2019 Mercedes E-Class Wagon vs. 2019 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo

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 3 Series Gran Turismo 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 3 Series Gran Turismo 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 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the E-Class Wagon and the 3 Series Gran Turismo have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 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.

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 3 Series Gran Turismo’s 170-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The E-Class Wagon’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 114 more horsepower (362 vs. 248) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the 330i Gran Turismo’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The E-Class Wagon’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 40 more horsepower (362 vs. 322) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 330) than the 340i Gran Turismo’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The E-Class Wagon has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Gran Turismo (21.1 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 3 Series Gran Turismo.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the E-Class Wagon’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 3 Series Gran Turismo:

 

E-Class

330i

340i

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

11.8 inches

13 inches

The E-Class Wagon stops much shorter than the 3 Series Gran Turismo:

 

E-Class

3 Series

 

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the E-Class Wagon has larger standard tires than the 3 Series Gran Turismo (245/45R18 vs. 225/45R18). The E-Class Wagon’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 3 Series Gran Turismo (F:245/45R18 & R:275/40R18 vs. F:225/45R19 & R:255/40R19).

The E-Class Wagon’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 340i Gran Turismo’s optional 45 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

The rear suspension of the E-Class Wagon uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the 3 Series Gran Turismo, 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 3 Series Gran Turismo 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 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the E-Class Wagon is 2 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than on the 3 Series Gran Turismo.

The E 400 4MATIC Wagon handles at .90 G’s, while the 330i Gran Turismo pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the E-Class Wagon’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s (39 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Passenger Space

The E-Class Wagon has standard seating for 7 passengers; the 3 Series Gran Turismo can only carry 5.

The E-Class Wagon has 2.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and 3 inches more rear shoulder room than the 3 Series Gran Turismo.

Cargo Capacity

The E-Class Wagon’s cargo area provides more volume than the 3 Series Gran Turismo.

 

E-Class

3 Series

Third Seat Removed

35 cubic feet

24.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

64 cubic feet

56.8 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the E-Class Wagon’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the 3 Series Gran Turismo, 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 3 Series Gran Turismo 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 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the E-Class Wagon has a standard rear wiper. The 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the E-Class Wagon keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 3 Series Gran Turismo 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 3 Series isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the E-Class Wagon is less expensive to operate than the 3 Series Gran Turismo because typical repairs cost much less on the E-Class Wagon than the 3 Series Gran Turismo, including $60 less for front brake pads, $277 less for front struts and $61 less for a timing belt/chain.

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

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