2019 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2018 Porsche Panamera

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The S-Class’ 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.

The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Panamera doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

To help make backing safer, the S-Class’ 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 S-Class’ 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 S-Class and the Panamera have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, night vision 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 S-Class’ warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S-Class third among large premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Panamera isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The S-Class has more powerful engines than the Panamera:

 

Horsepower

Torque

S 450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

S 560 4.0 turbo V8

463 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

AMG S 63 4.0 turbo V8

603 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

AMG S 65/Maybach S 650 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

Panamera 3.0 turbo V6

330 HP

331 lbs.-ft.

Panamera 4S 2.9 turbo V6

440 HP

405 lbs.-ft.

Panamera 4 E-Hybrid 2.9 turbo V6

462 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Panamera Turbo 4.0 turbo V8

550 HP

567 lbs.-ft.

Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid 4.0 turbo V8

680 HP

626 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Panamera’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 23.7 gallons).

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes S-Class, 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 S-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Panamera:

 

S-Class

Panamera

Front Rotors

14.6 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 S-Class 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

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the S-Class 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 front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Panamera, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class’ 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is longer than on the Panamera:

 

S-Class

Panamera

SWB Sedan

124.6 inches

116.1 inches

LWB Sedan

132.5 inches

122 inches

For better maneuverability, the S AMG S 65’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Panamera’s (38.1 feet vs. 39 feet). The S 450/560’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the Panamera Executive’s (40.4 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the S 560 is quieter than the Panamera Turbo:

 

S-Class

Panamera

At idle

40 dB

45 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

76 dB

Passenger Space

The S-Class has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Panamera can only carry 4.

The S-Class has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Panamera (112 vs. 108).

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S-Class easier. The S-Class’ trunk lift-over height is 27.4 inches, while the Panamera’s liftover is 29.7 inches.

With its sedan body style and remote trunk release lockout, the S-Class offers cargo security. The Panamera’s hatchback body style and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics

The S-Class 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 S-Class’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Panamera.

The S-Class 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 S-Class 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.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The Panamera doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the S-Class has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Panamera doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

The S-Class has a 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 S-Class’ 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.

Model Availability

The Mercedes S-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Porsche Panamera isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes S-Class, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the Porsche Panamera by 90% during the 2018 model year.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos