2019 Chevrolet Corvette vs. 2019 Mercedes SLC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Corvette and the SLC 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 SLC. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the SLC ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Corvette’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the SLC’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 SLC.

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 SLC:

 

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.

SLC 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

AMG SLC 43 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

AMG SLC 43 3.0 turbo V6

385 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

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 SLC 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 SLC requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Corvette has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the SLC’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 SLC doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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

The Corvette’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

For better stopping power the Corvette’s brake rotors are larger than those on the SLC:

 

Corvette Z51

Corvette GS/Z06

Corvette ZR1

SLC 300

AMG SLC 43

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

15.5 inches

12.7 inches

14.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13.3 inches

14.4 inches

15.3 inches

11.8 inches

13 inches

The Corvette’s 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.

The Corvette Z06/Grand Sport offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The SLC doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Corvette has larger standard tires than the SLC (F:245/35R19 & R:285/30R20 vs. F:225/45R17 & R:245/40R17). The Corvette Z06/Grand Sport/ZR1’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the SLC (F:285/30R19 & R:335/25R20 vs. F:235/40R18 & R:255/35R18).

The Corvette’s standard 245/35R19 front and 285/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the SLC 300’s standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires. The Corvette Z06/Grand Sport/ZR1’s 285/30R19 front and 335/25R20 rear tires have a lower 30 series front and 25 series rear profile than the SLC’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corvette has standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the SLC 300. The SLC’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 SLC doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corvette’s wheelbase is 11 inches longer than on the SLC (106.7 inches vs. 95.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Corvette is 2.4 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the SLC.

Chassis

The design of the Chevrolet Corvette amounts to more than styling. The Corvette has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the SLC (.33 to .36). 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 3.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the SLC (52 vs. 48.8).

The Corvette has .5 inches more front legroom and 3 inches more front shoulder room than the SLC.

Cargo Capacity

The Corvette Convertible has a much larger trunk than the SLC with its top down (10 vs. 6.4 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 SLC 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 SLC doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Corvette keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The SLC doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Corvette 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.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Corvette owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Corvette will cost $895 less than the SLC over a five-year period.

The Corvette will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Corvette will retain 50.97% to 60.61% of its original price after five years, while the SLC only retains 44.39% to 47.67%.

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 SLC isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

The Chevrolet Corvette outsold the Mercedes SLC by over 9 to one during 2018.

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

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