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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 BRZ 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 BRZ 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 BRZ 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 BRZ 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 BRZ doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The SLC has standard Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The BRZ doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the SLC and the BRZ 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.
The Mercedes SLC weighs 544 to 586 pounds more than the Subaru BRZ. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.
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 BRZ’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.
The SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 41 more horsepower (241 vs. 200) and 122 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 151) than the BRZ’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder. The SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 36 more horsepower (241 vs. 205) and 117 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 156) than the BRZ’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.
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 BRZ doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The SLC has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the BRZ (15.9 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes SLC higher (3 out of 10) than the Subaru BRZ (1). This means the SLC produces up to 22.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the BRZ every 15,000 miles.
The Mercedes SLC comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the BRZ.
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 BRZ.
For better stopping power the SLC’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the BRZ:
For better traction, the SLC has larger tires than the BRZ (F:225/45R17 & R:245/40R17 vs. 215/45R17).
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 BRZ’s standard 45 series tires. The SLC’s optional 245/35R18 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the BRZ ts’ 40 series tires.
The SLC has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The BRZ’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
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 BRZ’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the SLC is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than on the BRZ.
The SLC is 3.9 inches shorter than the BRZ, 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 BRZ doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.
The SLC has .9 inches more front headroom and .6 inches more front legroom than the BRZ.
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 BRZ doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The SLC uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The BRZ 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.
An ASSYST PLUS is standard on the SLC to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, spark plug replacement, air filter replacement, tire rotation, radiator flush, brake pad replacement and transmission fluid replacement based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Subaru doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the BRZ.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 41% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.
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 BRZ 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 BRZ 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 BRZ 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.
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 BRZ 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 BRZ’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 BRZ 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 BRZ 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 BRZ 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 BRZ 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.
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 BRZ’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 BRZ offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The SLC has a standard center folding armrest for the driver and front passenger. A center armrest helps combat driver fatigue. The BRZ doesn’t offer a front seat center armrest.
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 BRZ 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 $1730 to $5420 less than the BRZ over a five-year period.
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