Porsche 718 Boxster vs Mercedes SLC 300 vs Nissan 370Z Roadster

Even though the Spring still under the weather, it finally is here in Canada. And, one the best way to enjoy this season, is checking what Porsche 718 Boxster, Mercedes-Benz SLC, and Nissan 370Z Roadster have to offer. 

What they have in common? For sure, they are open-top, but also there are little more than that. They share three characteristics: they had a facelift, received a new name and need a new platform.

Start with the newest, the Porsche 718 Boxster. The 982 version has received in 2016, a new front bumper with larger air intakes, new headlights design, and the side pods are bigger to deal with more air for the new engine, the 2l flat-four turbo engine. The name is an inspiration by the Porsche 718 from 1957 and the 718 RSK from 1958. Despite these evolutions, the 718 Boxster still uses underneath a base from the 981 from 2012.

Porsche 718

Following the same footsteps, Mercedes-Benz did the same with the SLC. After a reinvigorated to be close to their siblings, for example, the headlights are based on Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W213), and new engines, besides that, the German company decided in November 2014, to renamed almost entire lineup. For this reason, the SLK was known as Sportlich, Leicht, Kompakt (und Kurz) – translating for English: Sporty Light and Short, since 1996, nowadays, started to be called SLC (SLC-Class), and the platform is from 2011, the R172.

Mercedes-Benz SLC

About the Nissan 370Z came from the 350Z, which shares the same platform called Nissan FM platform, and this architecture is from 2002. For a sports car that has almost nine-years-old, the design still connected to Nissan lineup. For example, just look at the 2018 Nissan Murano, and the similarity match. Another factor is the 2018 370Z is more powerful, around 14.089% than the 350Z (2002), and it is greener too, emits 5.263% less.  

Nissan 370Z Roadster

Furthermore, why is it possible to think that these three sports cars are basically a new product? It could be answered that we were distracted by the Formula 1, where Mercedes-Benz won four times in a row (2014-2017), or Porsche, with the 919 LMP1, dominated the Constructors’ Championships three time in a row, 2015 to 2017 in FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), and Nissan, from 2008 to 2017, it obtained five titles in the Super GT 500.

Considering buying one of this three, the Porsche is most expensive. It starts north of $66,100 CAD with the 718 Boxster base model, the Mercedes-Benz with the SLC 300 Roadster 2018, comes in second with $59,700.00 CAD, and for last the Nissan 370Z Touring Sport with Bordeaux Top, it costs 55,498 CAD.

Basically the 718 Boxster charges for every single item. For example, if you not choose to buy the Premium Package Plus, that comes the Adaptive Sports Seats Plus, 18-way, and want a keyless, you have to pay $910,00 for the Porsche Entry & Drive. According to Porsche:

“Keyless entry and drive: unlocking and locking of the vehicle including luggage compartment lid and engine start/stop.”

Probably you can say: “the Porsche 550 Spyder didn’t have one, nor 1957 718 (or 718 RSK 1958)”. But, today, it is a basic feature.  And, on the other side, how are you going to feel if Porsche could start to charge for the traditional left side ignition key?

The intrigue continues where it possible to reach $49,845 in options, which represent this sports car can exceed easily $115,945, and it means that it possible to buy another standard version 370Z Roadster or continuous in Porsche lineup, to think about the base model 911 (911.2) Carrera T. 

In Mercedes-Benz, things are quite normal when compared to Porsche. The full optional list cost 57.438% less. But does not offer ceramic brakes and carbon fibre trim. However, is the only one it offers an Active Distance Assist Distronic. According to Mercedes-Benz:

“Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC® cruise control uses radar-based technology to adapt your set speed in response to the flow of traffic ahead. Active Speed Limit Assist can detect posted speed-limit signs and, along with information in the navigation system’s map database, automatically adapt your cruising speed accordingly.”

The 370Z Roadster Touring Sport is more reasonable because it offers a list of accessories. For example, the SiriusXM is already included in the price, where, in the Mercedes-Benz, it cost $ 475. Choosing the all, you pay a $3,148 CAD. And, on paper, with a better price, the 370Z can keep up with the Germans rivals?

In Canada, the Japanese company adopted as standard the Euro-Tuned Sport Shocks, which Nissan acclaims:

“The Sport Package comes equipped with retuned shocks giving it a suspension tuned for more performance.”

To start with the weight, the 370Z Roadster is 235 Kg heavier than the 718 Boxster. So, in terms of Kg/hp, the difference is 0.311, and it reflexed on the 0-100, where Porsche, with the PDK, takes the lead because is 0,6 second faster. And, despite is faster than the Mercedes-Benz SLC around 0,3 second at the same task, the 2.0L turbo 4 cyl produce more torque, 3 lb-ft.

The drag coefficient on Porsche and Mercedes are more efficient, they generate a 0.30 Cx, and the Nissan 0.34 Cx. The top speed, comparing the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, the 718 Boxster is 30.952% faster.  Yet, the fuel consumption, the SLC 300 is more economical. For example, in the city is 26.153% than the Nissan in l/100km and on a highway is 7,4% (l/100km) than the Porsche. 

Thus, these three open-top sports cars were designed to be different from which others. To be more precise, the Porsche is the best sports car because is made intentionally for Track Days, the Mercedes-Benz is the most luxurious because it is available with the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system and the Nissan is more reasonable in terms of price. 


Observation:  The price is before tax and charges extra.

References: 1) Porsche’s website: https://www.porsche.com/canada/en/models/718/

2)  Mercedes-Benz’s website: https://www.mercedes-benz.ca/en/vehicles/class/slc/roadster

 3)  Nissan’s website: https://www.nissan.ca/buildyournissan/modelLine/build/2018/ZRD  


Opinions: 1) Rating: Porsche 8/10 (R. 8.077 / 10); Mercedes-Benz 8 / 10 (R. 8.062 / 10) and Nissan 7.6 / 10 (7.608 / 10).

2) About the Porsche 718 Boxster price, at the same time is good to choose which options will fit better for you, to trade-in for a new vehicle, could be difficult to the next buyer understand the optional list;

3) For last, these cars manufactories a time to rethink about a new platform, because there are two new competitors in the market, e.g. the BMW Z4 and the Toyota Supra; and,

4) Don’t invest on the MAGIC SKY CONTROL and the Illuminated Door Sill Panels, put your money on the Dynamic Handling Package and save $2,300, or invest on 36 Month/3 Services Prepaid Maintenance Package for $999.