Column: Drive This, Not That - 2015 Mercedes-Benz E350 Wagon vs. Volvo V60 R-Design

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Winner: 2015 Volvo V60 R-Design

Wagons get short shrift in the gay world, with most of us either wanting a nice low sedan, or a practical SUV. Heaven forbid we drive a car that combines the two, lest one invoke the wood-paneled station wagons that dragged us off to scout camp every summer. But in reality, wagons are the “true versatiles” of the automotive world: they do car stuff and truck stuff equally well. And like a “true vers,” they should be appreciated.

Most of today’s wagons wear European luxury brand labels and all come with all-wheel drive, and we just got some wheel-time in two of the best: the prestigious Mercedes-Benz E350 wagon and the new Volvo V60 R-Design. In this matchup, the Volvo gets the win due to its slick, sporty styling, fresh interior design, fabulous seats (as always with Volvo) and lower price. By comparison, the Benz feels older and richer, yet a bit more suburban. Also, with 325 hp, the Volvo is surprisingly swift, more powerful than the pricier Benz and gets better fuel economy to boot. On the other hand, only the Benz has a Three-Pointed Star on the hood, and for some of us, prestige counts for a lot. That said, if image drives your purchase decisions, you’re probably not brave enough to drive a wagon. So at the end of the day, it’s the true vers from Sweden that we’d rather spend our days with. Ikea run, anyone?

The Scorecard (««««« = best)

 

2015 Mercedes-Benz E350 Wagon

2015 Volvo V60 R-Design

Base Price

$59,925

$46,075

Styling

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Acceleration

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Handling

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Interior décor

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Interior space

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Cargo Space

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Value

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Fuel Economy, mpg (city/hwy)

19/26

19/28

Renowned automotive journalist Steve Siler pioneered automotive writing for the GLBT community in 1998 and currently contributes auto news and reviews to Car and Driver Magazine, Yahoo Autos, The New York Daily News, Autoblog, Details, and many more. You can follow his adventures on Twitter/Instagram: @silerroad.


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