2019 Mercedes CLS vs. 2018 Porsche Panamera

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CLS’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Panamera doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

To help make backing safer, the CLS’ 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 Panamera doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The CLS’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Panamera doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the CLS and the Panamera have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CLS’ warranty.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes CLS, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Panamera.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CLS’ standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Panamera:

 

CLS

Panamera

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13 inches

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The CLS has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Panamera doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Tires and Wheels

The CLS’ 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Panamera’s standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

The CLS’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Panamera doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

Chassis

The design of the Mercedes CLS amounts to more than styling. The CLS has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the Panamera (.28 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the CLS get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The CLS has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Panamera can only carry 4.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the CLS offers cargo security. The Panamera’s hatchback body style and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics

The CLS has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Panamera doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The CLS’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Panamera.

The CLS 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 Panamera doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the CLS the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Panamera can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The CLS offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Panamera doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The CLS’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Panamera doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mercedes CLS will be $1150 to $57902 less than for the Porsche Panamera.

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

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