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

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The C-Class Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The GS Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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

The C-Class Sedan’s 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 GS Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the C-Class Sedan and the GS Series 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the C-Class Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GS Series has not been fully tested, yet.

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 C-Class Sedan’s warranty.

Engine

The C-Class Sedan has more powerful engines than the GS Series:

 

Horsepower

Torque

C 300 Sedan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 43 Sedan 3.0 turbo V6

385 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

GS 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

GS 350 3.5 DOHC V6

311 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the C-Class Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the GS Series:

 

 

C-Class

GS Series

 

RWD

300/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

22 city/32 hwy

300/Auto

 

 

n/a

21 city/30 hwy

300/Auto F Sport

 

 

 

20 city/28 hwy

350/Auto

 

 

n/a

19 city/27 hwy

350/Auto F Sport

AWD

300/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

350/Auto

Regardless of its engine, the C-Class Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the GS Series Hybrid.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Sedan, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the GS Series.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the AMG C 43 Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the GS Series:

 

AMG C 43

GS Series

GS Series F Sport

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

13.1 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

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

 

C-Class

GS Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

The C-Class Sedan’s 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 GS Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The AMG C 43 Sedan handles at .93 G’s, while the GS 350 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The C 300 Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GS 350 (25.7 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .70 average G’s).

Chassis

The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the Lexus GS Series.

The C-Class Sedan is 7.6 inches shorter than the GS Series, making the C-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the C-Class Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The GS Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

The C-Class Sedan’s optional rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The GS Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

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

Servicing Ease

An ASSYST PLUS is standard on the C-Class Sedan to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Lexus doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the GS Series.

Ergonomics

The C-Class Sedan’s 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 GS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The C-Class Sedan’s 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 GS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Mercedes C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Lexus GS Series isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the GS Series because typical repairs cost much less on the C-Class Sedan than the GS Series, including $295 less for a starter, $375 less for fuel injection, $1397 less for a timing belt/chain and $614 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The C-Class Sedan was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The GS Series has never been an “All Star.”

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Lexus GS Series by over 8 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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