2019 Genesis G80 vs. 2019 Mercedes S-Class

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 S-Class has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the G80 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 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, lane departure warning systems, 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 S-Class 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 S-Class’ 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 S-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the S-Class ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The G80’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the S-Class’ (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 S-Class.

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 G80’s reliability 26 points higher than the S-Class.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the G80 second among midsize premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The S-Class was rated third 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.

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 S-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

The G80 stops much shorter than the S-Class:

 

G80

S-Class

 

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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 S-Class’ standard 50 series tires.

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 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 G80 5.0 handles at .86 G’s, while the S-Class pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the G80’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the S AMG S 65’s (36.2 feet vs. 38.1 feet). The G80’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the S 450/560’s (37.4 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis

The Genesis G80 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the Mercedes S-Class.

The G80 is 10.4 inches shorter than the S-Class, making the G80 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 S-Class (.27 to .3) 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 while at idle, the interior of the G80 5.0 is quieter than the S 560 (39 vs. 40 dB).

Passenger Space

The G80 has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 4.3 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more rear headroom and .9 inches more rear legroom than the S-Class.

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 S-Class doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the G80 has standard extendable sun visors. The S-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the G80 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the G80 will cost $970 to $11385 less than the S-Class over a five-year period.

The G80 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the G80 will retain 40.26% to 44.12% of its original price after five years, while the S-Class only retains 32.06% to 35.71%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Genesis G80 will be $51856 to $102462 less than for the Mercedes S-Class.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Genesis G80 and the Mercedes S-Class, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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