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The SL’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The DBS doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The SL has standard NECK-PRO 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 Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The DBS doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The SL has a standard Active Brake Assist, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The DBS doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
An active infrared night vision system optional on the SL 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. The DBS doesn’t offer a night vision system.
The SL’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 DBS doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The SL’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The DBS doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
The SL’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 DBS doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The SL has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The DBS doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the SL and the DBS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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.
The SL comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The DBS’ 3-year basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.
There are almost 11 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Aston Martin dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the SL’s warranty.
On the EPA test cycle the SL 550 V8 gets better fuel mileage than the DBS Superleggera (17 city/25 hwy vs. 14 city/22 hwy).
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes SL, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the DBS.
The SL SL63’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The DBS doesn’t offer launch control.
The SL offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Aston Martin doesn’t offer an active suspension on the DBS.
The SL offers an optional automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The DBS doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For better maneuverability, the SL’s turning circle is 4.5 feet tighter than the DBS’ (36.2 feet vs. 40.7 feet).
The Mercedes SL may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 300 pounds less than the Aston Martin DBS.
The SL is 3.2 inches shorter than the DBS, making the SL easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The design of the Mercedes SL amounts to more than styling. The SL has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is significantly lower than the DBS (.38) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the SL get better fuel mileage.
The SL’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The DBS doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.
The SL has .5 inches more front headroom and 1.2 inches more front shoulder room than the DBS.
The SL has a larger trunk with its top down than the DBS Volante with its top down (8.5 vs. 7.8 cubic feet). The SL has a much larger trunk with its top up than the DBS Volante with its top up (13.5 vs. 9.2 cubic feet).
With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the SL offers cargo security. The DBS’ non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the SL. The DBS doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the SL’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The DBS doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.
The SL 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 DBS doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the SL to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The DBS doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The SL has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The DBS doesn’t offer headlight washers.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the SL detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The DBS doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the SL has standard extendable sun visors. The DBS doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The SL’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The DBS’ visors are fixed into the windshield header.
The SL has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The DBS has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the SL offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The DBS doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
The SL’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself. The DBS doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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