2020 Mercedes SLC vs. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Corvette doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The SLC 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 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 Corvette doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The SLC’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Corvette doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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 Corvette 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 Corvette doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the SLC and the Corvette have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 and available rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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The SLC 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 SLC’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 SLC has 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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 4 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the SLC 300 gets better fuel mileage than the Corvette:

MPG

SLC

RWD

Auto

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

Corvette

RWD

Manual

6.2 V8

16 city/25 hwy

Z06 6.2 Supercharger V8

15 city/22 hwy

ZR1 6.2 Supercharger V8

13 city/19 hwy

Auto

6.2 DOHC V8

15 city/25 hwy

Z06 6.2 Supercharger V8

14 city/23 hwy

ZR1 6.2 Supercharger V8

12 city/20 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 Corvette doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes SLC higher (3 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Corvette (1). This means the SLC produces up to 22.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Corvette every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Mercedes SLC comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Corvette.

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes SLC, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Corvette.

Tires and Wheels

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The SLC has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Corvette; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the SLC uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Corvette, which uses transverse leafs springs. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For better maneuverability, the SLC’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Corvette’s (36.8 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

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The SLC is 1 foot, 2.1 inches shorter than the Corvette, making the SLC easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The SLC is 5 inches narrower on average than the Corvette, making the SLC easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

The SLC’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The Corvette doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.

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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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Corvette, the SLC has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The SLC’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.

If the windows are left open on the SLC 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 lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Corvette can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the SLC offers an optional remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The Corvette’s top can only be opened by remote, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

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 Corvette’s 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 Corvette 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 Corvette 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 Corvette doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the SLC offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Corvette doesn’t offer cornering lights. The SLC also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The SLC’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Corvette’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

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 Corvette doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/03/31

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mercedes SLC will be $2490 to $50475 less than for the Chevrolet Corvette.

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