2019 Cadillac CTS vs. 2019 Mercedes E-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Cadillac CTS are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mercedes E-Class Sedan has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the CTS and E-Class Sedan have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The CTS 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 Sedan’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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The CTS offers optional Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the CTS 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, 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 Cadillac CTS is safer than the Mercedes E-Class Sedan:

 

CTS

E-Class Sedan

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

25%

32%

Neck Stress

174 lbs.

266 lbs.

Neck Compression

7 lbs.

55 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

277/456 lbs.

402/578 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 Cadillac CTS is safer than the Mercedes E-Class Sedan:

 

CTS

E-Class Sedan

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

113

132

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

83

215

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

297

326

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

Warranty

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the CTS 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.

The CTS’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the E-Class Sedan’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Cadillac pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the CTS. Cadillac will pay for an oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the E-Class Sedan.

There are over 2 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CTS’ warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

Engine

The CTS V-Sport’s 3.6 turbo V6 produces 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (430 vs. 384) than the AMG E 53 Sedan’s optional 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac CTS 2.0 Turbo is faster than the E 300 Sedan:

 

CTS

E-Class Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.5 MPH

92.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CTS non-turbo V6’s fuel efficiency. The E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The CTS has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the E-Class Sedan 300’s standard fuel tank (19 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The CTS 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.

Brakes and Stopping

The CTS stops much shorter than the E-Class Sedan:

 

CTS

E-Class Sedan

 

70 to 0 MPH

149 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

98 feet

110 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CTS’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the E-Class Sedan (255/35R19 vs. 245/40R19).

The CTS’ optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the E-Class Sedan’s optional 40 series front tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the CTS can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. Run-flat tires aren’t available on some tire packages on the E-Class Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

The CTS’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.3% to 49.7%) than the E-Class Sedan’s (54.2% to 45.8%). This gives the CTS more stable handling and braking.

The CTS V-Sport handles at .97 G’s, while the E 300 Sedan 4MATIC pulls only .90 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CTS V-Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the E 300 Sedan (24.5 seconds @ .78 average G’s vs. 25.8 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CTS V-Sport’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the E-Class Sedan’s (36.7 feet vs. 38.2 feet).

Chassis

The front grille of the CTS (except V-Sport or Driver Assist Package) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The CTS 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.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the CTS V-Sport is quieter than the E 300 Sedan 4MATIC (66 vs. 67 dB).

Passenger Space

The CTS has 3 inches more front headroom and 4 inches more front legroom than the E-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The CTS has a larger trunk than the E-Class Sedan (13.7 vs. 13.1 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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

Ergonomics

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

Both the CTS and the E-Class Sedan offer optional heated front seats. The CTS Premium/V-Sport Premium 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.

Economic Advantages

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Cadillac CTS will be $2063 to $6286 less than for the Mercedes E-Class Sedan.

Recommendations

Motor Trend selected the CTS as their 2014 Car of the Year. The E-Class was Import Car of the Year in 1996.

The CTS was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The E-Class has never been an “All Star.”

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

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