The 2 Series offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The SLC doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
Both the 2 Series and the SLC have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 2 Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 103 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The SLC has not been tested, yet.
The 2 Series’ corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the SLC’s (12 vs. 5 years).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the SLC.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The SLC isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th, below the industry average.
The 230i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (248 vs. 241) than the SLC300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The SLC doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The 2 Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the SLC300 are solid, not vented.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 2 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The SLC doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 2 Series’ wheelbase is 10.2 inches longer than on the SLC (105.9 inches vs. 95.7 inches).
The 2 Series has standard seating for 4 passengers; the SLC can only carry 2.
The 2 Series Convertible has 33.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the SLC (82 vs. 48.8).
The 2 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the SLC with its top down (13.7 vs. 6.4 cubic feet). The 2 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk than the SLC with its top up (13.7 vs. 10.1 cubic feet).
On extremely cold Winter days, the 2 Series’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The SLC doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The 2 Series has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the SLC.
Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW 2 Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series first among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The SLC isn’t in the top three in its category.
The M235i/M240i was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 2 years. The SLC has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
The 2 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The SLC has never been an “All Star.”
The BMW 2 Series outsold the Mercedes SLC/SLK by almost five to one during the 2016 model year.