2020 Mercedes E-Class Wagon vs. 2020 Lexus RXL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

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 RXL.

Both the E-Class Wagon and the RXL 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, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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There are over 59 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the E-Class Wagon’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the E-Class Wagon has a standard 850-amp battery. The RXL’s 580-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The E-Class Wagon’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 72 more horsepower (362 vs. 290) and 106 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 263) than the RX 350L’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6. The E-Class Wagon’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 54 more horsepower (362 vs. 308) than the RX 450hL’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the E 450 4MATIC Wagon gets better fuel mileage than the RX 350L AWD (19 city/26 hwy vs. 18 city/25 hwy).

The E-Class Wagon has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the RXL Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The E-Class Wagon has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the RXL’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 19.2 gallons).

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 RXL.

Brakes and Stopping

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

E-Class Wagon

RXL

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13.3 inches

The E-Class Wagon stops much shorter than the RXL:

E-Class Wagon

RXL

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the E-Class Wagon has larger standard tires than the RXL (245/45R18 vs. 235/65R18). The E-Class Wagon’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RXL (F:245/45R18 & R:275/40R18 vs. 235/65R18).

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 RXL’s standard 65 series tires. The E-Class Wagon’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the RXL’s optional 55 series tires.

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 RXL 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 RXL, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The E-Class Wagon offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The RXL’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 RXL 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 RXL doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the E-Class Wagon’s wheelbase is 5.9 inches longer than on the RXL (115.7 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

The E 450 4MATIC Wagon handles at .90 G’s, while the RX 350L AWD pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The E 450 4MATIC Wagon executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the RX 350L (25.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

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The E-Class Wagon is 9.6 inches shorter in height than the RXL, 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 .3 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and 5.2 inches more rear legroom than the RXL.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the E-Class Wagon is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RXL. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the RXL, 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 power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The RXL’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 RXL doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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 RXL.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes E-Class offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RXL doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 RXL 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 Lexus RXL isn’t available as a coupe, convertible or sedan.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the E-Class Wagon is less expensive to operate than the RXL because typical repairs cost much less on the E-Class Wagon than the RXL, including $373 less for a water pump, $40 less for front brake pads, $865 less for a timing belt/chain and $1079 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 2020/02/23

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mercedes E-Class Wagon and the Lexus RXL, 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 RXL has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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