Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Mercedes Benz S-Class VS 2015 Porsche Panamera Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Mercedes Benz S-Class

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VS

2015 Porsche Panamera

Safety Comparison

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

The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Panamera doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The S-Class has standard NECK-PRO Front 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 Front Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Panamera doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the S-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 Panamera doesn’t offer a night vision system.

To help make backing safer, the S-Class’ optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Panamera doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The S-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 Panamera doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The S-Class has standard mbrace, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Panamera doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the S-Class and the Panamera have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, front parking sensors, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty Comparison

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There are over 55 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the S-Class’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

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The S-Class has more powerful engines than the Panamera:

Horsepower

Torque

S550 4.7 turbo V8

449 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

S600 5.5 turbo V12

523 HP

612 lbs.-ft.

S63 AMG 5.5 turbo V8

577 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

S65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

Panamera 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Panamera S E-Hybrid 3.0 supercharged V6

416 HP

435 lbs.-ft.

Panamera S 3.0 turbo V6

420 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

Panamera GTS 4.8 DOHC V8

440 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

Panamera Turbo 4.8 turbo V8

520 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the S550 is faster than the Porsche Panamera V6:

S-Class

Panamera

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

14.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.7 MPH

99.8 MPH

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

S550

S63/S65

Panamera

Panamera Turbo/GTS

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

16.5 inches

14.2 inches

16.1 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.1 inches

13 inches

13.8 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The S-Class’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Panamera’s standard 50 series front tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the S-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Panamera doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Panamera, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Panamera doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 9.6 inches longer than on the Panamera (124.6 inches vs. 115 inches). The S-Class’ wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the Panamera Executive (124.6 inches vs. 120.9 inches).

Chassis Comparison

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The design of the Mercedes S-Class amounts to more than styling. The S-Class has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .24 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Panamera (.29 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S-Class get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the S550 is quieter than the Panamera Turbo 4:

S-Class

Panamera

At idle

40 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The S-Class has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Panamera can only carry 4.

The S-Class has 14 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Panamera (112 vs. 98).

The S-Class has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 7.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 9.8 inches more rear legroom and 7.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Panamera.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The S-Class has a larger trunk than the Panamera with its rear seat up (16.3 vs. 15.7 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style and remote trunk release lockout, the S-Class offers cargo security. The Panamera’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S-Class’ available trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Panamera doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The S-Class offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Panamera doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left down on the S-Class the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the Panamera can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The Panamera doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. It’s standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the S-Class has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Panamera doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S-Class has standard extendable sun visors. The Panamera doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the S-Class is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Panamera’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The S-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 Panamera doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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The Mercedes S-Class won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The Porsche Panamera only won one award.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S-Class first among large premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Panamera isn’t in the top three.

The S-Class was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 3 of the last 16 years. The Panamera has never been an “All Star.”

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the Porsche Panamera by over four to one during 2014.

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