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In an industry crammed with SUVs, there’s little space for wagons. But a few luxury brands still make them. For instance, the Mercedes-Benz E 450 is an excellent luxury wagon. However, Sweden has also staked a claim with the impressive Volvo V60 Cross Country. Both are worthy contenders, but which is better?

Scandinavian practicality wins in this luxury wagon comparison

Though Mercedes-Benz boasts prestige and German engineering, the V60 Cross Country beats its rival in overall value. Begin with the price. A new 2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country starts at under $50,000, while the E 450 retails for over $70,000. Of course, consumers expect to pay more for a luxury car. But $20,000 is a sizable gap between the two vehicles.

Because of that price difference, you might expect the V60 Cross Country isn’t up to par with the E 450. However, the Volvo looks sharp inside and out. Its hybrid powertrain is a bit less potent than that of the E 450, but the Polestar Engineered V60 Cross Country version can go toe-to-toe with the Benz (more about that later).

The Volvo wagon also has more standard features, especially advanced driver-assistance systems, and better warranty coverage. And though the E 450 arguably has the edge in opulence, the V60 Cross Country provides a refined experience while offering more value in a family wagon.

A closer look at the 2023 Mercedes-Benz E 450 wagon

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz E 450 is available as a wagon, coup, or soft-top convertible. All body styles pack a 362-hp 3.0-liter inline-six with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The wagon has Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic AWD as standard equipment (though the coupe and convertible also offer optional rear-wheel drive). With this powertrain, the E 450 gets an EPA-estimated 23/31 mpg city/highway. And in Car and Driver testing, the wagon rocketed from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. 

As expected for a Benz, the E 450 also sports a top-of-the-line interior. The cabin includes stylish aluminum and wood trim, comfortable seats, and ample room. There are also many amenities, such as heated front seats, ambient interior lighting, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and an infotainment touchscreen of the same size. Many other desirable features, such as a panoramic sunroof and head-up display, are available for an upcharge.

The same can be said of advanced safety systems. The E 450 includes only blind-spot monitoring and automated emergency braking. Other systems, like lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control, must be purchased separately. Even a feature that’s usually standard on luxury cars, automatic high beams, requires an upcharge.

However, the warranty coverage is a bit more generous. Although there’s no complimentary maintenance, Mercedes-Benz provides limited and powertrain warranties of four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Details about the 2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country

Though Volvo’s luxury wagon lacks the E 450’s pedigree, the V60 Cross Country touts Scandinavian style. The base model has a 247-hp inline-four paired with an electric motor capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. Its fuel economy — 22/31 mpg city/highway — is basically the same as that of the E 450. However, the souped-up T8 Polestar Engineered Recharge Plug-In Hybrid, retailing for nearly $72,000, boasts 455 hp and a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.3 seconds.

This five-seater also offers 22.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back row (60.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down) and a hands-free power tailgate for convenient and easy luggage loading.

The V60 Cross Country has smaller displays than the E 450. It comes with a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12-inch digital instrument cluster. But the Google-powered systems, especially the voice commands, are intuitive and responsive.

Moreover, the V60 Cross Country includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assistance, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alerts, and blind-spot monitoring as standard features.

Finally, Volvo offers the same limited and powertrain warranty coverage for the V60 Cross Country but also throws in complimentary maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles.

The 2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country is an affordable luxury wagon that can compete with the Mercedes-Benz E 450. Though the E 450 is more luxurious, the V60’s overall quality and selection of standard features make it a better buy.


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