2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan vs. 2019 Volvo S90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the C-Class Sedan and the S90 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, plastic fuel tanks, 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 28 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Volvo dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the C-Class Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 29th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in reliability. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 9 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the C 300 4MATIC Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the S90 T5 AWD (22 city/33 hwy vs. 22 city/31 hwy).

The C-Class Sedan has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the S90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The C-Class Sedan has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the S90 T6’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15.9 gallons).

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Sedan, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the S90.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the C-Class Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the S90:

 

C 300

AMG C 43

S90 T5

S90 T6/T8

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.2 inches

12.7 inches

13.6 inches

The C-Class Sedan stops shorter than the S90:

 

C-Class

S90

 

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

107 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the C-Class Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The S90 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the C-Class Sedan uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the S90, which uses transverse leafs springs in the rear. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

The C-Class Sedan’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The S90 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The AMG C 43 Sedan handles at .93 G’s, while the S90 T6 Momentum pulls only .90 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The C 300 Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the S90 T6 Inscription (25.7 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the S90 18” wheels’ (36.8 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The AMG C 43 Sedan’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the S90 19” wheels’ (38.7 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 800 pounds less than the Volvo S90.

The C-Class Sedan is 1 foot, 3.6 inches shorter than the S90, making the C-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the C-Class Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The S90 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

The C-Class Sedan’s optional rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The S90 Luxury Package doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the C-Class Sedan is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the S90. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

An ASSYST PLUS is standard on the C-Class Sedan to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Volvo doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the S90.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Volvo. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 26% lower rating, Volvo is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

The C-Class Sedan’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S90 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the C-Class Sedan has standard extendable sun visors. The S90 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Model Availability

The Mercedes C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Volvo S90 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Recommendations

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Volvo 90 Series by over five to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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