2020 Mercedes SLC vs. 2020 MINI Cooper Convertible

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 Cooper 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 Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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

Both the SLC and the Cooper 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 and available rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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There are almost 3 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the SLC’s warranty.

Reliability

© 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

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 MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 23rd.

Engine

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The SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 107 more horsepower (241 vs. 134) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 162) than the Cooper Convertible’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder. The SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 52 more horsepower (241 vs. 189) and 67 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 206) than the Cooper Convertible S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 13 more horsepower (241 vs. 228) and 38 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 235) than the John Cooper Works Convertible’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The SLC has 4.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Convertible (15.9 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Cooper Convertible.

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 Cooper Convertible.

Brakes and Stopping

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

SLC

Cooper Convertible

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the SLC has larger tires than the Cooper Convertible (F:225/45R17 & R:245/40R17 vs. 175/65R15). The SLC 300’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Convertible (F:225/45R17 & R:245/40R17 vs. 205/40R18).

The SLC 300’s standard 225/45R17 front and 245/40R17 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cooper Convertible’s standard 65 series tires. The SLC’s optional 245/35R18 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Cooper Convertible’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the SLC 300 has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Convertible.

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 Cooper 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 handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the SLC is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Convertible.

Chassis

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The design of the Mercedes SLC amounts to more than styling. The SLC has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the Cooper Convertible (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the SLC get better fuel mileage.

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

Passenger Space

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The SLC has 1.1 inches more front legroom and 1.2 inches more front shoulder room than the Cooper Convertible.

Cargo Capacity

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The SLC has a larger trunk with its top down than the Cooper Convertible with its top down (6.5 vs. 5.7 cubic feet). The SLC has a much larger trunk with its top up than the Cooper Convertible with its top up (10.1 vs. 7.6 cubic feet).

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

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the SLC is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cooper Convertible. 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 MINI. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 17% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

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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 Cooper Convertible 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 Cooper 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 Cooper 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.

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 Cooper Convertible’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.

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 MINI Cooper Convertible’s Start/Stop Switch doesn’t unlock the doors or the trunk.

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 Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Cooper Convertible’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The SLC’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

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