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The SLC’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Cascada doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The SLC 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 Cascada has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature that could reduce stopping distances.
The SLC’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. The Cascada doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
The SLC’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 Cascada doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the SLC and the Cascada have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.
The SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 41 more horsepower (241 vs. 200) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 221) than the Cascada’s 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the SLC 300 gets better fuel mileage than the Cascada (23 city/32 hwy vs. 21 city/29 hwy).
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the SLC’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 Cascada doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The SLC has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cascada (15.9 vs. 14.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes SLC, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Cascada.
The SLC’s optional 245/35R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cascada’s 40 series tires.
For superior ride and handling, the Mercedes SLC has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Buick Cascada has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The SLC has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the SLC flat and controlled during cornering. The Cascada’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The SLC offers an optional 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 Cascada’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For better maneuverability, the SLC’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Cascada’s (36.8 feet vs. 38.7 feet).
The Mercedes SLC may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 pounds less than the Buick Cascada.
The SLC is 1 foot, 10.1 inches shorter than the Cascada, making the SLC easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The SLC’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The Cascada doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.
The SLC has .2 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more front legroom than the Cascada.
With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the SLC offers cargo security. The Cascada’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.
A standard locking glovebox and standard locking center console (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the SLC. The Cascada doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The SLC uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Cascada uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
The engine in the SLC is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cascada. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Buick is ranked 8th.
When three different drivers share the SLC, 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 and outside mirror angle. The Cascada doesn’t offer a memory system.
The SLC’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Cascada doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
Keyless-Go optional on the SLC 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 Buick Cascada doesn’t offer an advanced key system.
The SLC’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 Cascada’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the SLC to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Cascada doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The SLC offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Cascada doesn’t offer headlight washers.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the SLC detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Cascada doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
When the SLC 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 Cascada’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The SLC’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 Cascada has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the SLC’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Cascada doesn’t offer a filtration system.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the SLC 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 Cascada doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
Insurance will cost less for the SLC owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the SLC will cost $115 to $1385 less than the Cascada over a five-year period.
The SLC will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the SLC will retain 42.92% to 44.41% of its original price after five years, while the Cascada only retains 28.04% to 36.64%.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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