2019 Mercedes A-Class vs. 2019 Lexus IS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A-Class offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The IS Series only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The A-Class’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The IS Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the A-Class and the IS Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

There are over 59 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the A-Class’ warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A-Class gets better fuel mileage than the IS Series:

 

 

 

MPG

A-Class

 

FWD

220 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/35 hwy

 

AWD

220 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

IS Series

 

RWD

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

 

 

350 3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/28 hwy

 

AWD

300 3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

 

 

350 3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A-Class’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The IS Series doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

The A-Class offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The IS Series doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The A-Class stops much shorter than the IS Series:

 

A-Class

IS Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A-Class offers optional 19-inch wheels. The IS Series’ largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the A-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The IS Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A-Class’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The IS Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A-Class is 1.3 inches wider in the front than on the IS Series.

The A 220 4MATIC handles at .95 G’s, while the IS Series AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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

The A-Class is 5.2 inches shorter than the IS Series, making the A-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The A-Class has 2.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the IS Series (93 vs. 90.2).

The A-Class has 2.1 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the IS Series.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the A-Class’ available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The IS Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The A-Class offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The IS Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The A-Class’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The IS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The A-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The IS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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