2019 Volvo S90 vs. 2019 Mercedes CLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 CLS. 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 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 CLS 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 CLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The CLS has not been tested, yet.


The S90’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CLS’ (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 CLS.


The S90 T8’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 88 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 384) than the AMG CLS 53’s optional 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S90 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the CLS 450 4MATIC (70 city/72 hwy MPGe vs. 23 city/30 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S90 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the CLS 450 4MATIC (26 city/33 hwy vs. 23 city/30 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S90 gets better fuel mileage than the CLS:








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




450 3.0 turbo V6

24 city/31 hwy



450 3.0 turbo V6

23 city/30 hwy



AMG 53 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. Hybrid

21 city/27 hwy

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

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 CLS doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The S90 stops much shorter than the CLS:





70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

167 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S90’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CLS (255/35R20 vs. 245/40R19).

The S90’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CLS’ 40 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S90’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the CLS (120.5 inches vs. 115.7 inches).


The Volvo S90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 250 pounds less than the Mercedes CLS.

Passenger Space

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

The S90 has 9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLS (102 vs. 93).

The S90 has .9 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more rear headroom and 5.4 inches more rear legroom than the CLS.

Cargo Capacity

The S90 has a much larger trunk than the CLS (13.5 vs. 11.9 cubic feet).


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 CLS 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 CLS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the S90 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the S90 will cost $1375 to $7735 less than the CLS over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo S90 will be $30655 to $38347 less than for the Mercedes CLS.


The S90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2017. The CLS has never been an “All Star.”

The Volvo 90 Series outsold the Mercedes CLS by over 10 to one during 2018.

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

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