2020 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2020 Lexus LS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 LS Series doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The S-Class has standard NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The LS Series doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the S-Class helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The LS Series doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the S-Class and the LS 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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-Class has more powerful engines than the LS Series:

Horsepower

Torque

S 450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

S 560 4.0 turbo V8

463 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Maybach S 650 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

LS 500h 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid

354 HP

n/a

LS 500 3.4 turbo V6

416 HP

442 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the S 560 is faster than the LS 500:

S-Class

LS Series

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

14.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.7 MPH

101.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/02/18

On the EPA test cycle the S 450 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the LS 500 AWD (18 city/28 hwy vs. 18 city/27 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 LS Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regardless of its engine, the S-Class’ 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 LS Series Hybrid.

The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the LS Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 22.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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

S-Class

LS Series

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13.1 inches

The S-Class stops shorter than the LS Series:

S-Class

LS Series

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The S-Class’ optional 245/40R20 front and 275/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the LS Series F Sport’s 45 series front and 40 series rear 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 LS 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 LS Series.

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 LS Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the LS Series (124.6 inches vs. 123 inches). The Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 9.5 inches longer than on the LS Series (132.5 inches vs. 123 inches).

The S 600 handles at .90 G’s, while the LS 500h AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The S 600 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the LS 500h AWD (25.8 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

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 LS Series is rated a Mid-size.

The S-Class has 12.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the LS Series (112 vs. 99.4).

The S-Class has 2.4 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the LS Series.

Cargo Capacity

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The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the LS Series (18.7 vs. 17 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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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 LS Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

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 LS Series doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 LS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

© 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 2020/02/18

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

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 2020/02/18

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

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

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