2020 Mercedes SLC vs. 2020 Porsche 718 Boxster

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 718 Boxster 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 718 Boxster 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 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a lane departure warning 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 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the SLC and the 718 Boxster 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 blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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There are over 2 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the SLC’s warranty.

Reliability

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The 718 Boxster’s redline is at 7500 to 8000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The SLC has a 6300 RPM redline.

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 Porsche vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Porsche is ranked 15th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the SLC 300 gets better fuel mileage than the 718 Boxster Auto with its standard engine (23 city/32 hwy vs. 22 city/29 hwy).

The SLC has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the 718 Boxster’s standard fuel tank (15.9 vs. 14.2 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 718 Boxster.

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes SLC, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the 718 Boxster.

Tires and Wheels

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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 718 Boxster’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 718 Boxster; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and 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 1 inch wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 718 Boxster.

Chassis

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The SLC is 9.6 inches shorter than the 718 Boxster, 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 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.

Cargo Capacity

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With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the SLC offers cargo security. The 718 Boxster’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the 718 Boxster, 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 718 Boxster.

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 718 Boxster can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 718 Boxster’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 718 Boxster doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The SLC’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The 718 Boxster’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

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 $105 less than the 718 Boxster over a five-year period.

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