2020 Mercedes SL vs. 2020 Chevrolet Corvette

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/06

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 Corvette 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 Corvette 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 Corvette 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 Corvette 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 Corvette doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The SL has standard Parktronic™ to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Corvette doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

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 Corvette doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the SL and the Corvette have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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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 Corvette’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The SL’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Corvette’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the SL have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Corvette.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 6 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine

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The SL 550’s standard 4.7 turbo V8 produces 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 470) than the Corvette Z51’s standard 6.2 V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the SL’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Corvette doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The SL has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Corvette (19.8 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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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 Corvette.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the SL’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Corvette:

SL

SL (opt.)

Corvette

Corvette Z51

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the SL has larger front tires than the Corvette (255/35R19 vs. 245/35R19).

Suspension and Handling

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The SL offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Chevrolet doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Corvette.

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 Corvette doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better maneuverability, the SL’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Corvette’s (36.2 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Passenger Space

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The SL has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room and 1.1 inches more front shoulder room than the Corvette.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 25% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

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The SL’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 Corvette.

The SL’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Corvette’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The SL’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Corvette’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Corvette doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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 Corvette doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Corvette 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 Corvette doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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