2020 Porsche 718 Boxster vs. 2020 Mercedes SLC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the 718 Boxster and the SLC 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 crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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The 718 Boxster’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the SLC’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Porsche fourth in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The 718 Boxster’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 59 more horsepower (300 vs. 241) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 273) than the SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The 718 Boxster S’ standard 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder produces 109 more horsepower (350 vs. 241) and 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (309 vs. 273) than the SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The 718 Spyder’s standard 4.0 GT3 6-cylinder produces 173 more horsepower (414 vs. 241) and 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (309 vs. 273) than the SLC’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 718 Boxster lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The SLC doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the 718 Boxster Spyder’s fuel efficiency. The SLC doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regenerative brakes improve the 718 Boxster’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The SLC doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The 718 Boxster’s optional fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the SLC (16.9 vs. 15.9 gallons).

Transmission

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The 718 Boxster offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The SLC doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The 718 Boxster offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The SLC doesn’t offer an SMG.

The 718 Boxster PDK’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The SLC doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 718 Boxster’s brake rotors are larger than those on the SLC:

Boxster

Boxster opt.

Spyder

Spyder opt.

SLC

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

15 inches

16.1 inches

12.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13.8 inches

15 inches

15.4 inches

11.8 inches

The 718 Boxster’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the SLC are solid, not vented.

The 718 Boxster offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The SLC doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 718 Boxster has larger standard tires than the SLC (F:235/45R18 & R:265/45R18 vs. F:225/45R17 & R:245/40R17). The 718 Boxster’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the SLC (F:245/35R20 & R:305/30R20 vs. F:225/45R17 & R:245/40R17).

The 718 Boxster’s optional 245/35R20 front and 305/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the SLC’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 718 Boxster has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the SLC 300. The 718 Boxster’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the SLC.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 718 Boxster’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the SLC (97.4 inches vs. 95.7 inches).

For better maneuverability, the 718 Boxster’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the SLC’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.8 feet).

Chassis

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The Porsche 718 Boxster may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 450 pounds less than the Mercedes SLC.

Passenger Space

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The 718 Boxster has 1.3 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more front legroom than the SLC.

Cargo Capacity

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The 718 Boxster has a much larger trunk than the SLC with its top down (9.7 vs. 6.5 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 718 Boxster’s available trunk can be opened just by holding your hand near the emblem on the trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The SLC doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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

Ergonomics

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The 718 Boxster’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The SLC does not have an oil pressure gauge.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the 718 Boxster keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The SLC doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the 718 Boxster’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The SLC doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

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The Porsche 718 comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Mercedes SLC isn’t available as a coupe.

Economic Advantages

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The 718 Boxster will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 718 Boxster will retain 57.09% to 60.51% of its original price after five years, while the SLC only retains 42.92% to 44.41%.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/05/29

Consumer Reports® recommends the Porsche 718 Boxster, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Boxster was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 15 of the last 16 years. The SLC has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 718 Boxster was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 10 of the last 20 years. The SLC has never been an “All Star.”

The Porsche 718 outsold the Mercedes SLC by over two to one during 2019.

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