2020 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2019 Cadillac XTS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/06/06

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class 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 Cadillac XTS doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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

The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The XTS doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the S-Class helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The XTS doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The S-Class’ 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 XTS doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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

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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 17th.

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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 9 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

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The S-Class has more powerful engines than the XTS:

Horsepower

Torque

S 450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

S 560 4.0 turbo V8

463 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Maybach S 650 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

XTS 3.6 DOHC V6

304 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

XTS V-Sport 3.6 turbo V6

410 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the S 560 is faster than the XTS V-Sport:

S-Class

XTS

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

5.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.5 sec

12.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.2 sec

5.6 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.4 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

105 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/06/06

On the EPA test cycle the S-Class Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the XTS:

MPG

S-Class Sedan

RWD

450 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/28 hwy

560 4.0 turbo V8

17 city/27 hwy

AWD

450 3.0 turbo V6

18 city/28 hwy

560 4.0 turbo V8

17 city/27 hwy

Maybach 560 4.0 turbo V8

16 city/25 hwy

XTS

FWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/28 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/26 hwy

3.6 turbo V6

16 city/23 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the S-Class 560’s fuel efficiency. The XTS doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S-Class’ 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 XTS doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The S-Class V6/V8’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the XTS FWD’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 19 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 4.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the XTS AWD’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 20 gallons).

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes S-Class, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the XTS.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the XTS:

S 450/560

S 650

XTS

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

15.4 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.2 inches

12.4 inches

The S-Class stops shorter than the XTS:

S-Class

XTS

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The S-Class’ optional 275/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XTS’ optional 40 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

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The S-Class has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the S-Class flat and controlled during cornering. The XTS’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the XTS, which uses coil springs in front. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Cadillac doesn’t offer an active suspension on the XTS.

The S-Class’ 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 XTS doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 12.9 inches longer than on the XTS (124.6 inches vs. 111.7 inches). The Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 20.8 inches longer than on the XTS (132.5 inches vs. 111.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S-Class is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than on the XTS.

The S 560 handles at .87 G’s, while the XTS AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S 600 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the XTS AWD (25.8 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the S 560 is quieter than the XTS AWD (75 vs. 78 dB).

Passenger Space

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The S-Class has 7.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the XTS (112 vs. 104.2).

The S-Class has .7 inches more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room and 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the XTS.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the S-Class’ available rear seats recline. The XTS’ rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The S-Class has a larger trunk than the XTS (18.7 vs. 18 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S-Class easier. The S-Class’ trunk lift-over height is 27.4 inches, while the XTS’ liftover is 30 inches.

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

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the S-Class is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XTS. 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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If the windows are left open on the S-Class 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 XTS can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The S-Class has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The XTS doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The S-Class’ 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 XTS’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The XTS doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the S-Class’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The XTS doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

Both the S-Class and the XTS offer optional massaging front seats. The S-Class also offers optional massaging rear seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging rear seats aren’t available in the XTS.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes S-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Cadillac XTS isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the S-Class owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the S-Class with a number “1” insurance rate while the XTS is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

The S-Class will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S-Class will retain 37.53% to 39.12% of its original price after five years, while the XTS only retains 32.55% to 33.65%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S-Class is less expensive to operate than the XTS because it costs $227 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the S-Class than the XTS, including $35 less for front brake pads, $62 less for a fuel pump and $569 less for a timing belt/chain.

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