2019 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo vs. 2019 Mercedes E-Class Wagon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 3 Series Gran Turismo has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 3 Series Gran Turismo 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and 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 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is safer than the Mercedes E-Class Wagon:

 

3 Series Gran Turismo

E-Class Wagon

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

150

180

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

32%

35%

Neck Compression

44 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 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is safer than the Mercedes E-Class Wagon:

 

3 Series Gran Turismo

E-Class Wagon

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

Hip Force

184 lbs.

223 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

291

326

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

513 lbs.

836 lbs.

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

Warranty

The 3 Series Gran Turismo’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the E-Class Wagon’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Gran Turismo for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the E-Class Wagon.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 3 Series Gran Turismo has a standard 900-amp battery. The E-Class Wagon’s 850-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 3 Series Gran Turismo gets better fuel mileage than the E-Class Wagon:

 

 

 

MPG

3 Series Gran Turismo

 

AWD

330i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

 

 

340i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

E-Class Wagon

 

AWD

450 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/26 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Chassis

The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 300 pounds less than the Mercedes E-Class Wagon.

The 3 Series Gran Turismo is 4.2 inches shorter than the E-Class Wagon, making the 3 Series Gran Turismo easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The 3 Series Gran Turismo has 3.8 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom and 3.4 inches more rear legroom than the E-Class Wagon.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s rear seats recline. The E-Class Wagon’s middle row seats don’t recline.

Ergonomics

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Gran Turismo offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The E-Class Wagon doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Both the 3 Series Gran Turismo and the E-Class Wagon offer optional heated front seats. The 3 Series Gran Turismo 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 3 Series Gran Turismo owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 3 Series Gran Turismo will cost $2640 to $3515 less than the E-Class Wagon over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 3 Series Gran Turismo is less expensive to operate than the E-Class Wagon because it costs $72 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 3 Series Gran Turismo than the E-Class Wagon, including $7 less for a water pump, $230 less for a muffler, $212 less for a starter, $21 less for fuel injection, $208 less for a fuel pump and $303 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will be $12498 to $18220 less than for the Mercedes E-Class Wagon.

Recommendations

The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

3 Series

E-Class

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 23 years. The E-Class has never been an “All Star.”

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

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