2020 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2020 Porsche Taycan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Taycan doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The S-Class 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 Taycan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To help make backing safer, the S-Class’ 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 Taycan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The S-Class’ 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 Taycan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S-Class and the Taycan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, night vision systems and around view monitors.

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’ 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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The S 450’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel is 688.8 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Taycan’s range is only 201 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 22 minutes for only an 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 11 hours.

Transmission

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For more complete vehicle control the S-Class has Touch Shift, with the available convenience of an automatic transmission and the complete gear control of a manual transmission without the inconvenience of a clutch. Touch Shift allows the driver to eliminate unwanted shifts and maximize engine braking by down shifting while cornering. The Taycan doesn’t offer a transmission that allows complete gear control.

A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes S-Class, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a 2-speed automatic is available for the Taycan.

Brakes and Stopping

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

S-Class

Taycan

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

14.2 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.1 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S-Class has larger standard tires than the Taycan (245/50R18 vs. 225/55R19).

The S-Class’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Taycan 4S’ standard 55 series front tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

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The S-Class has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Taycan doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The S-Class’ 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 Taycan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 10.4 inches longer than on the Taycan (124.6 inches vs. 114.2 inches). The Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 18.3 inches longer than on the Taycan (132.5 inches vs. 114.2 inches).

Chassis

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The Mercedes S-Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 250 pounds less than the Porsche Taycan.

For excellent aerodynamics, the S-Class has standard flush composite headlights. The Taycan has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Cargo Capacity

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The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the Taycan (18.7 vs. 15.7 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S-Class’ trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Taycan 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’ 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 Taycan.

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

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the S-Class’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The Taycan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

Both the S-Class and the Taycan offer optional massaging front seats. The S-Class also offers optional massaging rear seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging rear seats aren’t available in the Taycan.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes S-Class has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console and for the rear passengers. The Taycan doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The S-Class 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 Taycan doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The S-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Taycan 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 Taycan isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

The S-Class is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Taycan doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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