2019 Mercedes E-Class Sedan vs. 2019 Volvo S90

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 S90 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

Both the E-Class Sedan and the S90 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear 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, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 S90 was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2017.

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 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 S90’s 800-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 50 points higher than the S90.

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.

Engine

The E-Class Sedan has more powerful engines than the S90:

 

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.

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 Consumer Reports the E 300 Sedan is faster than the S90 T6:

 

E-Class

S90

Zero to 30 MPH

2.8 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.1 sec

7.2 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

The E-Class Sedan 300’s standard fuel tank 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 E-Class Sedan 300’s standard fuel tank has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the S90 T5’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 14.5 gallons). The E-Class Sedan 450/AMG 53’s standard fuel tank 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 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 S90.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

E-Class

AMG E 53

S90 T5

S90 T6/T8

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

14.6 inches

12.7 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

14.2 inches

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

The E-Class Sedan stops shorter than the S90:

 

E-Class

S90

 

70 to 0 MPH

154 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

130 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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 S90 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The E-Class Sedan has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The S90’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The front and rear suspension of the E-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 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 S90 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 S90 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The E-Class Sedan 4MATIC handles at .93 G’s, while the S90 T6 Inscription pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The E-Class Sedan 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the S90 T6 Inscription (25.1 seconds @ .77 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the E-Class Sedan’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the S90 18” wheels’ (38.2 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The E 450 4MATIC Sedan’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the S90 19” wheels’ (39 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The E-Class Sedan is 6.3 inches shorter than the S90, making the E-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The E-Class Sedan has .3 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the S90.

Cargo Capacity

The E-Class Sedan’s 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 E-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 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. 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 E-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.

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 S90 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

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 S90’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 S90 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

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

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the E-Class Sedan owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the E-Class Sedan will cost $245 less than the S90 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes E-Class Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Volvo S90 isn't recommended.

Consumer Reports performed a comparison test in its February 2017 issue and the Mercedes E 300 Sedan 4MATIC won out over the Volvo S90 T6 Momentum.

The E-Class was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The S90 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mercedes E-Class outsold the Volvo 90 Series by almost four to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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