2020 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Mercedes E-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the TLX and the E-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Acura TLX is safer than the Mercedes E-Class Sedan:

TLX

E-Class Sedan

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.1 inches

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

483 lbs.

594 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

249

326

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

678 lbs.

836 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the TLX 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the E-Class Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the E-Class Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the TLX’s reliability 18 points higher than the E-Class Sedan.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 4 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Acura TLX V6 is faster than the E 300 Sedan:

TLX

E-Class

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.3 sec

11.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.1 sec

17.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.2 sec

7.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.6 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

92 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the TLX V6’s fuel efficiency. The E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Acura TLX uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The E-Class Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The TLX 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 E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The TLX offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

The TLX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The TLX offers an available 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 E-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 E-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the TLX V6’s turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the E 450 4MATIC Sedan’s (38.8 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The Acura TLX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Mercedes E-Class Sedan.

The TLX is 3.1 inches shorter than the E-Class Sedan, making the TLX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The TLX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the TLX V6 SH-AWD is quieter than the E 300 Sedan 4MATIC (74 vs. 76 dB).

Cargo Capacity

The TLX has a much larger trunk than the E-Class Sedan (14.3 vs. 13.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The TLX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the E-Class Sedan. The TLX Advance also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the E-Class Sedan.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the TLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the TLX will cost $1410 to $5690 less than the E-Class Sedan over a five-year period.

The TLX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the TLX will retain 48.4% to 50.83% of its original price after five years, while the E-Class Sedan only retains 38.57% to 39.14%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura TLX will be $22743 to $34834 less than for the Mercedes E-Class Sedan.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura TLX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Mercedes E-Class Sedan isn't recommended.

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

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