2021 Lexus LC Series vs. 2020 Mercedes C-Class Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The LC Series has standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the LC Series and the C-Class Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available rear parking sensors.

The Lexus LC Series weighs 658 to 968 pounds more than the Mercedes C-Class Coupe. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the LC Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the C-Class Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the C-Class Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The LC Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the C-Class Coupe’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 30th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The LC 500h’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 99 more horsepower (354 vs. 255) and 77 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 273) than the C-Class Coupe’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The LC 500’s standard 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 216 more horsepower (471 vs. 255) and 125 lbs.-ft. more torque (398 vs. 273) than the C-Class Coupe’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the LC 500h Auto gets better fuel mileage than the C-Class Coupe RWD (26 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/31 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the LC Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The LC Series’ standard fuel tank has 4.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the C-Class Coupe (21.7 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The LC Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the C-Class Coupe (22.2 vs. 17.4 gallons).

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Lexus LC Series, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the C-Class Coupe.

The LC 500h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the LC Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the C-Class Coupe:

LC Series

C-Class Coupe

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

14.1 inches

11.8 inches

The LC Series stops shorter than the C-Class Coupe:

LC Series

C-Class Coupe

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the LC Series has larger tires than the C-Class Coupe (F:245/45R20 & R:275/40R20 vs. F:225/45R18 & R:245/40R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the LC Series has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the C-Class Coupe. The LC Series’ optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the C-Class Coupe.

Suspension and Handling

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The LC Series has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The C-Class Coupe’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the LC Series’ wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the C-Class Coupe (113 inches vs. 111.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the LC Series is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Coupe.

The LC 500 handles at .93 G’s, while the C 300 pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The LC 500 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the C 300 4MATIC (24.6 seconds @ .79 average G’s vs. 25.9 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the LC Series Active Rear Steering’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the C 300’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.8 feet).

Chassis

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The LC Series Convertible uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The LC Series has 6.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Coupe (85.9 vs. 79.3).

The LC Series has 1.7 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear legroom than the C-Class Coupe.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 11% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked fifth.

Ergonomics

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The LC Series’ standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower both of them with the lock engaged. Mercedes does not offer a locking feature on the C-Class Coupe’s standard power windows.

The LC Series has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages

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The LC Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the LC Series will retain 44.07% to 45.69% of its original price after five years, while the C-Class Coupe only retains 42.05% to 42.45%.

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 2020/10/20

The LC Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The C-Class Coupe has never been an “All Star.”

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