BMW 5-series v Mercedes E-class
04 February 2010
http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsAr...lCars/247298/#The new BMW 5-series and Mercedes E-class have been pitted together in an exclusive head-to-head test in this week's Autocar magazine.
For 23 years, every iteration of the 5-series that has gone up against the E-class has come out on top, but this time tester Andrew Frankel was confident the Five faced the hardest fight of its life.
The current E-class is at the top of the game, having pasted the outgoing 5-series in a previous test, and dusted the Jaguar XF.
The test pits the 3.0-litre diesel engined Merc - the best on offer, we think - against the 530d, historically the best of the bunch.
Exterior and interior styling
Both cars look disappointing, notes Frankel. The Mercedes is odd, the BMW just bland and unimaginative.
Inside the 530d BMW has made useful progress, and whether its cabin is preferable to its rival's depends on your priorities. Certainly it works much better: its switchgear is more lucidly arranged, its dials are clearer, the new iDrive controller clearly superior to Mercedes' rival Command system.
What the BMW interior lacks is a sense of occasion. Less coherent it may be, but the way the E-class deploys its wood and leather and subtle but extensive use of chrome has a class missing from the BMW.
The real news is how close the BMW now comes to offering E-class interior space; the E-class's advantage on leg room has been much reduced. The Five is fractionally smaller all round, but for the first time it can seat four large adults in comfort.
Here, it is a hideously close-run contest, determined by nuances here and there and a presumed order of priority that some customers may not share.
Most importantly, both are fine cars to drive fast or slow, in a straight line or through some bends.
The Merc can't match the BMW engine objectively, because its 0-62mph time of 6.9sec is 0.6sec off the 530d's benchmark. Instead, it contents itself with being quieter, smoother and, as a result, more sophisticated, while still being plenty swift enough to offer all the performance most buyers will ever want (or indeed use).
The BMW is easier to drive, requiring provocation few will dole out to unsettle it. The Mercedes is more softly sprung and rolls more, offering a little less grip. However, it has better steering and - more surprisingly - it's actually better balanced too.
The E350 CDI certainly offers better ride quality, but no-one with standard suspension on their car is going to return the 5-series complaining the ride is too stiff. Over long distances some owners may prefer the taut feel of the 530d, as well as its better fuel consumption (45.6mpg with auto box v 40.9mpg) and lower CO2 emissions (160g/km v 181g/km).
Even so, the Merc is quieter, especially in town or pressing on down a country road.
The BMW is a more complete car than the old model, and if that means it's lost a little of teh old enthusiasm, some would argue that this is a price worth [paying for its broader base of talents.
But the Mercedes has rediscovered the values of quality, comfort and luxury. The result is two gloriously different cars.
Truth is, buyers will probably choose on which skill set is more appropriate to their desires and circumstances.
But, forced to choose, Frankel goes for the Merc "by a gnat's g-string".
On the other hand there is this Top Gear test of the New 7 Series and S-class:
BMW flagship, 760Li, against Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG.
and for a little fun, to complete the trifecta, there’s:
2011 BMW 5 Series vs. Jaguar XF
Read More:Historically, BMW has always been compared to its German compatriots from Ingolstadt and Stuttgart (Audi and Mercedes-Benz) and from time to time, vehicles produced by Lexus or Infiniti would jump into play. But now, surprisingly, there’s a British company that’s actually in the mix, not a new contender, but rather a classic in the automotive industry.
You see, Jaguar has always produced fine cars. But then it came the S-Type and their ambitious goals to try and gather up some sales from the BMW 5-Series , Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
It didn’t go over so well and Jaguar went back to the drawing board.
Jaguar XF – “The New Kid On The Block”
Last year, Jaguar introduced their latest sports luxury sedan, the new XF. Looking at some of the recent sales numbers, the XF has proven to be a success for Jag, and a true sales stealer from the German Big 3. While the BMW 5-Series is still the sportiest of its competitors, Jaguar is out to give it a go with the XF and its M5 slayer, the XFR.
Design wise, the XF was supposed to be a mirror of the C-XF Concept, but according to many automotive journalists, it fell a bit short. While the back-end reminds us of an Aston Martin design, in a gorgeous way, the front-end is somewhat boring and pale with an interesting choice of headlights sculpted into the bonnet.
Looking from the side, the Jaguar does stand out with its athletic appearance, but yet simple, with a single character line sweeping alongside the car and wrapping around.
Inside, as expected and seen across the line-up, Jaguar placed a higher priority on materials and craftsmanship, and according to Ian Callum, Design Director at Jaguar, the XF has more wood than any Jaguar since the MkII.
The Jaguar XF offers three different engine variations. The engines are a 4.2-liter V8 making 300hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, a 5.0-liter V8 making 385 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, as well as the supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that goes in the XFR making 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque. The standard 4.2-liter XF weighs in at 4,017 lbs, while the 5.0-liter XF pushes the scale 50 pounds more at 4,067. The XFR comes in at a staggering 4,306 lbs.
0-60 times for the XF are estimated by Jaguar at taking 6.2 seconds for the 4.2-liter engine, 5.5 seconds for the 5.0-liter and 4.7 seconds for the XFR.
The all-new 2011 F10 BMW 5-Series offers a bit more in the engine range department with four different variations, two of which include BMW’s award winning inline-6 engines. In the United States, you can opt for the 528i with 3.0-liter inline-6 making 230 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 with an output of 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 550i with 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. And of course, the upcoming twin-turbo V8 M5 making an undisclosed, as of yet, amount of power.
Zero to sixty times range from 5.0 seconds with the 550i model to 6.6 seconds on the 528i.