The new Mercedes E-class is very good, but not sublime. In our comparison test, it loses in a few areas to the Volvo S90 – a car from 2016…
In Auto Review 12 we compare the new Mercedes E 400e with the Volvo S90 Recharge T8. What you read online here is a summary of the handful of test components on which the Volvo scores higher than the Mercedes. Make no mistake: the E-class wins the test (sorry for the spoiler), but Volvo keeps the competition sharp on the points below.
A disappointment awaits you under the tailgate of the plug-in hybrid E-class: there is only 370 liters of luggage in the trunk. At Volvo, the hybrid technology is less in the way and you can transport 500 liters of stuff. Both cars tow a braked trailer weighing 2,100 kilos.
A lot is happening under the hood, because both test cars are plug-in hybrids. The Mercedes E 400e combines a 252 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine with a 129 hp electric motor. The result is a system power of 381 hp and an impressive system torque of 650 Nm. Those are not childish numbers.
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But Volvo engineers go all out and use a compressor to build up pressure at low speeds before the turbo takes over. They extract 310 hp from the same cylinder capacity and in combination with a powerful 145 hp electric motor, the Volvo S90 Recharge T8 suddenly has 455 hp and 709 Nm on its calling card.
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The result is that the Volvo sprints to 100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds and the occupants are pressed firmly into their seats. The spontaneous throttle response and the abundance of pulling power that you benefit from every day make the S90 a great travel car.
Until you cross the German border and the car hits the limiter at 180 km/h. You actually know that Volvos don't go faster from a safety point of view, but with such a very strong drivetrain that is frustrating.
The Mercedes has a top speed of 250 km/h and can easily overtake the Volvo. That will take a while, because he is a less fanatical sprinter. He completes the hundred sprint in 5.6 seconds and takes more than two seconds longer to reach the 180 km/h limit.
Traveling first class is never cheap. The Volvo S90 Recharge T8 already has a hefty price tag of 71,195 euros and Mercedes asks the superlative for the new E 400e: 89,152 euros.
We do appreciate that Mercedes immediately supplies you with a luxurious version, while with Volvo you are required to upgrade to the 4,000 euro more expensive Plus version for ordering some options. If we include the additional costs of all test-relevant options, the S90 costs just under 80 grand and the E-class comes dangerously close to a tonne with a price of 94,718 euros. In 2016 you bought an S-class for that money...
The Volvo S90 is doing well despite its age. The powerful drivetrain makes it the faster sprinter and we also like its starting price. The fact that charging takes quite a long time and the menus require more getting used to shows that developments in that area are happening very quickly.
This post was last modified on November 28, 2023 6:03 am
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