2019 Lexus RC vs. 2019 Mercedes E-Class Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the RC and the E-Class Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RC its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The E-Class Coupe has not been tested, yet.


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

The RC’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the E-Class Coupe’s (6 vs. 5 years).


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.

Tires and Wheels

The RC 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 E-Class Coupe; 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 E-Class Coupe don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the RC’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the E-Class Coupe’s (34.2 feet vs. 37.5 feet). The RC AWD’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the E-Class Coupe’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.5 feet).


The Lexus RC may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Mercedes E-Class Coupe.

The RC is 5 inches shorter than the E-Class Coupe, making the RC easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The RC has 3.6 inches more front legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the E-Class Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The RC has a larger trunk than the E-Class Coupe (10.4 vs. 10 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.


The RC’s 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 E-Class Coupe 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 RC offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The E-Class Coupe doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Economic Advantages

The RC will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RC will retain 48.32% to 49.27% of its original price after five years, while the E-Class Coupe only retains 45.37% to 46.28%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RC is less expensive to operate than the E-Class Coupe because it costs $216 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RC than the E-Class Coupe, including $121 less for a water pump, $682 less for a muffler, $31 less for front brake pads, $38 less for a starter and $14 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus RC will be $12272 to $17162 less than for the Mercedes E-Class Coupe.

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

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