Both the CTS and the E Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front 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.
For its top level performance in frontal, side and rear impact tests, and its standard StabiliTrak, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the CTS Sedan as a “Top Pick” a rating only granted to 81 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The E Class Sedan was not a Top Pick.
Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the CTS 1 year and 50,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the E Class Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the E Class Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The CTS’ corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the E Class Sedan’s (6/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).
There are almost 5 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the CTS’ warranty.
The battery on the CTS is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the CTS’ battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The E Class Sedan’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the CTS second among entry premium cars in their 2009 Initial Quality Study. The E Class Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2009 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 6th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 17th.
The CTS’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 36 more horsepower (304 vs. 268) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the E350 Sedan’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.
On the EPA test cycle the CTS RWD Auto 3.6 V6 gets better fuel mileage than the E350 Sedan RWD (18 city/27 hwy vs. 18 city/26 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac CTS uses regular unleaded gasoline. The E Class Sedan requires premium, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.
The CTS stops much shorter than the E Class Sedan:
E Class Sedan
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CTS 3.6 V6 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The E Class Sedan’s largest wheels are only 18 inches.
The CTS Sedan handles at .87 G’s, while the E350 Sedan pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
For better maneuverability, the CTS’ turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the E Class Sedan’s (35.5 feet vs. 36.2 feet). The CTS AWD’s turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the E Class Sedan’s (36 feet vs. 36.2 feet).
As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the CTS Sedan is quieter than the E350 Sedan (39 vs. 41 dB).
The CTS Sedan has .9 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more rear legroom than the E Class Sedan.
To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the CTS’ trunk lid uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The E Class Sedan’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.
The CTS Automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The driver can also remotely turn on the heater or air conditioner. The E Class Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The CTS’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The E Class Sedan does not have an oil pressure gauge.
When the CTS is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The E Class Sedan’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.