2019 Chevrolet Corvette vs. 2019 Mercedes SL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Corvette 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the SL. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the SL ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Corvette’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the SL’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Corvette. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the SL.

There are almost 8 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corvette’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 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 Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

Engine

The Corvette has more powerful engines than the SL:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Corvette 6.2 V8

455 HP

460 lbs.-ft.

Corvette Z51 6.2 V8

460 HP

465 lbs.-ft.

Corvette Z06 6.2 supercharged V8

650 HP

650 lbs.-ft.

Corvette ZR1 6.2 supercharged V8

755 HP

715 lbs.-ft.

SL 450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

SL 550 4.7 turbo V8

449 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

AMG SL 63 5.5 turbo V8

577 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Corvette Z06 is faster than the AMG SL 63 (automatics tested):

 

Corvette

SL

Zero to 30 MPH

1.3 sec

1.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3 sec

3.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

6.8 sec

7.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

3.2 sec

4.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

1.7 sec

1.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.2 sec

2.3 sec

Quarter Mile

11.1 sec

11.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

127 MPH

124 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Corvette (except ZR1)’s fuel efficiency. The SL doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Corvette uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The SL requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Corvette has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The SL doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Corvette stops much shorter than the SL:

 

Corvette

SL

 

70 to 0 MPH

127 feet

154 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

88 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Corvette Z06/Grand Sport/ZR1’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the SL (F:285/30R19 & R:335/25R20 vs. F:255/35R19 & R:285/30R19).

The Corvette Z06/Grand Sport/ZR1’s 285/30R19 front and 335/25R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series front and 25 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the SL’s 35 series front and 30 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corvette has standard 20-inch rear wheels. Only 19-inch wheels are available on the SL.

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

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corvette’s wheelbase is 5 inches longer than on the SL (106.7 inches vs. 101.7 inches).

The Corvette Z06 Convertible handles at 1.14 G’s, while the AMG SL 63 pulls only .93 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Corvette may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 550 pounds less than the Mercedes SL.

The Corvette is 5.3 inches shorter than the SL, making the Corvette easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Chevrolet Corvette amounts to more than styling. The Corvette has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the SL (.29 to .32). A more efficient exterior helps the Corvette go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the Corvette get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Corvette has .1 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more front hip room than the SL.

Cargo Capacity

The Corvette Convertible has a much larger trunk than the SL with its top down (10 vs. 8.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Corvette’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 SL does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Corvette offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The SL doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Model Availability

The Chevrolet Corvette comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Mercedes SL isn’t available as a coupe.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corvette second among midsize premium sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The SL isn’t in the top three.

The Corvette was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 15 of the last 22 years. The SL has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Corvette was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2014 Car of the Year. The SL has never been chosen.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Corvette as the 2014 North American Car of the Year. The SL has never been chosen.

The Chevrolet Corvette outsold the Mercedes SL by almost 9 to one during 2018.

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

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