2019 Genesis G90 vs. 2018 Mercedes S-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 S-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the G90 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 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 S-Class has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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 S-Class’ 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 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 G90’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the S-Class’ (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 S-Class.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the G90 first among large premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The S-Class was rated third.

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Genesis G90 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The S-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The G90 has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the S-Class 550e Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (21.9 vs. 16.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The G90 stops much shorter than the S-Class:

 

G90

S-Class

 

70 to 0 MPH

172 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the G90 has larger rear tires than the S-Class (275/40R19 vs. 245/50R18).

The G90’s 245/45R19 front and 275/40R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear 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 G90 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the S-Class.

The G90 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 G90 3.3T AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the S 550e pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The G90 3.3T AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the S 560 (26.1 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 26.5 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

Chassis

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 S-Class (.27 to .28) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the G90 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The G90 has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 4.9 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear headroom than the S-Class.

The front step up height for the G90 is 1.4 inches lower than the S-Class (14” vs. 15.4”). The G90’s rear step up height is 1.7 inches lower than the S-Class’ (14.2” vs. 15.9”).

Ergonomics

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 S-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 S-Class.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Genesis G90 and the Mercedes S-Class, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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