The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has long been regarded as the benchmark for midsize luxury sedans, but it has a nemesis that has at times succeeded in dethroning it: the BMW 5 Series. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is part of the 5th-generation E-Class that debuted in 2017, while the 2019 BMW 5 Series is part of the 7th-generation 5 Series that was also unveiled in 2017.
Both of these German midsize luxury sedans are excellent driving machines that offer first-class luxury, engaging performance, next-generation technology, sublime comfort and intelligent safety. Let’s explore some of the specifications that set these two cars apart.
In terms of pricing, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan starts off at £38,150 for the E 220d SE model, and it goes all the way up to £64,350 for the high-performance AMG E 53 4MATIC model. The 2019 BMW 5 Series sedan, on the other hand, starts at £37,640 for the 520i SE model, and the price goes up to £53,325 for the high-performance 540i xDrive M Sport model.
Therefore, the 2019 BMW 5 Series draws first blood with its marginally cheaper pricing.
Exterior and interior styling
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class offers a sleeker and more enchanting exterior with flowing lines and sweeping curves. The exterior of the 2019 BMW 5 Series is also captivating but more mature, with less adventurous styling cues. Both of them feature all-LED (light-emitting diode) front and rear lighting and 17-inch/18-inch/19-inch alloy-wheel options.
On the inside, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class again carries the day with its sleeker, more futuristic interior styling. Its dashboard has a unique, fluid design with circular air vents, polished surfaces and lines that flow from door to door over the dashboard. In terms of interior materials, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class features leatherette and pure-leather materials, open-pore wood trim, polished metallic trim and soft-touch plastics. The 2019 BMW 5 Series also offers a handsomely styled interior with excellent fit and finish, but it is somewhat understated in comparison with the interior of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The interior of the 2019 BMW 5 Series also has sweeping dashboard lines that emphasize the spacious nature of the cabin. Its cabin features leatherette and pure-leather materials, polished metallic trim, soft-touch plastics and wood trim.
However, it is safe to say that the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the outright winner of this round.
Straight-line performance and fuel efficiency
While both the 2019 BMW 5 Series and the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloons offer powerful yet fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class again has the advantage in terms of straight-line performance. In the 2019 BMW 5 Series saloon, the base diesel engine is a two-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that generates 140 kilowatts (kW) or 190 horsepower (hp) and 400 Newton-meters (Nm) or 295 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque. It drives the 520d and 520d xDrive all-wheel-drive models. This engine delivers a combined fuel economy of up to 4.2 liters per 100 kilometers (km), and it requires just 7.5 seconds to propel the 520d from zero to 100 kilometers per hour (km/h).
In the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon, the base E220d and E220d 4MATIC diesel models feature a two-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine rated at 143 kW (194 hp) and 400 Nm of torque. This engine delivers a 0-to-100 km/h sprint time of 7.3 seconds in the E220d while achieving a fuel economy of 3.9 liters per 100 km. The most potent diesel engine in the 2019 BMW 5 Series is a 530d/530d xDrive-specific three-liter, six-cylinder turbodiesel engine that produces 195 kW (265 hp) at 4,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) and 620 Nm (457 lb-ft) of torque at 2,000 to 2,500 rpm. This engine delivers an equally impressive combined fuel economy of up to 4.5 liters per 100 km. The 530d model also manages to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.4 seconds.
The strongest diesel-powered performance in the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon is seen in the E400d 4MATIC AMG model that comes equipped with a three-liter, straight-six turbodiesel engine. This engine generates 250 kW (340 hp) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque, which is enough to propel the E400d 4MATIC AMG from 0 to100 km/h in 4.9 seconds. Therefore, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has the upper hand when it comes to diesel-powered, straight-line performance. The same is true with the petrol engines. The base petrol engines in the 2019 BMW 5 Series and the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloons offer similar performance, but the difference is seen in the high-performance models. The most potent petrol engine on offer in the 2019 BMW 5 Series saloon is a 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8 engine that generates up to 526 brake horsepower (bhp) and 553 lb-ft of torque. This engine powers the new M550i xDrive saloon.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, on the other hand, offers a mighty four-liter, 612-horsepower, twin-turbo V8 engine for the range-topping E 63 S AMG high-performance model. Needless to say, the E 63 S AMG is quicker.
The fact that the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class offers better straight-line performance does not necessarily mean that it is more fun to drive than the 2019 BMW 5 Series. Over the years, BMW has done a great job of delivering 5 Series models that affirm the marque’s well-known tagline: “The ultimate driving machine”. The seventh-generation BMW 5 Series is arguably the best-handling 5 Series generation yet. It benefits from a super-rigid chassis that is 100 kilograms lighter than that of its prior generation. This car also has a refined suspension system that provides an engaging driving experience without compromising ride quality and an excellent electromechanical rack-and-pinion power-steering system that can be had with an optional integral active-steering feature. The integral active-steering feature makes steering easier and sharper by turning the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels. The 2019 BMW 5 Series can also be purchased with an optional adjustable suspension system that further sharpens its handling.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class car is one of the best-handling midsize luxury cars on the market. However, it is more an executive car than a driver’s car. Its handling is sharp, without a doubt, but the emphasis is on refined driving comfort. Thanks to its well-honed four-wheel, multi-link suspension with standard adjustable dampers, it offers super-smooth, quiet rides, and it takes corners with inspiring confidence and stability, especially when equipped with the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. The adjustable suspension system can be set to Comfort, Sport or Sport+ drive modes so you can select the drive mode that best suits your driving mood. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class also benefits from an electromechanical power-steering system that delivers quick responses when cornering and an ESP Dynamic Cornering Assist feature that applies brake pressure to the inner wheels when cornering to improve cornering precision. All things considered, the 2019 BMW 5 Series offers greater value in the driving-dynamics department.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the 2019 BMW 5 Series are closely matched when it comes to tech features. The dashboard of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class can be had with two optional, next-generation, diagonal, high-resolution, 12.3-inch-widescreen displays positioned close to each other. The display right behind the steering wheel provides advanced, customizable digital instrumentation, while the other 12.3-inch widescreen pairs with the car’s COMAND system to provide premium infotainment in vivid colors and graphics. The COMAND system comes with a touchpad controller, and it includes a Bluetooth® hands-free phone-calling system and a three-dimensional (3D) navigation system; it also allows smartphone integration via Apple’s CarPlay® and Google’s Android Auto™. Yet another tech feature that you can find in the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a wireless, inductive charging system that takes away the need of carrying charging cords for your smartphones.
The 2019 BMW 5 Series also offers an optional 12.3-inch “Live Cockpit Professional” instrument cluster that provides customizable digital instrumentation and a 10.25-inch centrally positioned touch-screen display, which is part of the car’s iDrive communications and entertainment system. The iDrive system can be controlled using gestures and voice commands, which make it easier for the driver to adjust it while driving. The iDrive system also offers a Bluetooth® hands-free phone-calling system and 3D navigation.
Both of these cars can also be had with optional multi-colored head-up displays that take away the need to turn your attention away from the road when you want to check your driving data.
Roominess and practicality
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon offers a commendably roomy cabin with 37.3 inches of headroom, 41.7 inches of legroom and 57.8 inches of shoulder room in the front; in the rear, it provides 38.2 inches of headroom, 36.2 inches of legroom and 57.1 inches of shoulder room. Therefore, six-foot-tall passengers are sure to find adequate seating space in both rows of this car. The 2019 BMW 5 Series is equally roomy, with 58.7 inches of shoulder room and 41.4 inches of legroom on offer in the front. In the rear, it offers 55.9 inches of shoulder room and 36.5 inches of rear legroom. Both rows of the 2019 BMW 5 Series saloon also afford 38.8 inches of headroom. For cargo, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon offers a trunk with 370.95 liters of space, and it also features a hidden storage well under the trunk’s load floor. The 2019 BMW 5 Series, on the other hand, offers 530 liters of trunk space but without a hidden storage well. Therefore, these saloons are also closely matched in this area.
Both the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the 2019 BMW 5 Series saloons have a lot more to offer, so if the above comparisons haven’t helped you to decide which one you are going to choose, you should visit your local Mercedes-Benz or BMW car dealership for a more comprehensive breakdown of their features. One thing is for sure: you won’t go wrong with either of these executive saloon options.