2019 Mercedes E-Class Wagon vs. 2018 Audi Q5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The E-Class Wagon’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 Q5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the E-Class Wagon and the Q5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the E-Class Wagon’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the E-Class Wagon has a standard 180-amp alternator. The Q5’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the E-Class Wagon has a standard 850-amp battery. The Q5’s 420-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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine

The E-Class Wagon’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 110 more horsepower (362 vs. 252) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 273) than the Q5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the E-Class Wagon’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 Q5 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The E-Class Wagon has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q5 (21.1 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes E-Class Wagon higher (5 out of 10) than the Audi Q5 (3). This means the E-Class Wagon produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Q5 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes E-Class Wagon, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Q5.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the E-Class Wagon’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Q5:

 

E-Class

Q5

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13 inches

The E-Class Wagon stops much shorter than the Q5:

 

E-Class

Q5

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the E-Class Wagon has larger standard tires than the Q5 (245/45R18 vs. 235/60R18).

The E-Class Wagon’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 Q5’s standard 60 series tires. The E-Class Wagon’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Q5’s optional 45 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the E-Class Wagon can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Q5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The rear suspension of the E-Class Wagon uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Q5, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The E-Class Wagon 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 Wagon’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 Q5 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The E-Class Wagon’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 Q5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the E-Class Wagon’s wheelbase is 4.7 inches longer than on the Q5 (115.7 inches vs. 111 inches).

The E 400 4MATIC Wagon handles at .87 G’s, while the Q5 Premium Plus pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The E 400 4MATIC Wagon executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Q5 Prestige (25.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis

The E-Class Wagon is 7.6 inches shorter in height than the Q5, making the E-Class Wagon much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Passenger Space

The E-Class Wagon has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Q5 can only carry 5.

The E-Class Wagon has .5 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q5.

Cargo Capacity

The E-Class Wagon’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q5.

 

E-Class

Q5

Third Seat Removed

35 cubic feet

26.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

64 cubic feet

60.4 cubic feet

Ergonomics

The E-Class Wagon 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Q5, the E-Class Wagon 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 Wagon’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Q5 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the E-Class Wagon to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The Q5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the E-Class Wagon offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Q5 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The E-Class Wagon 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The E-Class Wagon’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 Q5 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Mercedes E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Audi Q5 isn’t available as a coupe, convertible or sedan.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the E-Class Wagon is less expensive to operate than the Q5 because typical repairs cost less on the E-Class Wagon than the Q5, including $71 less for front brake pads, $104 less for a fuel pump and $120 less for front struts.

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

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