2019 Porsche 718 Boxster vs. 2019 Mercedes SLC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 718 Boxster and the SLC have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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 and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The 718 Boxster’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the SLC’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 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 Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 47 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Porsche 6 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

The 718 Boxster has more powerful engines than the SLC:

 

Horsepower

Torque

718 Boxster 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

300 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster S 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

350 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

365 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

365 HP

317 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.

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 718 Boxster lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The SLC doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the 718 Boxster’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The SLC doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The 718 Boxster offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The SLC doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The 718 Boxster offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The SLC doesn’t offer an SMG.

The 718 Boxster PDK’s optional 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 718 Boxster’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the SLC:

 

718 Boxster

SLC

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.7 inches

The 718 Boxster’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 718 Boxster 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 718 Boxster has larger standard tires than the SLC (F:235/45R18 & R:265/45R18 vs. F:225/45R17 & R:245/40R17). The 718 Boxster’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the SLC (F:245/35R20 & R:305/30R20 vs. F:235/40R18 & R:255/35R18).

The 718 Boxster’s optional 245/35R20 front and 305/30R20 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’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 718 Boxster has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the SLC 300. The 718 Boxster’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the SLC.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 718 Boxster’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the SLC (97.4 inches vs. 95.7 inches).

Chassis

The Porsche 718 Boxster may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the Mercedes SLC.

The design of the Porsche 718 Boxster amounts to more than styling. The 718 Boxster offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .31 to .32 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the SLC (.33 to .36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 718 Boxster get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The 718 Boxster has 1.3 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more front legroom than the SLC.

Cargo Capacity

The 718 Boxster has a much larger trunk than the SLC with its top down (9.7 vs. 6.4 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 718 Boxster’s available trunk can be opened just by holding your hand near the emblem on the trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The SLC doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in service department satisfaction. With a 6% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 6th.

Ergonomics

The 718 Boxster’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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the 718 Boxster 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.

On extremely cold winter days, the 718 Boxster’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The SLC doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

The 718 Boxster will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 718 Boxster will retain 56.74% of its original price after five years, while the SLC only retains 44.39% to 47.67%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Porsche 718 Boxster will be $140 to $10439 less than for the Mercedes SLC.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Porsche 718 Boxster, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Boxster was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 14 of the last 14 years. The SLC has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 718 Boxster was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 10 of the last 19 years. The SLC has never been an “All Star.”

The Porsche Boxster outsold the Mercedes SLC by 5% during 2018.

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

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