2020 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2020 Lexus GS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The S-Class’ 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 rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The GS Series doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The S-Class offers an optional Surround View Camera 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.

Both the S-Class 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, night vision systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Mercedes S-Class weighs 651 to 1291 pounds more than the Lexus GS Series. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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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 S-Class’ warranty.

Engine

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The S 450’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 51 more horsepower (362 vs. 311) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 280) than the GS Series’ 3.5 DOHC V6. The S 560’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 152 more horsepower (463 vs. 311) and 236 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 280) than the GS Series’ 3.5 DOHC V6. The Maybach S 650’s standard 6.0 turbo V12 produces 310 more horsepower (621 vs. 311) and 458 lbs.-ft. more torque (738 vs. 280) than the GS Series’ 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the S 560 is faster than the Lexus GS 350:

S-Class

GS Series

Zero to 30 MPH

2.3 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

6.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

3.5 sec

3.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.5 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

109.4 MPH

99 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the S 450 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the GS 350 AWD (18 city/28 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the S-Class 560’s fuel efficiency. The GS Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the S-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 GS Series doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The S-Class V6/V8’s standard fuel tank has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the GS Series (21.1 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 7.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the GS Series (24.6 vs. 17.4 gallons).

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the GS Series:

S 450/560

S 650

GS Series

GS Series F Sport

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

15.4 inches

13.1 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.2 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

The S-Class stops shorter than the GS Series:

S-Class

GS Series

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S-Class has larger standard tires than the GS Series (245/50R18 vs. 235/45R18). The S-Class’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GS Series (F:245/45R19 & R:275/40R19 vs. F:235/40R19 & R:265/35R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S-Class offers optional 20-inch wheels. The GS Series’ largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the S-Class 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

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The front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the GS Series, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Lexus doesn’t offer an active suspension on the GS Series.

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

The S-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 GS Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 12.4 inches longer than on the GS Series (124.6 inches vs. 112.2 inches). The Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 20.3 inches longer than on the GS Series (132.5 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the S-Class is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the GS Series.

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the S 560 is quieter than the GS 350 (75 vs. 79 dB).

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the S-Class a Large car, while the GS Series is rated a Mid-size.

The S-Class has 13 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GS Series (112 vs. 99).

The S-Class has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room and 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the GS Series.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the S-Class’ available rear seats recline. The GS Series’ rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The S-Class has a larger trunk than the GS Series (18.7 vs. 18.4 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S-Class’ 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.

Ergonomics

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The S-Class’ power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The GS Series’ cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The S-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 GS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The GS Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the S-Class and power rear side window sunshades are optional to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The GS Series doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the S-Class’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The GS Series doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The S-Class offers optional massaging front and rear seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the GS Series.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes S-Class has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console and for the rear passengers. The GS Series doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The S-Class has a 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 GS Series doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The S-Class’ optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The GS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S-Class is less expensive to operate than the GS Series because typical repairs cost much less on the S-Class than the GS Series, including $160 less for a starter, $290 less for fuel injection, $1428 less for a timing belt/chain and $44 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/09/29

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the Lexus GS Series by over three to one during the 2019 model year.

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