Making their respective global debuts a month apart, the latest generations of the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class have been rivals over decades, and while both emerge to be the most technology-laden iterations yet, each one takes a distinct approach to electrification and overall design.
Compared to their predecessors, the G60 5 Series is a marked departure from the G30 in terms of styling, with more angular lines on its ‘face’ and a different set of crease lines in profile view. By comparison, the W214 E-Class appears more conservative with its its less radical rework of styling from its predecessor, the W213 facelift.
It somewhat harks back several generations to the E60 5 Series, which was a vast departure from the much-loved E39, and the W211 E-Class which was considerably less radical in its progression from the W210.
The G60 5 Series shares its Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform with the i5 that premiered simultaneously, as the platform has been designed to accommodate both internal combustion powertrains (with varying levels of electrification) as well as fully electric drive.
By contrast, the W214 E-Class is built on the MRA2 platform which is a predominantly internal-combustion platform; its pure EV equivalent, the EQE, uses the EV-dedicated Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA).
Similarities return in the combustion engine selection at launch for these mid-sized models of each German brand, where four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines (208 hp 520i, 197 hp 520d for the G60 5 Series, 204 hp E 200 and 197 hp E 220 d for the W214 E-Class) feature for their native European market.
Meanwhile, both bring to the North American market a more powerful four-cylinder petrol as well as a six-cylinder petrol (255 hp/400 Nm 530i and 375 hp/520 Nm 540i xDrive, and 255 hp/400 Nm E 350 4Matic and 375 hp/500 Nm E 450 4Matic.
Moving inside, the cabin of each car continue to showcase the design language of each brand; display screens take centrestage in this era, and BMW and Mercedes-Benz demonstrate their different approaches, with the Curved Display and Superscreen designs respectively.
Both the G60 BMW 5 Series and the W214 Mercedes-Benz E-Class come loaded with active safety and driver assistance systems; BMW claims a world-first with Active Lane Change Assistant that executes a lane change (where safe) when the driver looks at the exterior mirror after a prompt, while the Attention Assist on the E-Class adds a driver distraction alert.
Feature sets from the consumer electronics realm feature heavily, as both the G60 5 Series and W214 E-Class pack a selfie camera, as well as a host of applications which include games. In this area, the new 5 Series features AirConsole, bringing games such as “Go Kart Go”, “Golazo”, “Music Guess” and “Overcooked”, in addition to video streaming.
For comparison, the new E-Class notably rolled out the availability of the Angry Birds game along with TikTok, Zoom, Webex and more.
With those aspects considered, which of the two gets your pick?
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