2019 Lexus LS Series vs. 2019 Mercedes CLS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The LS Series has standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CLS doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The LS Series has a standard Auto-Stop that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The CLS doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the LS Series and the CLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

The Lexus LS Series weighs 452 to 959 pounds more than the Mercedes CLS. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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

The LS Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CLS’ (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 LS 500’s standard 3.4 turbo V6 produces 58 lbs.-ft. more torque (442 vs. 384) than the AMG CLS 53’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the LS 500h gets better fuel mileage than the AMG CLS 53:

 

 

LS Series

CLS

RWD

 

25 city/33 hwy

24 city/31 hwy

AWD

 

23 city/31 hwy

23 city/30 hwy

The LS Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the CLS (22.2 vs. 21.1 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Lexus LS Series as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Mercedes CLS is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Lexus LS Series, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the CLS.

The LS 500h 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 CLS doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the LS Series F-Sport’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CLS:

 

LS Series F-Sport

CLS

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

14.2 inches

The LS Series stops shorter than the CLS:

 

LS Series

CLS

 

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

117 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The LS Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CLS’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The LS Series F-Sport offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The CLS doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The LS Series has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The LS Series’ height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The CLS doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the LS Series’ wheelbase is 7.3 inches longer than on the CLS (123 inches vs. 115.7 inches).

For better maneuverability, the LS Series’ turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the CLS’ (36.8 feet vs. 39.1 feet).

Chassis

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

Passenger Space

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

The LS Series has 6.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLS (99.4 vs. 93).

The LS Series has .4 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom and 3.9 inches more rear legroom than the CLS.

Cargo Capacity

The LS Series has a much larger trunk than the CLS (17 vs. 11.9 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

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

Recommendations

The Lexus LS Series outsold the Mercedes CLS by almost 10 to one during 2018.

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

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