7 turbo V8

516 lbs.-ft.

SL63 AMG 5.5 turbo V8

664 lbs.-ft.

SL65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

738 lbs.-ft.

Corvette 6.2 V8

460 lbs.-ft.

Corvette 6.2 V8

465 lbs.-ft.

Corvette Z06 6.2 supercharged V8

650 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the SL400 gets better fuel mileage than the Corvette Auto (20 city/27 hwy vs. 16 city/29 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the SL-Class’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Corvette doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The SL-Class has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Corvette (19.8 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

SL550

SL63/SL65

Corvette

Corvette Z06

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

15.8 inches

12.6 inches

15.5 inches

The SL-Class stops shorter than the Corvette:

SL-Class

Corvette

60 to 0 MPH

102 feet

104 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).

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 offers an optional 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.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the SL-Class is .3 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Corvette.

For better maneuverability, the SL550’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Corvette’s (36.2 feet vs. 37.7 feet). The SL63/SL65’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Corvette’s (36.4 feet vs. 37.7 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 SL63 AMG is quieter than the Corvette Stingray Convertible:

SL-Class

Corvette

At idle

49 dB

55 dB

Full-Throttle

83 dB

90 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The SL-Class has 1.2 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more front shoulder room than the Corvette.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults or children, the SL-Class offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Corvette doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Corvette, 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, outside mirror angle and climate settings and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The SL-Class’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Corvette.

If the windows are left down on the SL-Class the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor); on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the Corvette can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the SL-Class has a standard remote convertible top which can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The Corvette’s top can only be opened by remote, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

The SL-Class’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Corvette’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the SL-Class detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Corvette doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the SL-Class has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Corvette doesn’t offer cornering lights. The SL-Class also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The SL-Class’ power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Corvette’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The SL-Class’ standard air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. Air conditioned front seats cost extra on the Corvette.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the SL-Class offers an optional Distronic Plus, 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 Corvette doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The SL-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Corvette doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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