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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 4-door sedan body style within the same 'Luxury car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (rear for the Mercedes Benz and front in the case of the Volvo). The first one has a Mercedes Benz-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 204hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 5-cylinder, 20-valves 163hp engine designed by Volvo.Safety
The fact that the Mercedes Benz 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 that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. Furthermore, if we'd like to consider vehicle mass in this context too, which we definitely should, the German car offers a marginal difference of 8% more metal.Reliability
I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that Volvo does have a slight advantage, all the models observed together. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of Mercedes Benz with an average rating of 4.4, and models under the Volvo badge with 4.6 out of 5. The same official information place E as average reliability-wise, and S80 is more or less at the same level.Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the German car rank it on average as 4.8, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.9 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Mercedes Benz is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 2 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 240 kilometers per hour, 25km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the Swedish car, averaging around 4.3 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (66 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 16% difference compared to the German car.
Volvo 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 German car beats the other contender by far, making it the best choice without even considering other things. It all continues in the same direction, with Mercedes Benz being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... It's not difficult to say then that if I'd need to make a choice, it would definitely be the Mercedes Benz. 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. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser™, among thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.