SHOWDOWN: MERCEDES S-CLASS V. LEXUS LS 460
In this month’s showdown, we’ll be comparing two icons of the luxury sedan market—the Mercedes Benz S-Class and the Lexus LS460. While both automobiles strive to fit a niche market among luxury sedan consumers, the very concepts and conceits behind them differ in intent, focus, and execution. It’s easy to think that because most luxury sedans share certain elements—a longer wheelbase for legroom, a more powerful engine to compensate for overall weight, and a greater degree of trendy tech and safety features—that they’re more or less the same. Luxury sedans may share a certain baseline list of features necessitated by the market—sure—but that doesn’t automatically equalize them so far as where things like value, investment, and style are concerned. There’s also the more difficult calculation—an ineffable sense of automotive ownership that can’t be listed on a window spec-sheet. So, without further delay, let’s dive right in:
MERCEDES-BENZ S-CLASS | LEXUS LS460
WHERE PRICE MEETS POWER
· Starting at $96,600, the Mercedes claims a driving experience on par with a hefty, near hundred-grand investment.
· The S-Class attempts to deliver power worthy of its price with a thirsty 4.7L V8 biturbo engine.
· As far as Mercedes is concerned, one more gear and a little more than half-a-second quicker 0-60 time justifies the $24,080 difference in base price.
· The Lexus LS460, meanwhile, for nearly a quarter-of-a-hundred-grand less at $72,520, offers a more subtle 4.6L V8, producing 386hp.
· Paired with an 8-speed sequential-shift transmission to the Mercedes’ 9-speed, the Lexus achieves an astonishing 5.4-second 0-60 time with one gear fewer.
· Lexus, on the other hand, assumes you would rather put that $24,080 down on a new house or as a starting investment in your newborn’s collegiate education.
LONG TERM VALUE
· Mercedes, much like a pop or reality TV star, is famous for being, well, famous. While Lexus is recognizable to nearly all, just as Mercedes is, Lexus isn’t as interested in charging you more for the luxury of the hood ornament. In fact, according to U.S. News, Mercedes ranks near the top in terms of fastest depreciation, citing the 2012 S-Class specifically and its 5-year depreciation rate of 63.5%.
· Lexus vehicles, meanwhile, maintain a cult following of folk-singer status for their unreal reliability and high-mileage achievements.
· The Mercedes may throw in an extra gear and shave some time off your quarter-mile at the drag strip, but will it go the distance with you to honor your investment?
· The Lexus LS460 matches the Mercedes nearly blow-for-blow where it matters most: safety, tech, comfort, design, and speed.
Let’s be honest with ourselves: Status with a capital “S” was the concern of our parents’ generation. Whole neighborhoods once spent entire afternoons gawking at the cars in adjacent driveways, conspiring to place a degree of worth on their anonymous neighbors. A silver-arrow on the front of your hood might get you a nod from Norman down the block, but it isn’t doing any favors to your wallet, your driving experience, or your future. Compare any of the technological services, features, packages, and advancements offered by either vehicle and make your own decision. More crucially, though, ask yourself what you want for your future. You’ll find yourself either paying or being paid for the luxury sedan of your dreams—that choice is yours.