2019 Genesis G80 vs. 2018 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Genesis G80 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 C-Class Sedan has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The G80 has standard Anti-Whiplash Front Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Anti-Whiplash Front Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To help make backing safer, the G80’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the G80 and the C-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

The Genesis G80 weighs 436 to 1299 pounds more than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Genesis G80 is safer than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan:

 

G80

C-Class Sedan

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

97

138

Neck Injury Risk

21%

24%

Neck Stress

189 lbs.

203 lbs.

Neck Compression

22 lbs.

62 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

268/514 lbs.

421/449 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

180

246

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

35%

60%

Neck Stress

129 lbs.

147 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

219 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

147/55 lbs.

311/161 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 Genesis G80 is safer than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan:

 

G80

C-Class Sedan

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

88

459

Spine Acceleration

31 G’s

67 G’s

Hip Force

394 lbs.

949 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

10 inches

12 inches

HIC

230

248

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

43 G’s

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the G80 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 28 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The C-Class Sedan was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

The G80 comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes free 24-hour roadside assistance. The C-Class Sedan’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Genesis’ powertrain warranty covers the G80 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the C-Class Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the C-Class Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The G80’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the C-Class Sedan’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Genesis pays for scheduled maintenance on the G80 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Genesis will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the C-Class Sedan.

Reliability

The battery on the G80 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the G80’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The C-Class Sedan’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

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 G80’s reliability 24 points higher than the C-Class Sedan.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the G80 second among midsize premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The C-Class Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Genesis vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Genesis first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

Engine

The G80 has more powerful engines than the C-Class Sedan:

 

Horsepower

Torque

G80 3.8 DOHC V6

311 HP

293 lbs.-ft.

G80 3.3T Sport 3.3 turbo V6

365 HP

376 lbs.-ft.

G80 5.0 DOHC V8

420 HP

383 lbs.-ft.

C 300 Sedan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 43 Sedan 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the G80 3.8 is faster than the C 300 Sedan:

 

G80

C-Class

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

93.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Genesis G80 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on G80 3.3T Sport for maximum performance). The C-Class Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The G80 has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the C-Class Sedan (20.3 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the G80’s brake rotors are larger than those on the C-Class Sedan:

 

G80

C-Class

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the G80 has larger standard tires than the C-Class Sedan (245/45R18 vs. 225/50R17). The G80’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Sedan (F:245/40R19 & R:275/35R19 vs. F:225/40R19 & R:255/35R19).

The G80 3.8’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the C-Class Sedan’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the G80 3.8 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the C-Class Sedan.

The G80 has a standard 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 C-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 C-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the G80’s wheelbase is 6.7 inches longer than on the C-Class Sedan (118.5 inches vs. 111.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the G80 is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 3.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Sedan.

The G80 5.0 handles at .88 G’s, while the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the G80’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the C-Class Sedan’s (36.2 feet vs. 36.8 feet). The G80’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the AMG C 43 Sedan’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The design of the Genesis G80 amounts to more than styling. The G80 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the C-Class Sedan (.3 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the G80 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the G80 5.0 is quieter than the AMG C 43 Sedan:

 

G80

C-Class

At idle

39 dB

41 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the G80 a Large car, while the C-Class Sedan is rated a Compact.

The G80 has 17.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Sedan (107.7 vs. 90).

The G80 has 4 inches more front headroom, 4 inches more front legroom, 3.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The G80 has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Sedan (15.3 vs. 12.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The G80’s standard headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the C-Class Sedan’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The G80 3.8 AWD offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The G80 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the C-Class Sedan. The G80 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the C-Class Sedan.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the G80 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the G80 with a number “” insurance rate while the C-Class Sedan is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Genesis G80, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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