2019 BMW 2 Series vs. 2019 Mercedes SLC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available crash mitigating brakes and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 2 Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The SLC has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The SLC isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 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 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 2 Series Convertible gets better fuel mileage than the SLC:

 

 

 

MPG

2 Series Convertible

RWD

Auto

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

 

 

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

AWD

Auto

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

 

 

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

SLC

RWD

Auto

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

 

 

AMG 43 3.0 turbo V6

20 city/29 hwy

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.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the BMW 2 Series as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Mercedes SLC is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The 2 Series offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The SLC doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

All wheel drive, available in the 2 Series, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Mercedes SLC is not available with all wheel drive.

The 2 Series Automatic’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The SLC doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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 SLC 300 are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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.

Suspension and Handling

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).

Passenger Space

The 2 Series has standard seating for 4 passengers; the SLC can only carry 2.

The 2 Series Convertible has 32.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the SLC (81.7 vs. 48.8).

Cargo Capacity

The 2 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the SLC with its top down (9.9 vs. 6.4 cubic feet). The 2 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top up than the SLC with its top up (11.8 vs. 10.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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.

The 2 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The SLC doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 2 Series comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Mercedes SLC isn’t available as a coupe.

Economic Advantages

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 2 Series will be $3511 to $35910 less than for the Mercedes SLC.

Recommendations

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 5 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 by almost five to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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