2019 Audi Q5 vs. 2019 Mercedes E-Class Wagon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Q5 and E-Class Wagon have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q5 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The E-Class Wagon’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Q5 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Q5 and the E-Class Wagon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, 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 Audi Q5 is safer than the Mercedes E-Class Wagon:

 

Q5

E-Class Wagon

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

32%

Neck Stress

215 lbs.

266 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

80/49 lbs.

402/578 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.7 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

34%

35%

Neck Compression

30 lbs.

161 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

90/55 lbs.

232/126 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 Audi Q5 is safer than the Mercedes E-Class Wagon:

 

Q5

E-Class Wagon

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

60

132

Chest Movement

.6 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

98 G’s

149 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

185

215

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

219

326

Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

600 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, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The E-Class Wagon has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Q5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the E-Class Wagon’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi Q5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the E-Class Wagon’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 10 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Q5 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the E 450 4MATIC Wagon (22 city/27 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Q5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q5 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.

Transmission

The Q5 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 Wagon doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Q5’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The Q5 stops much shorter than the E-Class Wagon:

 

Q5

E-Class Wagon

 

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Q5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the E-Class Wagon (255/45R20 vs. 245/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q5 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The E-Class Wagon’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Q5’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the E-Class Wagon’s (38.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The Audi Q5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 pounds less than the Mercedes E-Class Wagon.

The Q5 is 10.6 inches shorter than the E-Class Wagon, making the Q5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Q5 has 4.2 inches more front headroom and 2 inches more rear legroom than the E-Class Wagon.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Q5’s rear seats recline. The E-Class Wagon’s middle row seats don’t recline.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 6th.

Ergonomics

The Q5 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the E-Class Wagon. The Q5 Premium Plus/Prestige also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the E-Class Wagon.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Q5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Q5 will cost $2830 to $3805 less than the E-Class Wagon over a five-year period.

The Q5 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q5 will retain 52.7% to 53.4% of its original price after five years, while the E-Class Wagon only retains 46.92%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Q5 is less expensive to operate than the E-Class Wagon because it costs $45 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Q5 than the E-Class Wagon, including $63 less for a water pump, $227 less for a muffler, $100 less for a starter, $51 less for fuel injection, $359 less for a timing belt/chain and $562 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi Q5 will be $15873 to $22535 less than for the Mercedes E-Class Wagon.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Audi Q5 outsold the Mercedes E-Class by 49% during the 2018 model year.

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

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