2020 Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet vs. 2019 Porsche 911

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Porsche 911 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 911 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The AMG C-Class Cabriolet has standard front and rear seat side-impact airbags and head airbags, which act as a forgiving barrier between the passengers and the door. Combined with high-strength steel door beams this system increases protection from broadside collisions. The 911 doesn't offer rear-seat side-impact airbags, only ones for front seat occupants.

The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The 911 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The AMG C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 911 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 911 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 911 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the AMG C-Class Cabriolet and the 911 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet weighs 549 to 1159 pounds more than the Porsche 911. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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There are over 2 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Porsche vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Porsche is ranked 15th.

Engine

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The AMG C-Class Cabriolet has more powerful engines than the 911:

Horsepower

Torque

AMG C 43 Cabriolet 3.0 turbo V6

385 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 63 Cabriolet 4.0 turbo V8

469 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 63 S Cabriolet 4.0 turbo V8

503 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

911 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

370 HP

331 lbs.-ft.

911 S 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

420 HP

368 lbs.-ft.

911 GTS 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

450 HP

405 lbs.-ft.

911 GT3 4.0 DOHC 6-cylinder

500 HP

339 lbs.-ft.

911 GT3 RS 4.0 DOHC 6-cylinder

520 HP

346 lbs.-ft.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet higher (5 out of 10) than the Porsche 911 (1). This means the AMG C-Class Cabriolet produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 911 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the 911.

A nine-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the 911.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet has a standard up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The 911 doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the 911:

AMG C-Class Cabriolet

911

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the AMG C-Class Cabriolet can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 911 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’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 911 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s wheelbase is 15.3 inches longer than on the 911 (111.8 inches vs. 96.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the AMG C-Class Cabriolet is 2.6 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 911.

The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the 911’s (40.1% to 59.9%). This gives the AMG C-Class Cabriolet more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

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To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet 63 S has an electronically controlled liquid-filled front engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The 911 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the AMG C-Class Cabriolet a Subcompact car, while the 911 Cabriolet is rated a Minicompact.

The AMG C-Class Cabriolet has 13.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 911 Cabriolet (81.3 vs. 68).

Cargo Capacity

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The AMG C-Class Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top down than the 911 Cabriolet (7 vs. 5.1 cubic feet).

With its convertible body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the AMG C-Class offers cargo security. The 911’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics

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The AMG C-Class Cabriolet has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 911 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the 911, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the 911.

The AMG C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 911 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. Porsche does not offer a locking feature on the 911’s standard power windows.

If the windows are left open on the AMG C-Class Cabriolet the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 911 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The 911 doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

Keyless-Go standard on the AMG C-Class Cabriolet allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Porsche 911’s available Porsche Entry and Drive doesn’t unlock the trunk.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet has standard extendable sun visors. The 911 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the AMG C-Class Cabriolet has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 911 doesn’t offer rear vents.

The AMG C-Class Cabriolet’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The 911 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes AMG C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Porsche 911 isn’t available as a sedan.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the AMG C-Class Cabriolet owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the AMG C-Class Cabriolet will cost $2355 to $4465 less than the 911 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet will be $49872 to $60570 less than for the Porsche 911.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mercedes AMG C-Class Cabriolet and the Porsche 911, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the AMG C-Class Cabriolet first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 911 isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

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