2020 Jaguar F-Type vs. 2019 Mercedes SL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The F-Type offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The SL doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

To help make backing safer, the F-Type’s 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 SL doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the F-Type and the SL 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, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available blind spot warning systems and front parking sensors.


The F-Type comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The SL’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

The F-Type’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the SL’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Jaguar pays for scheduled maintenance on the F-Type for 5 years and 60,000 miles. Jaguar will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the SL.


As tested in Motor Trend the F-Type SVR is faster than the Mercedes SL:


SL 550


Zero to 60 MPH

3.3 sec

4.1 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

11.5 sec

12.5 sec

11.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

122.7 MPH

115.2 MPH

123 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the F-Type R is faster than the SL 550:



Zero to 60 MPH

3.6 sec

4.1 sec

Quarter Mile

11.8 sec

12.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

122.3 MPH

115.2 MPH


All wheel drive, available in the F-Type, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Mercedes SL is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the F-Type’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the SL:



Front Rotors

14 inches

13.5 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

12.6 inches

The F-Type stops much shorter than the SL:



70 to 0 MPH

137 feet

154 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

101 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the F-Type SVR’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the SL (F:265/35R20 & R:305/30R20 vs. F:255/35R19 & R:285/30R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the F-Type offers optional 20-inch wheels. The SL’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The F-Type offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the SL; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The F-Type’s 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 SL doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the F-Type’s wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the SL (103.2 inches vs. 101.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the F-Type is 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the SL.

The F-Type R Convertible handles at .98 G’s, while the SL 550 pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The F-Type R Convertible executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the SL 550 (24 seconds @ .83 average G’s vs. 25.7 seconds @ .78 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the F-Type’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the SL’s (35 feet vs. 36.2 feet).


The Jaguar F-Type may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 450 pounds less than the Mercedes SL.

The F-Type is 6 inches shorter than the SL, making the F-Type easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The F-Type has .1 inches more front legroom and 1 inch more front shoulder room than the SL.


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

Model Availability

The Jaguar F-Type comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Mercedes SL isn’t available as a coupe.


The F-Type was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The SL has never been an “All Star.”

The Jaguar F-Type outsold the Mercedes SL by 7% during 2018.

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

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