2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs. 2019 Mercedes SLC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To help make backing safer, the MX-5 Miata’s 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 SLC doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the MX-5 Miata 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, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

Mazda’s powertrain warranty covers the MX-5 Miata 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.

There are over 52 percent more Mazda dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the MX-5 Miata’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 17th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the MX-5 Miata gets better fuel mileage than the SLC:

 

 

 

MPG

MX-5 Miata

 

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/34 hwy

 

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/35 hwy

SLC

 

Auto

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

 

 

AMG 43 3.0 turbo V6

20 city/29 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda MX-5 Miata uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The SLC requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The MX-5 Miata offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The SLC doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the MX-5 Miata’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the SLC’s (30.8 feet vs. 34.5 feet).

Chassis

The Mazda MX-5 Miata may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 950 to 1050 pounds less than the Mercedes SLC.

The MX-5 Miata is 8.7 inches shorter than the SLC, making the MX-5 Miata easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics

The MX-5 Miata’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Mercedes does not offer a locking feature on the SLC’s standard power windows.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mazda MX-5 Miata, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the MX-5 Miata second among compact 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 MX-5 Miata was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 16 of the last 28 years. The SLC has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The MX-5 Miata was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 8 of the last 25 years. The SLC has never been an “All Star.”

The Mazda MX-5 Miata outsold the Mercedes SLC by almost five to one during 2018.

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

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