2019 Porsche Panamera vs. 2019 Mercedes CLS

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

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Panamera helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard and even aims one of the vehicle’s headlights in the direction of the person or object. The CLS doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the Panamera and the CLS 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 crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

The Panamera’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CLS’ (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 Panamera has more powerful engines than the CLS:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Panamera 4S 2.9 turbo V6

440 HP

405 lbs.-ft.

Panamera GTS 4.0 turbo V8

453 HP

457 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.

CLS 450 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

AMG CLS 53 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

429 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Panamera 4S 2.9 turbo V6 is faster than the AMG CLS 53:

 

Panamera

CLS

Zero to 60 MPH

3.8 sec

4.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

12.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111.3 MPH

109 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the CLS 450 4MATIC (48 city/51 hwy vs. 23 city/30 hwy).

The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 31 miles. The CLS must run its internal combustion engine to move.

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Panamera Turbo’s fuel efficiency. The CLS doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Panamera’s standard fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the CLS (23.7 vs. 21.1 gallons).

Transmission

The Panamera offers a standard 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 CLS doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Panamera’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 CLS doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Panamera

CLS

Front Rotors

16.5 inches

14.2 inches

Rear Rotors

16.1 inches

14.2 inches

The Panamera 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 CLS doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Panamera stops much shorter than the CLS:

 

Panamera

CLS

 

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

101 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Panamera has larger standard tires than the CLS (F:265/45R19 & R:295/40R19 vs. F:245/40R19 & R:275/35R19). The Panamera’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CLS (F:275/40R20 & R:315/35R20 vs. F:245/40R19 & R:275/35R19).

The Panamera’s optional 275/35R21 front and 315/30R21 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 CLS’ 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Panamera offers optional 21-inch wheels. The CLS’ largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Panamera offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The CLS doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The Panamera offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Mercedes doesn’t offer an active suspension on the CLS.

The Panamera has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Panamera’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The CLS doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Panamera’s wheelbase is .4 inches longer than on the CLS (116.1 inches vs. 115.7 inches). The Panamera Executive’s wheelbase is 6.3 inches longer than on the CLS (122 feet vs. 115.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Panamera is 1.8 inches wider in the front and .7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the CLS.

The Panamera 4S handles at 1.01 G’s, while the CLS 450 4MATIC pulls only .90 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Panamera Turbo executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the CLS 450 4MATIC (23.9 seconds @ .86 average G’s vs. 25.8 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Panamera uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The CLS doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Panamera offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The CLS doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Panamera 4dr Hatchback a Large car, while the CLS is rated a Compact.

The Panamera has 15 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLS (108 vs. 93).

Cargo Capacity

The Panamera has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the CLS (17.6 vs. 11.9 cubic feet).

The Panamera 4dr Hatchback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the CLS (18.3 vs. 11.9 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 Panamera’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 CLS does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Panamera offers an optional rear wiper. The CLS 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 Panamera offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CLS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Model Availability

The Porsche Panamera comes in four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Mercedes CLS isn’t available as a station wagon.

Recommendations

The Porsche Panamera outsold the Mercedes CLS by almost nine to one during 2018.

© 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