2020 Mercedes E-Class Wagon vs. 2019 BMW X6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes E-Class Wagon have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW X6 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes E-Class Wagon 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 BMW X6 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the E-Class Wagon. But it costs extra on the X6.

To help make backing safer, the E-Class Wagon’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X6 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the E-Class Wagon and the X6 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, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

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There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the E-Class Wagon’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The E-Class Wagon’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 60 more horsepower (362 vs. 302) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 295) than the X6 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the E 450 4MATIC Wagon gets better fuel mileage than the X6 s/xDrive35i xDrive (19 city/26 hwy vs. 18 city/24 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes E-Class Wagon higher (5 out of 10) than the BMW X6 (3). This means the E-Class Wagon produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the X6 every 15,000 miles.

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 an eight-speed automatic is available for the X6.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the E-Class Wagon’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the X6:

E-Class Wagon

X6

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.7 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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The E-Class Wagon’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 X6’s standard 50 series 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 X6, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

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 X6 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The E 450 4MATIC Wagon handles at .90 G’s, while the X6 xDrive35i pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The E 450 4MATIC Wagon executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the X6 xDrive35i (25.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 26.1 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the E-Class Wagon’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the X6’s (39 feet vs. 42 feet).

Chassis

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The Mercedes E-Class Wagon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 750 pounds less than the BMW X6.

The E-Class Wagon is 7 inches narrower than the X6, making the E-Class Wagon easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

The E-Class Wagon is 9.3 inches shorter in height than the X6, making the E-Class Wagon much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Passenger Space

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The E-Class Wagon has standard seating for 7 passengers; the X6 can only carry 5.

The E-Class Wagon has 1.4 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more rear headroom and .5 inches more rear legroom than the X6.

Cargo Capacity

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The E-Class Wagon’s cargo area provides more volume than the X6.

E-Class Wagon

X6

Third Seat Removed

35 cubic feet

26.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

64 cubic feet

59.7 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the E-Class Wagon’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X6 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 BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

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 X6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 X6 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the E-Class Wagon has a standard rear wiper. The X6 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

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 X6 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 X6’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the BMW X6 isn’t available as a coupe, convertible or sedan.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the E-Class Wagon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the E-Class Wagon will cost $1095 to $2625 less than the X6 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the E-Class Wagon is less expensive to operate than the X6 because it costs $91 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the E-Class Wagon than the X6, including $412 less for a water pump, $531 less for a muffler, $156 less for front brake pads, $308 less for a fuel pump, $180 less for front struts and $1251 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/09/27

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 X6 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mercedes E-Class outsold the BMW X6 by almost 9 to one during the 2019 model year.

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