2019 Genesis G80 vs. 2019 Mercedes CLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the G80 and the CLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the G80 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The CLS has not been tested, yet.

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 CLS’ 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 CLS. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the CLS ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The G80’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the CLS’ (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 CLS.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the G80 second among midsize premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The CLS 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.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Genesis vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Genesis 5 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Brakes and Stopping

The G80 stops shorter than the CLS:

 

G80

CLS

 

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The G80 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CLS’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the G80’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the CLS (118.5 inches vs. 115.7 inches).

For better maneuverability, the G80’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the CLS’ (36.2 feet vs. 39.1 feet). The G80’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the CLS’ (37.4 feet vs. 39.1 feet).

Passenger Space

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

The G80 has 14.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLS (107.7 vs. 93).

The G80 has 4.2 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear headroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the CLS.

Cargo Capacity

The G80 has a much larger trunk than the CLS (15.3 vs. 11.9 cubic feet).

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 G80 3.8 AWD offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CLS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the G80 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the G80 will cost $515 to $8380 less than the CLS over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Genesis G80 will be $39580 to $41734 less than for the Mercedes CLS.

Recommendations

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

The Genesis G80 outsold the Mercedes CLS by over 8 to one during 2018.

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

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