2019 Mercedes E-Class Sedan vs. 2019 Acura TLX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

The rear seatbelts optional on the E-Class Sedan inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The TLX doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The E-Class Sedan’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 TLX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the E-Class Sedan and the TLX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Mercedes E-Class Sedan is safer than the TLX:

 

E-Class

TLX

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

173

250

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

1.4/1 kN

1.6/2.1 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.43/.4

1.15/.91

Tibia forces R/L

3/2 kN

4.4/5 kN

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 E-Class Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 28 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The TLX was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.

Warranty

There are over 41 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the E-Class Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the E-Class Sedan has a standard 850-amp battery. The TLX’s 650-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the E-Class Sedan’s reliability 55 points higher than the TLX.

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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th, 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 Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in reliability. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 5 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

The E-Class Sedan has more powerful engines than the TLX:

 

Horsepower

Torque

E 300 Sedan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

E 450 4MATIC Sedan 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

AMG E 53 Sedan 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

429 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

TLX 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

206 HP

182 lbs.-ft.

TLX 3.5 SOHC V6

290 HP

267 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the E 300 Sedan is faster than the Acura TLX 4 cyl.:

 

E-Class

TLX

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.4 MPH

91.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the E-Class Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the TLX:

 

 

E-Class

TLX

 

2WD

300/Auto

22 city/30 hwy

20 city/31 hwy

V6/Auto

 

 

n/a

20 city/30 hwy

V6/Auto A-Spec

AWD

300/Auto

21 city/29 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

V6/Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the E-Class Sedan 53 AMG’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The TLX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the E-Class Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Acura only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the TLX SH-AWD.

The E-Class Sedan 450/AMG 53’s standard fuel tank has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the TLX (21.1 vs. 17.2 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes E-Class Sedan higher (5 out of 10) than the Acura TLX (3). This means the E-Class Sedan produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the TLX every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

E-Class

AMG E 53

TLX

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

14.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

14.2 inches

12.2 inches

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

The E-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the TLX:

 

E-Class

TLX

 

70 to 0 MPH

154 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the E-Class Sedan has larger standard tires than the TLX (245/45R18 vs. 225/55R17).

The E-Class Sedan’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 TLX’s standard 55 series tires. The E-Class Sedan’s optional 275/35R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the TLX A-Spec’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the E-Class Sedan has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the TLX.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the E-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 TLX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The E-Class Sedan offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The TLX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The E-Class Sedan 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 Sedan’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 TLX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The E-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 TLX doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the E-Class Sedan’s wheelbase is 6.4 inches longer than on the TLX (115.7 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The E-Class Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.2% to 45.8%) than the TLX’s (59.7% to 40.3%). This gives the E-Class Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The E-Class Sedan 4MATIC handles at .93 G’s, while the TLX V6 SH-AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The E-Class Sedan 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the TLX (25.1 seconds @ .77 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .74 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the E-Class Sedan’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the TLX V6’s (38.2 feet vs. 38.8 feet). The E 450 4MATIC Sedan’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the TLX SH-AWD’s (39 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the E 300 Sedan 4MATIC is quieter than the TLX (38 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the E-Class Sedan a Mid-size car, while the TLX is rated a Compact.

The E-Class Sedan has 4.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the TLX (98 vs. 93.3).

The E-Class Sedan has .2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the TLX.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

The engine in the E-Class Sedan is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the TLX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Acura. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 23% lower rating, Acura is ranked 12th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the TLX, the E-Class Sedan has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The E-Class Sedan 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 TLX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the E-Class Sedan and the TLX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the E-Class Sedan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The TLX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The E-Class Sedan’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 TLX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the E-Class Sedan to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The TLX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The E-Class Sedan’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the TLX’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”

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

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the E-Class Sedan has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The TLX doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

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

The E-Class Sedan 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 TLX doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The E-Class Sedan’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 TLX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes E-Class Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

The Mercedes E-Class outsold the Acura TLX by 46% during the 2018 model year.

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

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