2019 Cadillac XTS vs. 2019 Mercedes S-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Cadillac XTS are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mercedes S-Class has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the XTS and S-Class have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XTS 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 S-Class’ 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 XTS offers optional Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The S-Class doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the XTS and the S-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear 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.

Warranty

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the XTS 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the S-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the S-Class ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The XTS’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the S-Class’ (6 vs. 5 years).

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

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 XTS’ warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the XTS’ reliability 20 points higher than the S-Class.

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

The XTS 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 S-Class doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The XTS stops much shorter than the S-Class:

 

XTS

S-Class

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

The XTS’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S-Class’ standard 50 series tires.

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

The XTS 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 S-Class; 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 S-Class don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

The XTS handles at .85 G’s, while the S-Class pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Cadillac XTS may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 800 pounds less than the Mercedes S-Class.

The XTS is 6 inches shorter than the S-Class, making the XTS easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the XTS is quieter than the S 560 (74 vs. 75 dB).

Passenger Space

The XTS has .7 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more rear headroom and 5.9 inches more rear legroom than the S-Class.

Cargo Capacity

The XTS has a much larger trunk than the S-Class (18 vs. 16.3 cubic feet).

The XTS’ standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The S-Class doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Towing

The XTS has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The S-Class has no towing capacity.

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

The XTS’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The S-Class does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the XTS owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the XTS will cost $6095 to $12765 less than the S-Class over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XTS is less expensive to operate than the S-Class because typical repairs cost much less on the XTS than the S-Class, including $442 less for a water pump, $760 less for a muffler, $264 less for a starter, $57 less for fuel injection, $484 less for front struts and $259 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Cadillac XTS will be $44662 to $93435 less than for the Mercedes S-Class.

Recommendations

The Cadillac XTS has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

XTS

S-Class

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The Cadillac XTS outsold the Mercedes S-Class by 18% during 2018.

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

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