2019 Lexus ES Series vs. 2019 Mercedes A-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the ES Series and the A-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the ES Series its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A-Class has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the ES Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the A-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the A-Class ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The ES Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the A-Class’ (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 48 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 17th.

Engine

The ES 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 27 more horsepower (215 vs. 188) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The ES 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 114 more horsepower (302 vs. 188) and 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 221) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the ES 300h gets better fuel mileage than the A 220 FWD (43 city/45 hwy vs. 24 city/35 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the ES Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A-Class doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The ES Series’ standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the A-Class (15.9 vs. 13.5 gallons).

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Lexus ES Series, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A-Class.

The ES 300h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The A-Class doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the ES Series has larger standard tires than the A-Class (215/55R17 vs. 205/55R17). The ES Series’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A-Class (235/45R18 vs. 205/55R17).

The ES Series’ optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A-Class’ 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the ES Series’ wheelbase is 5.6 inches longer than on the A-Class (113 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the ES Series is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the A-Class.

Chassis

The ES Series F Sport uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A-Class doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the ES Series a Mid-size car, while the A-Class is rated a Compact.

The ES Series has 6.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A-Class (99.9 vs. 93).

The ES Series has .6 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 5.3 inches more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the A-Class.

Cargo Capacity

The ES Series has a much larger trunk than the A-Class (16.7 vs. 8.6 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 6th.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lexus ES Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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