Better Than the SLS AMG - 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Better Than the SLS AMG

March 6, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet is better than our Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster. Believe it. Now, a drop-top 911 with an autobox is nearly the last 911 I would buy with my own money. But you'd think that the SLS Convertible, so similar in morphism to the 911 'vert, would be head and shoulders above the Porsche according to any conceivable metric.

I'll grant you that the SLS is faster. I've gone on record that the AMG M159 V8 is the world's best production aspro V8. There's no denying that the SLS will out-drag the 911. But it's not like the 911 is slow or sounds bad. Certainly the SLS is the rarer car, but neither is truly beautiful. And when the defining characteristic of the SLS — those gullwing doors — must be deleted in Roadster form, well, that erases the point of the car.

Those are all circumstantial factors. What it boils down to for me is the essence of the way a car drives, the cohesion of the elements of the driving experience. The Porsche nails the weighting and response of the steering, brakes, throttle and (especially) the transmission with more aplomb than does the Merc. Know what? The 911 drives like the more expensive car. This, despite the fact that the 911 costs a fraction of the SLS's sticker price. (The 911's seats are better than those in the SLS, too.)

If you're pondering the purchase of the SLS drop top, consider a 911 instead. It simply drives better.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor


  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    I don't think any car enthusiast will argue that the 911 has more finesse. Likewise, if it was my money I'd certainly opt for the Porsche over the SLS. However, there is an appeal to the SLS that the 911 just doesn't have anymore. Having grown up with 911s I've always had a soft spot for Zuffenhausen's best, but with the 991-generation Porsche has nearly removed all shred of personality from the car. It is technically perfect, but it doesn't get under your skin and make you fall in love like it used to. The SLS is ALL personality. There are going to be a lot of people who don't care for that personality, but it is an emotional car that tugs at your heart strings. In that way, the SLS is very much better than the 911.

  • noburgers_ noburgers_ Posts:

    I admire the guts that it took to give that opinion. I guess it depends on your taste.

  • Yes, I agree, it took some guts to post that. I just do not, DO NOT care for the looks of the SLS, at all. Not to mention the latest iteration of the MB SL, either. Where I live, 911s are ubiquitous, but still, I'd love to have one and where I'd probably put my own money. Even the wife was saying the other night that there's just something about about a Porsche compared to almost anything else relatively reasonably priced (remove Ferrari, Lambo, and the like).

  • al2travel al2travel Posts:

    Something about that Porsche DNA!

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    The Porsche 911 is a sorted, mature car. The SLS is clearly a plaything. That's probably why the SLS got boxed the other day. The Mazda 2 owner thought it only came out at weekends.

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