Skip to main content

As two legends of the full-size luxury sedan category, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series each have longstanding reputations for excellence. And while the 5 Series offers some great benefits, there are two reasons to choose the Mercedes-Benz E-Class over the 5 Series.

More power in the Merc

Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2023 Mercedes-Benz E-Class | Mercedes-Benz

While both the 2023 BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class use 2.0-liter turbocharged engines as standard, the Mercedes packs more punch at that base level. With 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, the E-Class outpunches its Bavarian rival. In the 5 Series, 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque don’t feel like a big difference overall. In fact, according to CarHP,  it takes just an extra half-second to reach 60 mph compared to the E-Class.

Better Handling in the BMW 5 Series vs Mercedes-Benz E-Class

2023 BMW 5 Series, a competitor to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2023 BMW 5 Series | BMW

Sure, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a slight edge in straight line performance, but when it comes to handling, the BMW 5 Series has its German rival beat. With a double-wishbone front suspension, the 5 Series feels more nimble and agile than the E-Class. And while the Mercedes may be slightly more comfortable over bumps, the seats and adjustable suspension of the E-Class make for a better blend of handling and ride quality.

Both models come with standard rear-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive, but the BMW offers a sportier eight-speed transmission versus the more comfort-focused nine-speed in the Mercedes.

The 5 Series boasts better cargo space than the E-Class

The new BMW 540i sedan
2023 BMW 540i | BMW

Both the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class are large cars, but the BMW has the edge when it comes to cargo space. At 14 cubic feet of trunk space, the BMW offers an extra cube when compared to its German rival. That may not seem like much at first, but when packing for a road trip that extra trunk space really shows up.

Furthermore, the E-Class lags behind the 5 Series for cabin space as well. With 36.5 inches of rear seat legroom, the BMW offers nearly an inch more than the Mercedes E-Class. Meanwhile, front legroom is nearly identical between the two models, with just 0.1 inches separating them.

Even headroom is more generous in the new 5 Series model. Those up front will have 38.8 inches versus just 37.9 in the E-Class. In the back, though, the two numbers are nearly flipped – 38.2 inches in the Merc versus 37.5 in the Bimmer.

Nearly equal on tech

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2023 Mercedes-Benz E-Class | Mercedes-Benz

Comparing tech between the two luxury car legends makes it difficult to find a difference. Both come with digital instrument clusters and large central displays. Both the E-Class and 5 Series have their own versions of adaptive voice activated technology. And both are available with remote app features accessible via smartphone.

While form certainly favors Mercedes – their design department has been near flawless as of late – function is virtually identical between the two. We expect that the upcoming iDrive update may put the BMW 5 Series in the lead, however.

Finding the right luxury sedan

In the end, deciding between these two luxury legends comes down to preference. Do you prefer a sportier ride or greater comfort? Answer that, and you’ll know whether the BMW 5 Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a better fit.

Related Don’t Sleep on the 2023 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain

Don’t Sleep on the 2023 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain