2019 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2019 Chrysler 300

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class 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 Chrysler 300 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S-Class’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 300 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The 300 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the S-Class helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The 300 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The S-Class offers an optional Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 300 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The S-Class’ 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 300 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S-Class and the 300 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The S-Class comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 300’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The S-Class’ 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the 300 runs out after 100,000 miles.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the S-Class have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the 300.

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 Chrysler vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chrysler is ranked 26th, 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 Chrysler vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in reliability. With 64 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chrysler is ranked 31st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Chrysler vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 7 places higher in reliability than Chrysler.

Engine

The S-Class has more powerful engines than the 300:

 

Horsepower

Torque

S 450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

S 560 4.0 turbo V8

463 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

AMG S 63 4.0 turbo V8

603 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

AMG S 65/Maybach S 650 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

300 3.6 DOHC V6

292 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

300S 3.6 DOHC V6

300 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

300 5.7 V8

363 HP

394 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the S 560 is faster than the Chrysler 300:

 

S-Class

300S V6

300 V8

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

6.4 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

14.9 sec

14.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.7 MPH

97.1 MPH

n/a

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S 450 RWD gets better fuel mileage than the 300 RWD V8 (19 city/28 hwy vs. 16 city/25 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the S-Class Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 300 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S-Class’ 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 300 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The S-Class’ standard fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 300 (21.1 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 6.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 300 (24.6 vs. 18.5 gallons).

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes S-Class, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the 300.

The S-Class 63/65’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The 300 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the S-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the 300:

 

S 450/560

S 63/65

300

300 V8/AWD

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

16.5 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

12.6 inches

The S-Class’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the 300 are solid, not vented.

The S-Class S 63/65 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 300 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The S-Class stops shorter than the 300:

 

S-Class

300

 

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S-Class has larger standard tires than the 300 (245/50R18 vs. 215/65R17). The S 63’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 300 (F:255/40R20 & R:285/35R20 vs. 245/45R20).

The S-Class’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 300 Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The S 63’s 255/40R20 front and 285/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the 300S/300C/Limited’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S-Class has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 300 Touring.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the 300, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Chrysler doesn’t offer an active suspension on the 300.

The S-Class has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The 300’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The S-Class has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The 300 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The S-Class’ 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 300 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the 300 (124.6 inches vs. 120.2 inches). The Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 12.3 inches longer than on the 300 (132.5 inches vs. 120.2 inches).

The S 600 handles at .90 G’s, while the 300 pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S 600 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the 300 (25.8 seconds vs. 27.2 seconds).

For better maneuverability, the S AMG S 65’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the 300’s (38.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the S-Class has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The 300 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the S 560 is quieter than the 300S:

 

S-Class

300

Full-Throttle

75 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

The S-Class has 5.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 300 (112 vs. 106.3).

The S-Class has 1.1 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the 300.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the S-Class’ available rear seats recline. The 300’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S-Class easier. The S-Class’ trunk lift-over height is 27.4 inches, while the 300’s liftover is 30.1 inches.

With its sedan body style and remote trunk release lockout, the S-Class offers cargo security. The 300’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the S-Class has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The 300 doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Chrysler. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 80% lower rating, Chrysler is ranked 26th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the 300 (except Touring/Touring L), the S-Class 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 S-Class’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the 300, and is not available on all models.

The S-Class offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 300 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The S-Class’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The 300’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the S-Class the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 300 can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The S-Class’ 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 300’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 S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The 300 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the S-Class has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The 300 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the S-Class’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The 300 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The S-Class has a 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 300 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The S-Class’ 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 300 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Mercedes S-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Chrysler 300 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S-Class is less expensive to operate than the 300 because typical repairs cost much less on the S-Class than the 300, including $263 less for a muffler, $116 less for front struts and $347 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mercedes S-Class and the Chrysler 300, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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