2019 Acura RDX vs. 2018 Mercedes E-Class Wagon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the RDX 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.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RDX 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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RDX AWD gets better fuel mileage than the E 400 4MATIC Wagon (21 city/27 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura RDX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The E-Class Wagon requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The RDX 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

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the E-Class Wagon.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the E-Class Wagon (255/40R20 vs. 245/45R18).

The RDX A-Spec’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the E-Class Wagon’s optional 45 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RDX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the E-Class Wagon. The RDX A-Spec’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the E-Class Wagon.

The RDX 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.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RDX is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the E-Class Wagon.

Chassis

The Acura RDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 500 pounds less than the Mercedes E-Class Wagon.

The RDX is 7.4 inches shorter than the E-Class Wagon, making the RDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The RDX 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 RDX has 2.1 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room and 2.6 inches more rear legroom than the E-Class Wagon.

Cargo Capacity

The RDX has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the E-Class Wagon with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 61.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the RDX 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.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RDX has standard extendable sun visors. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The RDX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the E-Class Wagon. The RDX Advance also has standard heated rear 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 RDX 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

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RDX is less expensive to operate than the E-Class Wagon because it costs $108 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RDX than the E-Class Wagon, including $344 less for a water pump, $600 less for a muffler, $292 less for a starter, $248 less for fuel injection, $43 less for front struts and $807 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura RDX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Mercedes E-Class Wagon isn't recommended.

The Acura RDX outsold the Mercedes E-Class by 1822 units during 2017.

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

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