2019 Porsche 718 Cayman vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 718 Cayman and the C-Class Coupe 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 Cayman’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the C-Class Coupe’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 Cayman has more powerful engines than the C-Class Coupe:

 

Horsepower

Torque

718 Cayman 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

300 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

718 Cayman S 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

350 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Cayman GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

365 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Cayman GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

365 HP

317 lbs.-ft.

C 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 718 Cayman lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Transmission

The 718 Cayman offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The 718 Cayman 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 C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer an SMG.

The 718 Cayman 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 C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The 718 Cayman 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 C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 718 Cayman stops much shorter than the C-Class Coupe:

 

718 Cayman

C-Class Coupe

 

60 to 0 MPH

99 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 718 Cayman has larger standard tires than the C-Class Coupe (F:235/45R18 & R:265/45R18 vs. F:225/45R18 & R:245/40R18). The 718 Cayman’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Coupe (F:245/35R20 & R:305/30R20 vs. F:225/45R18 & R:245/40R18).

The 718 Cayman’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 C-Class Coupe’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 718 Cayman GTS has standard 20-inch wheels. The C-Class Coupe’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The 718 Cayman S handles at 1.04 G’s, while the C 300 pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 718 Cayman S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the C 300 4MATIC (23.7 seconds @ .89 average G’s vs. 25.9 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 718 Cayman’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the C 300’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.8 feet). The 718 Cayman’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the AMG C 43 Coupe’s (36.1 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

The Porsche 718 Cayman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 900 pounds less than the Mercedes C-Class Coupe.

The 718 Cayman is 1 foot shorter than the AMG C 43 Coupe, making the 718 Cayman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the 718 Cayman has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The C-Class Coupe uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Cargo Capacity

The 718 Cayman has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Coupe (14.9 vs. 10.5 cubic feet).

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 Cayman’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 C-Class Coupe does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the 718 Cayman offers an optional rear wiper. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 718 Cayman offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Recommendations

The Cayman was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 14 years. The C-Class Coupe has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 718 Cayman was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 3 of the last 6 years. The C-Class Coupe has never been an “All Star.”

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

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