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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 Evora 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 Evora 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 Evora 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 Evora 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 Evora 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 Evora doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
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 Evora 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 Evora 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 Evora 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 Evora have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.
The Mercedes SL weighs 721 to 908 pounds more than the Lotus Evora. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.
The SL comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The Evora’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The SL comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. Mercedes will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Lotus doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Evora.
There are almost 10 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Lotus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the SL’s warranty.
The SL 450’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 317) than the Evora GT’s standard 3.5 supercharged V6. The SL 450’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 332) than the Evora GT’s optional 3.5 supercharged V6. The SL 550’s standard 4.7 turbo V8 produces 33 more horsepower (449 vs. 416) and 184 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 332) than the Evora GT’s optional 3.5 supercharged V6.
On the EPA test cycle the SL 450 gets better fuel mileage than the Evora GT supercharged V6 (20 city/28 hwy vs. 17 city/24 hwy).
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 Evora doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The SL has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Evora (19.8 vs. 15.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Mercedes SL comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Evora.
For better traction, the SL has larger front tires than the Evora (255/35R19 vs. 245/35R19).
The SL offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Lotus doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Evora.
The SL has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Evora’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
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 Evora doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
The SL has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Evora doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the SL is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than on the Evora.
The SL’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The Evora doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.
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 Evora doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The engine in the SL is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Evora. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.
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 Evora doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
When three different drivers share the SL, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle and climate settings. The Evora doesn’t offer a memory system.
The SL’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Evora doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The SL’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Evora has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
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 Evora’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them.
If the windows are left open on the SL the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor). On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Evora can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
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 Evora’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 Evora doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.
The SL has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Evora doesn’t offer automatic headlights.
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 Evora doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the SL has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Evora doesn’t offer cornering lights. The SL also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
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 Evora doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The SL’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Evora’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.
When the SL is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Evora’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The SL’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Evora doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.
The SL’s standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Evora doesn’t offer dual zone air-conditioning.
The SL’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Evora doesn’t offer automatic air-conditioning.
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 Evora doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the SL has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The Evora doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.
The SL’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself. The Evora doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Mercedes SL outsold the Lotus Evora by over ten to one during the 2019 model year.
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