2019 Volvo S90 vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the S90 and C-Class Sedan have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S90 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The C-Class Sedan’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Volvo S90 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Mercedes doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the C-Class Sedan. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; S90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The S90 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S90 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the S90 and the C-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.


The S90’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the C-Class Sedan’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S90 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the C-Class Sedan.


The S90 has more powerful engines than the C-Class Sedan:




S90 T6 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

S90 T8 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

C 300 Sedan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 43 Sedan 3.0 turbo V6

385 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S90 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the C 300 4MATIC Sedan (70 city/72 hwy MPGe vs. 22 city/33 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S90 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the C 300 4MATIC Sedan (26 city/33 hwy vs. 22 city/33 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S90 gets better fuel mileage than the C-Class Sedan:








T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/35 hwy



T5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/32 hwy



T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

C-Class Sedan



300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy



300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/33 hwy



AMG 43 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/27 hwy

The S90 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 21 miles. The C-Class Sedan must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the S90’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The S90 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The S90 stops shorter than the C-Class Sedan:





60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S90 has larger standard tires than the C-Class Sedan (245/45R18 vs. 225/50R17). The S90’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Sedan (255/35R20 vs. 225/40R19).

The S90’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 C-Class Sedan’s standard 50 series tires. The S90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the C-Class Sedan’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S90 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the C-Class Sedan. The S90’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the C-Class Sedan.

The S90 T5/T6 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the C-Class Sedan; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the C-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S90’s wheelbase is 8.7 inches longer than on the C-Class Sedan (120.5 inches vs. 111.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the S90 is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Sedan.

The S90 T6 Inscription handles at .88 G’s, while the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the S90 a Mid-size car, while the C-Class Sedan is rated a Compact.

The S90 has 12 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Sedan (102 vs. 90).

The S90 has .7 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 5.2 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The S90 has a larger trunk than the C-Class Sedan (13.5 vs. 12.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S90 easier. The S90’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the C-Class Sedan’s liftover is 28 inches.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S90’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.


The S90 has a 3700 lbs. towing capacity. The C-Class Sedan has no towing capacity.


Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S90 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Both the S90 and the C-Class Sedan offer optional heated front seats. The S90 Inscription also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the C-Class Sedan.

The S90 Inscription has standard front air-conditioned seats and offers them optionally in the rear. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The S90 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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.


J.D. Power and Associates rated the S90 third among midsize premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The C-Class Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.

The S90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2017. The C-Class Sedan hasn’t been picked since 2015.

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

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