2019 Mercedes CLS vs. 2019 Volvo S90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the CLS and the S90 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, lane departure 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 CLS’ 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’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 12 places higher in reliability than Volvo.

Engine

The CLS has more powerful engines than the S90:

 

Horsepower

Torque

CLS 450 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

AMG CLS 53 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

429 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

S90 T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

S90 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

S90 T8 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the CLS 450 is faster than the S90 T6:

 

CLS

S90

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.5 sec

13.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

14.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107 MPH

101 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The CLS has 7.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the S90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The CLS has 5.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the S90 T6’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 15.9 gallons).

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes CLS, 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 CLS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the S90:

 

CLS

S90 T5

S90 T6/T8

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

12.7 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the CLS has larger rear tires than the S90 (275/35R19 vs. 245/45R18). The CLS 450’s rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the S90 (275/35R19 vs. 255/35R20).

The CLS’ 245/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the S90’s standard 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CLS 450 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the S90.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the CLS 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 CLS 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 CLS’ 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 CLS 450 4MATIC 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.

Chassis

The CLS is 3.4 inches shorter than the S90, making the CLS easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Mercedes CLS amounts to more than styling. The CLS has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the S90 (.28 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the CLS get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The CLS has .3 inches more front shoulder room and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the S90.

Cargo Capacity

The CLS’ standard 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 CLS 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 CLS 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 CLS’ 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.

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

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