2019 Mercedes E-Class Wagon vs. 2019 Acura RDX

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 Acura RDX 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 RDX doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 RDX.

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 RDX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the E-Class Wagon and the RDX 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 lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 Wagon’s warranty.

Reliability

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 Wagon’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 90 more horsepower (362 vs. 272) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The E-Class Wagon has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the RDX (21.1 vs. 17.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

E-Class

RDX

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

12.2 inches

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

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

 

E-Class

RDX

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the E-Class Wagon has larger standard tires than the RDX (245/45R18 vs. 235/55R19).

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 RDX’s standard 55 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 RDX 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 RDX, 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 RDX 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 RDX doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the E-Class Wagon’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the RDX (115.7 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

The E-Class Wagon’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.7% to 48.3%) than the RDX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the E-Class Wagon more stable handling and braking.

The E 400 4MATIC Wagon handles at .87 G’s, while the RDX A-Spec AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The E-Class Wagon is 8 inches shorter in height than the RDX, 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 RDX can only carry 5.

The E-Class Wagon has 1.3 inches more rear headroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the RDX.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

E-Class

RDX

Third Seat Removed

35 cubic feet

31.1 cubic feet

Servicing Ease

The engine in the E-Class Wagon is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RDX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because 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 RDX, 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 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 RDX’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 Wagon to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The RDX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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 RDX 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 RDX 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 RDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the E-Class Wagon owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the E-Class Wagon with a number “5” insurance rate while the RDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the E-Class Wagon is less expensive to operate than the RDX because typical repairs cost less on the E-Class Wagon than the RDX, including $200 less for front brake pads, $43 less for a fuel pump and $159 less for a power steering pump.

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

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