2020 Mercedes AMG E-Class Coupe vs. 2020 Ford Shelby GT350

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes AMG E-Class Coupe have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The Ford Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The AMG E-Class Coupe’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes AMG E-Class Coupe 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 Ford Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The AMG E-Class Coupe has standard Active Brake Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Shelby GT350 doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The AMG E-Class Coupe has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The AMG E-Class Coupe’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The AMG E-Class Coupe offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Shelby GT350 only offers a rear monitor.

The AMG E-Class Coupe’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 Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the AMG E-Class Coupe and the Shelby GT350 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear cross-path warning.

The Mercedes AMG E-Class Coupe weighs 669 to 767 pounds more than the Ford Shelby GT350. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The AMG E-Class Coupe comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Shelby GT350’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability

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The Shelby GT350’s redline is at 8250 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The AMG E-Class Coupe has a 6800 RPM redline.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 1 place higher in reliability than Ford.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the AMG E-Class Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the AMG E-Class Coupe’s 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 Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The AMG E-Class Coupe has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Shelby GT350 (17.4 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes AMG E-Class Coupe higher (5 out of 10) than the Ford Shelby GT350 (3). This means the AMG E-Class Coupe produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Shelby GT350 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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The AMG E-Class Coupe has a standard automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

All-wheel drive, available in the AMG E-Class Coupe, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all-wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Ford Shelby GT350 is not available with all-wheel drive.

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the AMG E-Class Coupe offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Shelby GT350’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the AMG E-Class Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the AMG E-Class Coupe uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Shelby GT350, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The AMG E-Class Coupe has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The AMG E-Class Coupe’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 Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The AMG E-Class Coupe’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 Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the AMG E-Class Coupe’s wheelbase is 6 inches longer than on the Shelby GT350 (113.1 inches vs. 107.1 inches).

For better maneuverability, the AMG E-Class Coupe’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Shelby GT350’s (39.7 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis

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To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the AMG E-Class Coupe 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 Shelby GT350 uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the AMG E-Class Coupe a Subcompact car, while the Shelby GT350 is rated a Two Seater.

The AMG E-Class Coupe has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Shelby GT350R Coupe can only carry up to 2.

The AMG E-Class Coupe has 4.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Shelby GT350 (89 vs. 84.5).

Cargo Capacity

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With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the AMG E-Class offers cargo security. The Shelby GT350’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the AMG E-Class Coupe’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

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The AMG E-Class Coupe uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Shelby GT350 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 59% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

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The AMG E-Class Coupe 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 Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Shelby GT350, the AMG E-Class Coupe 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 AMG E-Class Coupe’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The AMG E-Class Coupe 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 Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The AMG E-Class Coupe’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Shelby GT350 has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The AMG E-Class Coupe’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. Ford does not offer a locking feature on the Shelby GT350’s standard power windows.

The AMG E-Class Coupe’s 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 Shelby GT350’s 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 AMG E-Class Coupe to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the AMG E-Class Coupe detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the AMG E-Class Coupe has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The AMG E-Class Coupe also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the AMG E-Class Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The AMG E-Class Coupe’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford charges extra for heated mirrors on the Shelby GT350.

When the AMG E-Class Coupe is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Shelby GT350’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The AMG E-Class Coupe has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Shelby GT350 has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the AMG E-Class Coupe’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The AMG E-Class Coupe has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the AMG E-Class Coupe has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the AMG E-Class Coupe offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The AMG E-Class Coupe 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 Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The AMG E-Class Coupe’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes AMG E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Ford Shelby GT350 isn’t available as a convertible, sedan or station wagon.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the AMG E-Class Coupe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the AMG E-Class Coupe will cost $6200 to $7255 less than the Shelby GT350 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/12

The E 450/E 53 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 2 years. The Shelby GT350 hasn’t been picked since 2017.

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