2019 Mercedes E-Class Wagon vs. 2018 BMW X5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes E-Class Wagon have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The E-Class Wagon’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X5 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes E-Class Wagon 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 BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the E-Class Wagon. But it costs extra on the X5.

To help make backing safer, the E-Class Wagon’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 X5 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the E-Class Wagon and the X5 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 lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the E-Class Wagon’s warranty.

Engine

The E-Class Wagon’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 62 more horsepower (362 vs. 300) and 69 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 300) than the X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the E 400 4MATIC Wagon gets better fuel mileage than the X5 xDrive35i (19 city/26 hwy vs. 18 city/24 hwy).

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 BMW X5 (3). This means the E-Class Wagon produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the X5 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 an eight-speed automatic is available for the X5.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the E-Class Wagon’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the X5:

 

E-Class

X5

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

The E-Class Wagon stops much shorter than the X5:

 

E-Class

X5

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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 X5’s standard 50 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. Run-flat tires aren’t available on some tire packages on the X5.

Suspension and Handling

The rear suspension of the E-Class Wagon uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the X5, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

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 X5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The E 400 4MATIC Wagon handles at .87 G’s, while the X5 xDrive35i pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The E 400 4MATIC Wagon executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the X5 xDrive35i (25.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .69 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the E-Class Wagon’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the X5’s (39 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis

The Mercedes E-Class Wagon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 800 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The E-Class Wagon is 11.7 inches shorter in height than the X5, making the E-Class Wagon much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Passenger Space

The E-Class Wagon has 1.1 inches more front legroom and 1.3 inches more rear headroom than the X5.

Cargo Capacity

The E-Class Wagon has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The X5 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the E-Class Wagon’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X5 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The E-Class Wagon’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the E-Class Wagon’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X5 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 11% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

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 X5 doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 X5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

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 X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Mercedes E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the BMW X5 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 X5 because it costs $36 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the E-Class Wagon than the X5, including $939 less for a muffler, $121 less for front brake pads, $20 less for fuel injection, $136 less for a fuel pump, $257 less for front struts, $668 less for a timing belt/chain and $1039 less for a power steering pump.

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

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