2019 Acura MDX vs. 2019 Mercedes E-Class Wagon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the MDX and the E-Class Wagon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Acura MDX is safer than the Mercedes E-Class Wagon:

 

MDX

E-Class

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

32%

Neck Stress

244 lbs.

266 lbs.

Neck Compression

34 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

134/382 lbs.

402/578 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

29%

35%

Neck Compression

113 lbs.

161 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura MDX is safer than the Mercedes E-Class Wagon:

 

MDX

E-Class

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

72

132

Chest Movement

.6 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

113 G’s

149 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

133

215

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

37 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

481 lbs.

836 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the MDX the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The E-Class Wagon has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the MDX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the E-Class Wagon. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the E-Class Wagon ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

The engines in the MDX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the E-Class Wagon has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 4 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the MDX Sport Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the E-Class Wagon (26 city/27 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the MDX’s fuel efficiency. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regenerative brakes improve the MDX Sport Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The MDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The MDX offers an available 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 E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the MDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the E-Class Wagon (265/45R20 vs. 245/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the MDX offers optional 20-inch wheels. The E-Class Wagon’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The MDX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The MDX SH-AWD 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 E-Class Wagon; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the MDX is 3.6 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the E-Class Wagon.

For better maneuverability, the MDX Sport Hybrid’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the E-Class Wagon’s (38.4 feet vs. 39 feet). The MDX’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the E-Class Wagon’s (38.7 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The Acura MDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 250 pounds less than the Mercedes E-Class Wagon.

The MDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The MDX has .6 inches more front headroom, 3.3 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the E-Class Wagon.

Third row passengers in the MDX sit facing forward, making them more comfortable and giving them a better view. The third row passengers in the E-Class Wagon face rearward.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the MDX’s middle row seats recline. The E-Class Wagon’s middle row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The MDX’s cargo area provides more volume than the E-Class Wagon.

 

MDX

E-Class

Behind Third Seat

15.8 cubic feet

0 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.4 cubic feet

24.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.9 cubic feet

64 cubic feet

The MDX’s cargo area is larger than the E-Class Wagon’s in almost every dimension:

 

MDX

E-Class

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

21.05”/47.3”/81.7”

n.a./46.3”/78.9”

Max Width

55”

43.3”

Min Width

45.3”

32.2”

Height

29.5”

32.2”

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the MDX has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the E-Class Wagon only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The MDX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the E-Class Wagon. The MDX also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the E-Class Wagon.

Model Availability

The MDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the MDX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the MDX will cost $5265 to $5865 less than the E-Class Wagon over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MDX is less expensive to operate than the E-Class Wagon because it costs $81 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the MDX than the E-Class Wagon, including $250 less for a water pump, $393 less for a muffler, $264 less for a starter, $27 less for front struts and $761 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura MDX will be $7852 to $20369 less than for the Mercedes E-Class Wagon.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura MDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

The Acura MDX outsold the Mercedes E-Class by 13% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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