2019 Acura RLX vs. 2019 Mercedes E-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the RLX and the E-Class Sedan 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 and available around view monitors.

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

 

RLX

E-Class Sedan

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

25%

32%

Neck Stress

222 lbs.

266 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

305/387 lbs.

402/578 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

29%

35%

Neck Compression

67 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 RLX is safer than the Mercedes E-Class Sedan:

 

RLX

E-Class Sedan

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

111

132

Chest Movement

.7 inches

1.1 inches

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

227

326

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

678 lbs.

836 lbs.

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

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the RLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the E-Class Sedan. 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 Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

The engines in the RLX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the E-Class Sedan have 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 RLX Sport Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the AMG E 53 Sedan (28 city/29 hwy vs. 21 city/28 hwy).

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

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

The RLX 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 Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Acura RLX V6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the E-Class Sedan.

The RLX offers a standard 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 Sedan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The RLX stops shorter than the E-Class Sedan:

 

RLX

E-Class Sedan

 

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The RLX’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 Sedan’s standard 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RLX has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the E-Class Sedan.

The RLX offers an optional 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 Sedan; 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. Some models of the E-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the RLX is .9 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the E-Class Sedan.

Chassis

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

Passenger Space

The RLX has 4.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the E-Class Sedan (102.1 vs. 98).

The RLX has .2 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room and 2.6 inches more rear legroom than the E-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The RLX has a much larger trunk than the E-Class Sedan (14.9 vs. 13.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

Consumer Reports rated the RLX’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the E-Class Sedan’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

The RLX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the E-Class Sedan. The RLX Sport Hybrid also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the E-Class Sedan.

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

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