Both cars scored well in the four areas measured by Euro NCAP - adult, child and pedestrian protection, and safety systems. The E-Class scored marginally higher in the safety systems test because it offers Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) as standard. The technology is only optional on the 3008.
Despite the E-Class's five-star rating, though, safety group Thatcham Research says more needs to be done to make some of the car's most sophisticated safety systems available as standard. These include its semi-autonomous Drive Pilot function, which is currently part of the £1695 Driving Assistance Plus Pack.
Thatcham's director of research, Matthew Avery, said: "The E-Class is head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to advanced safety features. However, we know that the take-up of optional safety features is typically less than 10%, so more needs to be done in terms of standard fitment to make these superb technologies more widely accessible."
The company has also highlighted what it calls the 'gulf' in safety standards across the world, pointing out that some of India's newest cars, including the Renault Kwid and Honda Mobilo, are offered without even airbags as standard. By comparison, when Euro NCAP began testing cars in 1997, most European models had at least a driver's airbag.
Speaking after both the Kwid and Mobilo were re-tested earlier this month, secretary-general of Global NCAP David Ward called on Renault and Honda to make their Indian models safer. He said: "They have the know-how to make all their Indian cars much safer. We expect them to start doing so now."