2020 Mercedes S-Class Coupe 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 S-Class Coupe 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 S-Class Coupe’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 S-Class Coupe 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 S-Class Coupe has standard NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The 911 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the S-Class Coupe. But it costs extra on the 911.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the S-Class Coupe helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights 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 911 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The S-Class Coupe’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 911 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The S-Class Coupe has a standard Surround View Camera 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 S-Class Coupe’s 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 S-Class Coupe’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 S-Class Coupe 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 S-Class Coupe weighs 1058 to 1624 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 S-Class Coupe’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 S-Class Coupe’s 4.0 turbo V8 produces 93 more horsepower (463 vs. 370) and 185 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 331) than the 911’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder. The S-Class Coupe’s 4.0 turbo V8 produces 43 more horsepower (463 vs. 420) and 148 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 368) than the 911 S’ standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder. The S-Class Coupe’s 4.0 turbo V8 produces 13 more horsepower (463 vs. 450) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 405) than the 911 GTS’ standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the S-Class Coupe’s fuel efficiency. The 911 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The S-Class Coupe has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 911 RWD’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 16.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes S-Class Coupe higher (3 to 5 out of 10) than the Porsche 911 (1). This means the S-Class Coupe produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 911 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes S-Class Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the 911.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S-Class Coupe’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 911:

S-Class Coupe

911

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.4 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S-Class Coupe has larger front tires than the 911 (245/45R19 vs. 235/40R19).

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the S-Class Coupe 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 front and rear suspension of the S-Class Coupe uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the 911, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class Coupe’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 S-Class Coupe’s wheelbase is 19.4 inches longer than on the 911 (115.9 inches vs. 96.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S-Class Coupe is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 3.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 911.

Chassis

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To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the S-Class Coupe has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main 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 S-Class Coupe a Compact car, while the 911 Coupe is rated a Minicompact.

The S-Class Coupe has 20.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 911 Coupe (90.6 vs. 70).

The S-Class Coupe has 2 inches more front headroom, 6.2 inches more front shoulder room, 5.7 inches more rear headroom, 8.4 inches more rear legroom and 3.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the 911 Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

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The S-Class Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 911 Coupe with its rear seat up (10.4 vs. 5.1 cubic feet). The S-Class Coupe has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the 911 Coupe with its rear seat folded (10.4 vs. 9.1 cubic feet).

With its coupe body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the S-Class offers cargo security. The 911’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S-Class Coupe’s trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The 911 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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The S-Class Coupe 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 S-Class Coupe 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 S-Class Coupe’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the 911.

The S-Class Coupe 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.

If the windows are left open on the S-Class Coupe 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.

Keyless-Go standard on the S-Class Coupe 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.

The S-Class Coupe’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The 911’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class Coupe to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The 911 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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

A power rear sunshade is standard in the S-Class Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The 911 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The S-Class Coupe has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the 911. The S-Class Coupe also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the 911.

The S-Class Coupe has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the 911.

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

The S-Class Coupe has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The 911 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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

Model Availability

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The Mercedes S-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 S-Class Coupe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S-Class Coupe will cost $2420 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 S-Class Coupe will be $13651 less than for the Porsche 911.

Recommendations

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The Mercedes S-Class outsold the Porsche 911 by 53% during the 2019 model year.

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