Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2009 Mercedes Benz E-Class VS 2009 Audi A8 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2009 Mercedes Benz E-Class

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2009 Audi A8

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes E Class 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 Audi A8 has only front height adjustable seat belts.

The E Class has standard Tele Aid, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A8 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies.

Both the E Class and the A8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 18 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier to get service under the E Class’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

The E550 Sedan’s standard 5.5 DOHC V8 produces 32 more horsepower (382 vs. 350) and 66 lbs.-ft. more torque (391 vs. 325) than the A8’s standard 4.2 DOHC V8.

The E Class’ 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 75 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 325) than the A8’s standard 4.2 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the E550 is faster than the A8 L W12:

E Class


Zero to 60 MPH

4.8 sec

5.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.8 sec

12.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.2 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106 MPH

105 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the E Class’ engines produce their peak torque and horsepower at lower RPM’s than the A8:



E350 3.5 DOHC V6

6000 RPM

2400 RPM

E550 Sedan 5.5 DOHC V8

6000 RPM

2800 RPM

A8 4.2 DOHC V8

6800 RPM

3500 RPM

A8 L W12 6.0 DOHC 12 cyl.

6200 RPM

4000 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The E Class has a tether attaching its gas cap, to prevent its loss. The A8’s gas cap isn’t tethered, so it can be left at a gas station if the driver forgets to screw the cap back in.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The E Class stops much shorter than the A8:

E Class


70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

126 feet


Suspension and Handling Comparison

The E Class’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.2% to 48.8%) than the A8’s (56% to 44%). This gives the E Class more stable handling and braking.

The E550 Sedan handles at .84 G’s, while the A8 L W12 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The E550 Sedan goes through Motor Trend’s slalom faster than the A8 L 4.2 (64.3 vs. 64 MPH).

For better maneuverability, the E Class’ turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the A8’s (37.4 feet vs. 41 feet). The E Class’ turning circle is 4.3 feet tighter than the A8 L’s (37.4 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Mercedes E Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 650 pounds less than the Audi A8.

The E Class Sedan is 8.3 inches shorter than the A8, making the E Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The E Class Station Wagon has standard seating for 7 passengers; the A8 can only carry 5.

The E Class Sedan has 1.8 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more front legroom than the A8.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The E Class Sedan has a much larger trunk than the A8 (15.9 vs. 14.6 cubic feet).

The E Class Wagon has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the trunk on the A8 (24.4 vs. 14.6 cubic feet).

The E Class Sedan’s cargo area provides more volume than the A8.

E Class


Third Seat Removed

15.9 cubic feet

14.6 cubic feet

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the E Class easier. The E Class Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 27 inches, while the A8’s liftover is 28 inches. The E Class Station Wagon’s liftover is only 22 inches.

The E Class’ optional rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The A8 doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

If the windows are left down on the E Class the driver can raise them all using the keyless remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor); on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the A8 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the E Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The A8 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. It’s standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the E Class has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The A8 doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the E Class has standard extendable sun visors. The A8 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The E Class’ available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The A8’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the E Class owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the E Class will cost $1733 to $3119 less than the A8 over a five year period.

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