2019 Mercedes E-Class Coupe vs. 2019 Dodge Challenger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes E-Class Coupe have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The Dodge Challenger doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The E-Class Coupe’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Challenger doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes E-Class Coupe 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 Dodge Challenger doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The E-Class Coupe has standard Active Brake Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Challenger offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The E-Class Coupe’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Challenger doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The E-Class Coupe offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Challenger only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The E-Class Coupe’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Challenger doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the E-Class Coupe and the Challenger 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The E-Class Coupe comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Challenger’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The E-Class Coupe’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Challenger runs out after 60,000 miles.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the E-Class Coupe have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Challenger.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the E-Class Coupe has a 180-amp alternator. The Challenger’s standard 160-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the E-Class Coupe has a standard 850-amp battery. The Challenger’s 730-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 19th, 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 Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in reliability. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 4 places higher in reliability than Dodge.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the AMG E 53 Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the Challenger AWD (21 city/28 hwy vs. 18 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the E 450 Coupe RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Challenger R/T Auto (20 city/28 hwy vs. 16 city/25 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the E-Class Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Challenger doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes E-Class Coupe higher (5 out of 10) than the Dodge Challenger (1 to 3). This means the E-Class Coupe produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Challenger every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the E-Class Coupe’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Challenger:

 

E-Class

Challenger

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

The E-Class Coupe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Challenger SXT are solid, not vented.

The E-Class Coupe stops much shorter than the Challenger:

 

E-Class

Challenger

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the E-Class Coupe has larger standard tires than the Challenger (245/45R18 vs. 235/55R18).

The E-Class Coupe 4MATIC’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 Challenger SXT’s standard 55 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

The E-Class Coupe has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The E-Class Coupe’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Challenger doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The E-Class Coupe’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 Challenger doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The E 450 Coupe 4MATIC handles at .90 G’s, while the Challenger SXT pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The E-Class Coupe is 7.5 inches shorter than the Challenger, making the E-Class Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the E-Class Coupe has standard flush composite headlights. The Challenger has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

The E-Class Coupe has 1.6 inches more front headroom and 1 inch more rear legroom than the Challenger.

Cargo Capacity

With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the E-Class offers cargo security. The Challenger’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the E-Class Coupe’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Challenger doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Dodge. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 87% lower rating, Dodge is ranked 30th.

Ergonomics

When three different drivers share the E-Class Coupe, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Challenger doesn’t offer a memory system.

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

The E-Class Coupe offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Challenger doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The E-Class Coupe’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. Dodge does not offer a locking feature on the Challenger’s standard power windows.

The E-Class Coupe’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Challenger’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the E-Class Coupe the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Challenger can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The E-Class Coupe has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Challenger doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The E-Class Coupe’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Challenger’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the E-Class Coupe has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Challenger doesn’t offer cornering lights. The E-Class Coupe also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the E-Class Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Challenger doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

When the E-Class Coupe is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Challenger’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The E-Class Coupe has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Challenger has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The E-Class Coupe offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Challenger doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The E-Class Coupe’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Challenger doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Mercedes E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Dodge Challenger isn’t available as a convertible, sedan or station wagon.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the E-Class Coupe is less expensive to operate than the Challenger because typical repairs cost much less on the E-Class Coupe than the Challenger, including $228 less for front brake pads, $243 less for a fuel pump and $222 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The E-Class was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The Challenger has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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

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