2019 Mercedes E-Class Coupe vs. 2019 Lexus RC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes E-Class Coupe are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Lexus RC doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The E-Class Coupe offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The RC 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.

Both the E-Class Coupe and the RC 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 E-Class Coupe’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the E-Class Coupe has a standard 850-amp battery. The RC’s 580-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The E-Class Coupe has more powerful engines than the RC:

 

Horsepower

Torque

E 450 Coupe 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

AMG E 53 Coupe 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

429 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

RC 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

RC 300 AWD 3.5 DOHC V6

260 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

RC 350 3.5 DOHC V6

311 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the AMG E 53 Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the RC 350 AWD 6-spd Auto (21 city/28 hwy vs. 18 city/24 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the E 450 Coupe 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the RC 350 AWD 6-speed Auto 3.5 V6 (311 HP) (19 city/26 hwy vs. 18 city/24 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the E-Class Coupe’s 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 RC doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes E-Class Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the RC.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the E-Class Coupe’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RC:

 

E 450 Coupe

AMG E 53 Coupe

RC

RC F Sport

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

14.6 inches

13.2 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.2 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

The E-Class Coupe stops much shorter than the RC:

 

E-Class Coupe

RC

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the E-Class Coupe has larger standard tires than the RC (245/45R18 vs. 235/40R19). The E-Class Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RC (F:245/45R18 & R:275/40R18 vs. F:235/40R19 & R:265/35R19).

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

Suspension and Handling

The E-Class Coupe has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The E-Class Coupe’s 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 RC doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The E-Class Coupe’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 RC doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the E-Class Coupe’s wheelbase is 5.6 inches longer than on the RC (113.1 inches vs. 107.5 inches).

The E 450 Coupe 4MATIC handles at .90 G’s, while the RC 350 pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The E-Class Coupe has standard seating for 5 passengers; the RC can only carry 4.

The E-Class Coupe has 5.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RC (89 vs. 83.8).

The E-Class Coupe has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom and 6.8 inches more rear legroom than the RC.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the E-Class Coupe’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The RC doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

The E-Class Coupe has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The RC doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the RC, the E-Class Coupe has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The E-Class Coupe’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the RC.

The E-Class Coupe 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 RC doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The E-Class Coupe’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 RC’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the E-Class Coupe has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RC doesn’t offer cornering lights. The E-Class Coupe also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the E-Class Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The RC doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The E-Class Coupe has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The RC doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The E-Class Coupe offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The RC doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The E-Class Coupe’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 RC doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Mercedes E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Lexus RC isn’t available as a convertible, sedan or station wagon.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the E-Class Coupe owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the E-Class Coupe with a number “5” insurance rate while the RC is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the E-Class Coupe is less expensive to operate than the RC because typical repairs cost much less on the E-Class Coupe than the RC, including $61 less for fuel injection, $18 less for a fuel pump, $210 less for a timing belt/chain and $467 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The E-Class was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The RC has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mercedes E-Class outsold the Lexus RC by over 9 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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