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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by diesel engines and utilizing the 5-door wagon body style within the same 'Luxury car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (front for the SAAB and rear in the case of the Mercedes Benz). The first one has a FIAT-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 195hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 204hp engine designed by Mercedes Benz.Safety
The fact that the SAAB got tested by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), while the other contender didn't, puts it sky-high safety-wise, in my eyes at least. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. Both vehicles belong to the luxury car segment, which is generally a very good thing safety-wise, but it doesn't do much to help us decide between the two. Furthermore, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, the Swedish car offers a marginal difference of 1% more metal.Reliability
I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that SAAB does have a slight advantage, at least on all of the models level. These are the official statistics, while our visitors describe reliability of SAAB with an average rating of 4.1, and models under the Mercedes Benz badge with 4.4 out of 5. The same official information place 9-5 as average reliability-wise, and CLS is more or less at the same level.That apart, owners of different cars powered by the same engine as the Swedish car rank it on average as 5.0 out of 5, exactly the same as the other one.Performance & Fuel economy
Mercedes Benz is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1.7 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 235 kilometers per hour, 10km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 5.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (52 mpg), in combined cycle.
SAAB appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the Swedish car beats the other contender by far, making it the best choice without even considering other things. From there things take a different direction, with Mercedes Benz being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! I believe that, when we take all into account, we have only one winner here - the SAAB. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. I suggest you spend two more minutes in order to find out which car, based on your needs and budget, would be picked by the virtual adviser™, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.