2020 Mercedes E-Class Wagon vs. 2019 Audi A4 Allroad

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The E-Class Wagon’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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the E-Class Wagon and the A4 Allroad have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The Mercedes E-Class Wagon weighs 518 pounds more than the Audi A4 Allroad. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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There are over 26 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the E-Class Wagon’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the E-Class Wagon has a standard 180-amp alternator. The A4 Allroad’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the E-Class Wagon has a standard 850-amp battery. The A4 Allroad’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

Engine

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The E-Class Wagon’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 114 more horsepower (362 vs. 248) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 273) than the A4 Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The E-Class Wagon has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the A4 Allroad (21.1 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes E-Class Wagon, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A4 Allroad.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the E-Class Wagon’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A4 Allroad:

E-Class Wagon

A4 Allroad

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13 inches

The E-Class Wagon stops much shorter than the A4 Allroad:

E-Class Wagon

A4 Allroad

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The E-Class Wagon’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A4 Allroad’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the E-Class Wagon offers optional 19-inch wheels. The A4 Allroad’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the E-Class Wagon can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The rear suspension of the E-Class Wagon uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the A4 Allroad, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The E-Class Wagon has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The E-Class Wagon’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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The E-Class Wagon’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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the E-Class Wagon’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the A4 Allroad (115.7 inches vs. 110.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the E-Class Wagon is .6 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the A4 Allroad.

The E 450 4MATIC Wagon handles at .87 G’s, while the A4 Allroad Prestige pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The E 450 4MATIC Wagon executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the A4 Allroad Premium Plus (25.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .69 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the E-Class Wagon a Mid-Size Station Wagon car, while the A4 Allroad is rated a Small Station Wagon.

The E-Class Wagon has standard seating for 7 passengers; the A4 Allroad can only carry 5.

The E-Class Wagon has .4 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4 Allroad.

Cargo Capacity

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The E-Class Wagon’s cargo area provides more volume than the A4 Allroad.

E-Class Wagon

A4 Allroad

Third Seat Folded

24.5 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

35 cubic feet

24.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

64 cubic feet

58.5 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the E-Class Wagon’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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The E-Class Wagon 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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the A4 Allroad, the E-Class Wagon 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 E-Class Wagon’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the E-Class Wagon 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 A4 Allroad can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the E-Class Wagon to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

The A4 Allroad’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The E-Class Wagon’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

When the E-Class Wagon 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 A4 Allroad’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The E-Class Wagon offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the A4 Allroad.

The E-Class Wagon 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 A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The E-Class Wagon’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Audi A4 Allroad isn’t available as a coupe, convertible or sedan.

Economic Advantages

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The E-Class Wagon will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the E-Class Wagon will retain 43.65% of its original price after five years, while the A4 Allroad only retains 42.51% to 42.92%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/02/29

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes E-Class Wagon, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The E 450/E 53 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 3 years. The A4 Allroad has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mercedes E-Class outsold the Audi A4/S4 by 68% during the 2019 model year.

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