2019 Lexus GS Series vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Lexus GS Series are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mercedes C-Class Sedan has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The GS Series has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the GS Series helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the GS Series and the C-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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

The GS Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the C-Class Sedan’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the GS Series’ reliability 18 points higher than the C-Class Sedan.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the GS Series third among midsize premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The C-Class Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 GS 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 56 more horsepower (311 vs. 255) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 273) than the C 300 Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Brakes and Stopping

The GS Series stops shorter than the C-Class Sedan:

 

GS Series

C-Class Sedan

 

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the GS Series has larger standard tires than the C-Class Sedan (235/45R18 vs. 225/50R17). The GS Series F Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Sedan (F:235/40R19 & R:265/35R19 vs. F:225/40R19 & R:255/35R19).

The GS Series has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the C-Class Sedan; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the C-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GS Series is 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Sedan.

The GS 350 handles at .94 G’s, while the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The GS 350 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC (25.4 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the GS Series’ turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the C-Class Sedan’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.8 feet). The GS Series AWD’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the AMG C 43 Sedan’s (35.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the GS Series has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The C-Class Sedan uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The design of the Lexus GS Series amounts to more than styling. The GS Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the C-Class Sedan (.3 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the GS Series get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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

The GS Series has 9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Sedan (99 vs. 90).

The GS Series has .9 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The GS Series has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Sedan (18.4 vs. 12.6 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.

Ergonomics

The GS Series’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The C-Class Sedan does not have an oil pressure gauge.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The GS Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Both the GS Series and the C-Class Sedan offer optional heated front seats. The GS Series also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the C-Class Sedan.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the GS Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the GS Series with a number “1” insurance rate while the C-Class Sedan is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GS Series is less expensive to operate than the C-Class Sedan because it costs $630 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the GS Series than the C-Class Sedan, including $73 less for a water pump, $380 less for a muffler, $37 less for front brake pads, $373 less for a fuel pump and $180 less for front struts.

Recommendations

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

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

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