2020 Mercedes SLC vs. 2020 BMW 4 Series Convertible

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/04/03

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 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the SLC and the 4 Series Convertible 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the SLC’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the 430i Convertible’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Transmission

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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 4 Series Convertible.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the SLC’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Convertible:

SLC

4 Series Convertible

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

12.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction and acceleration, the SLC has larger rear tires than the 4 Series Convertible (245/40R17 vs. 225/45R18).

The SLC 300’s standard 245/40R17 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4 Series Convertible’s standard 45 series tires.

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 4 Series Convertible; 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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For better maneuverability, the SLC’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the 4 Series Convertible’s (36.8 feet vs. 37.1 feet). The SLC’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the 4 Series Convertible xDrive’s (36.8 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Mercedes SLC may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 950 pounds less than the BMW 4 Series Convertible.

The SLC is 1 foot, 7.9 inches shorter than the 4 Series Convertible, making the SLC easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the SLC offers cargo security. The 4 Series Convertible’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the 4 Series Convertible, 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. The 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The SLC’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 4 Series Convertible 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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the SLC owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the SLC will cost $5725 to $7475 less than the 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible only retains 40.94% to 42.02%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mercedes SLC will be $2377 to $6291 less than for the BMW 4 Series Convertible.

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