2019 Mercedes E-Class Wagon vs. 2019 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

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 Sports Wagon 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 Sports Wagon 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 Sports Wagon 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 Sports Wagon doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the E-Class Wagon and the 3 Series Sports Wagon 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.

The Mercedes E-Class Wagon weighs 432 pounds more than the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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 114 more horsepower (362 vs. 248) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The E-Class Wagon has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sports Wagon (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 Sports Wagon.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

E-Class

3 Series

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

11.8 inches

The E-Class Wagon stops shorter than the 3 Series Sports Wagon:

 

E-Class

3 Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the E-Class Wagon has larger standard tires than the 3 Series Sports Wagon (245/45R18 vs. 225/50R17). The E-Class Wagon’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 3 Series Sports Wagon (F:245/45R18 & R:275/40R18 vs. F:225/45R18 & R:255/40R18).

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 3 Series Sports Wagon’s standard 50 series tires. The E-Class Wagon’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s optional 45 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the E-Class Wagon has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 3 Series Sports Wagon. The E-Class Wagon’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the 3 Series Sports Wagon.

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 3 Series Sports Wagon.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the E-Class Wagon’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the 3 Series Sports Wagon (115.7 inches vs. 110.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the E-Class Wagon is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the 3 Series Sports Wagon.

The E 400 4MATIC Wagon handles at .87 G’s, while the 330i Sports Wagon pulls only .86 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 seconds quicker than the 3 Series Sports Wagon (25.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the E-Class Wagon a Mid-Size Station Wagon car, while the 3 Series Sports Wagon is rated a Small Station Wagon.

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

The E-Class Wagon has 2.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the 3 Series Sports Wagon.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

E-Class

3 Series

Third Seat Removed

35 cubic feet

27.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

64 cubic feet

61.5 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 Sports Wagon 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 Sports Wagon doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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

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 Sports Wagon 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 Sports Wagon 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 Sports Wagon because typical repairs cost much less on the E-Class Wagon than the 3 Series Sports Wagon, 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.

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos