2019 Toyota 86 vs. 2019 Mercedes SLC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the 86 and the SLC have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.


Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the 86 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the SLC. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the SLC ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the 86 for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the SLC.

There are over 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 86’s warranty.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 17th.


The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 86 lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability (That’s why Porsche uses boxer engines.). The SLC doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 86 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the SLC 300 (24 city/32 hwy vs. 23 city/32 hwy).


The 86 offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The SLC doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The 86’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.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 86’s wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer than on the SLC (101.2 inches vs. 95.7 inches).


The Toyota 86 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 700 pounds less than the Mercedes SLC.

The design of the Toyota 86 amounts to more than styling. The 86 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .27 to .29 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is significantly lower than the SLC (.33 to .36). A more efficient exterior helps the 86 go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 86 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The 86 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the SLC can only carry 2.

The 86 has 27.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the SLC (76.5 vs. 48.8).


The 86’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Mercedes does not offer a locking feature on the SLC’s standard power windows.


Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota 86, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The 86 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2013. The SLC has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 86 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 7 years. The SLC has never been an “All Star.”

The Toyota 86 outsold the Mercedes SLC by over two to one during 2018.

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

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