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To help make backing safer, the G90’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 CLS doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the G90 and the CLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front 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 and available all wheel drive.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard 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 G90 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 28 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The CLS has not been tested, yet.
The G90 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 G90 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 G90’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the CLS’ (7 vs. 5 years).
Genesis pays for scheduled maintenance on the G90 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.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the G90 first among large 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.
The G90 5.0’s standard 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 18 more horsepower (420 vs. 402) than the CLS 550’s standard 4.7 turbo V8.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Genesis G90 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The CLS requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the G90 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the CLS.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the G90’s wheelbase is 11.2 inches longer than on the CLS (124.4 inches vs. 113.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the G90 is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the CLS.
The design of the Genesis G90 amounts to more than styling. The G90 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the CLS (.3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the G90 get better fuel mileage.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the G90 a Large car, while the CLS is rated a Compact.
The G90 has standard seating for 5 passengers; the CLS can only carry 4.
The G90 has 21.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLS (113.2 vs. 92).
The G90 has 4.2 inches more front headroom, 4.2 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear headroom, 2.8 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the CLS.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the G90 5.0’s rear seats recline. The CLS’ rear seats don’t recline.
The G90 has a larger trunk than the CLS (15.7 vs. 15.3 cubic feet).
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the G90’s trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The CLS doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The G90 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The CLS doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The G90 has a standard heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The CLS doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the G90 has standard extendable sun visors. The CLS doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The G90 has standard front air-conditioned seats and the G90 5.0 also has them in the rear. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The CLS doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.
The G90 has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the car heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the CLS.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Genesis G90, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Genesis G90 outsold the Mercedes CLS by almost three to one during the 2018 model year.
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