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The E-Class Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The ES Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
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 ES Series doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.
The E-Class Sedan offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The ES Series doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
To help make backing safer, the E-Class Sedan’s optional 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 ES Series doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
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 ES Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the E-Class Sedan and the ES Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front 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, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
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 ES Series has not been tested, yet.
There are over 59 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the E-Class Sedan’s warranty.
The E-Class Sedan has more powerful engines than the ES Series:
E 300 Sedan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
E 450 4MATIC Sedan 3.0 turbo V6
AMG E 53 Sedan 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid
ES 300h 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid
ES 350 3.5 DOHC V6
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.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the ES Series Hybrid.
The E-Class Sedan 300’s standard fuel tank has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the ES Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The E-Class Sedan 450/AMG 53’s standard fuel tank has 5.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the ES Series’ standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 15.9 gallons).
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes E-Class Sedan, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the ES Series.
For better stopping power the E-Class Sedan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ES Series:
AMG E 53
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 ES Series are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the E-Class Sedan has larger standard tires than the ES Series (245/45R18 vs. 215/55R17). The E-Class Sedan’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ES Series (F:245/40R19 & R:275/35R19 vs. 235/45R18).
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 ES Series’ standard 55 series tires. The E-Class Sedan’s optional 275/35R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the ES Series’ optional 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 ES Series.
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 ES Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The E-Class Sedan has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The ES Series’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
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 ES Series 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 ES Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the E-Class Sedan’s wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the ES Series (115.7 inches vs. 113 inches).
The E-Class Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.2% to 45.8%) than the ES Series’ (59% to 41%). This gives the E-Class Sedan more stable handling and braking.
The E-Class Sedan has 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the ES Series.
The E-Class Sedan’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The ES Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the E-Class Sedan offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The ES Series doesn’t offer a power trunk, so its trunk has to be closed manually.
The engine in the E-Class Sedan is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the ES Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.
An ASSYST PLUS is standard on the E-Class Sedan to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, tire rotation and brake pad replacement based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Lexus doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the ES Series.
The E-Class Sedan has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The ES Series doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the ES Series, 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’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the ES Series.
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 ES Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
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 ES Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
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 ES Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.
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 ES Series 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 ES Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Mercedes E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Lexus ES Series isn’t available as a coupe, convertible or station wagon.
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 ES Series has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
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