Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Mercedes Benz S-Class VS 2014 Chrysler 300 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2014 Mercedes Benz S-Class

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VS

2014 Chrysler 300

Safety Comparison

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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. The Chrysler 300 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S-Class’ front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 300 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 300 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The S-Class offers optional PRE-SAFE Brake, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 300 offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature which would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

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 300 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The S-Class’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The 300 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The S-Class offers an optional Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 300 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 300 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The S-Class has standard mbrace, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 300 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the S-Class and the 300 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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The S-Class comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The 300’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability Comparison

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the S-Class have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the 300.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Chrysler vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chrysler is ranked 15th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Chrysler vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chrysler is ranked 26th.

Engine Comparison

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The S-Class has more powerful engines than the 300:

Horsepower

Torque

S550 4.7 turbo V8

459 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

S63 5.5 turbo V8

577 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

300 3.6 DOHC V6

292 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

300S 3.6 DOHC V6

300 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

300 5.7 V8

363 HP

394 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the S550 is faster than the Chrysler 300 V6:

S-Class

300

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

96 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the S550 gets better fuel mileage than the 300 V8:

S-Class

300

RWD

Auto

17 city/25 hwy

15 city/25 hwy

AWD

Auto

16 city/26 hwy

15 city/23 hwy

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 300 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The S-Class has 2.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the 300 (21.9 vs. 19.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the S-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the 300:

S550

S63

300

300

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

16.5 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

12.6 inches

The S-Class offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 300 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The S-Class stops shorter than the 300:

S-Class

300

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the S-Class has larger standard tires than the 300 (F:245/40R20 & R:275/35R20 vs. 215/65R17). The S63’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 300 (F:255/45R19 & R:285/40R19 vs. 245/45R20).

The S-Class’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 300’s standard 65 series tires. The S-Class’ optional 245/40R20 front and 275/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the 300’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S-Class has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 300.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the 300, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Chrysler doesn’t offer an active suspension on the 300.

The S-Class has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The 300’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The S-Class has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The S-Class’ height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The 300 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

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 300 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the 300 (124.6 inches vs. 120.2 inches).

The S550 handles at .87 G’s, while the 300 pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

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The design of the Mercedes S-Class amounts to more than styling. The S-Class has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .24 Cd. That is significantly lower than the 300 (.32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S-Class get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the S550 is quieter than the 300S:

S-Class

300

Full-Throttle

75 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The S-Class has 8.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 300 (115 vs. 106.3).

The S-Class has 1.1 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the 300.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the S-Class’ available rear seats recline. The 300’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the 300 (19 vs. 16.3 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style and remote trunk release lockout, the S-Class offers cargo security. The 300’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults or children, the S-Class has a standard power rear trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The 300 doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Ergonomics Comparison

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the 300 (except Base), the S-Class has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The S-Class’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the 300, and is not available on all models.

If the windows are left down on the S-Class the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the 300 can only raise the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 300’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 300 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

To help keep rear passengers entertained, the S-Class offers optional rear seat controls for the radio which can play a separate audio source. The 300 doesn’t offer rear seat audio controls.

Optional Mercedes-Benz Apps for the S-Class allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The 300 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the S-Class, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the 300.

The S-Class has a 115 volt a/c outlet in the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters which can break or get misplaced. The 300 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The S-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 300 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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The S-Class was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 3 of the last 14 years. The 300 hasn’t been picked since 2007.

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