SHOWDOWN – MERCEDES C 300 VS LEXUS ES 350
t’d be difficult to find two, more storied manufacturers in the luxury sedan segment than Lexus and Mercedes. Both manufacturers strive tirelessly for perfection. Both manufacturers are synonymous with luxury and performance. Both, thankfully for us, let their vehicles do their bragging for them.
As to which machine will reign supreme, only the incisive eye will tell. A sedan must be more than the shape of its sheet metal and the ornament on its hood. It must be an ever-reliable means of transportation—equal parts thrilling and operational. It must be a place of trusted comfort, much more than just a bench on wheels. Most importantly, the luxury sedan must rise to the challenge of being worthy of our trust—worthy of our lives and the lives of our families.
With that in mind, let’s take it blow for blow between these two bespoke gentlemen.
Value and Beyond Value
· The Lexus ES 350 starts out at bargain of $38,900 whereas the Mercedes will set you back $40,250. This begs the question, what are you paying more for? The hood ornament or the better car?
· For less than the Mercerdes, the Lexus ES 350 offers two more cylinders and 1.5L more engine with its 3.5L V6 producing 268hp.
· The Mercedes, for its part, plays catch-up with a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, producing 241hp, or nearly 30hp less than the Lexus. Even with a turbo, the Mercedes fails to pair adequate muscle to mass.
· Although both manufacturers pride themselves on luxury and performance, only one of the two forged its brand in high-mileage resiliency and cost-over-time. Parts for the persnickety Mercedes will set you back more money and more frequently.
· The Lexus, on the other hand, is the newest expression in a long line of vehicles more than capable of going farther, longer, and with less irksome visits to the shop throughout the duration of ownership.
· The price tag for the Mercedes is higher, the price for parts is higher. After even just 3 years of ownership, how much will you have actually paid for the sedan you selected?
Comfort, Tech, and Beyond
· A “cramped” sedan is usually one that doesn’t sell. Both the Lexus and Mercedes offerings provide comfortable seating, but only one provides industry-leading legroom.
· The Lexus bests the Mercedes with 5 inches more leg room in the rear as well as nearly half-a-foot more comfort (and still for less the price).
· Both vehicles provide connective capabilities and remote start through a smartphone, though only the Lexus offers as standard voice command functions for Bluetooth connectivity. Siri Eyes Free in the Lexus can connect you to your email, text messages, and more. The same features are optional on the Mercedes, further complicating that already higher cost.
· Both vehicles come standard with dual-zone climate control, and both come standard with adjustable front seats, but only the Lexus takes it one step (literally) further with the driver’s seat power cushion extender, providing extra, plush support for your legs.
Safety and Beyond Safety
· The Mercedes rests on its laurels with safety features like Collision Prevention Assist, Attention Assist, and a rearview camera. A scant degree of safety tech, but the classics are all represented.
· The Lexus, meanwhile, offers these features as standard, including Intuitive Parking Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Whiplash Lessening Front Seat Backs, Child Restraint Seat Tether Anchor Brackets, Smart Stop Technology, and a complimentary subscription to Lexus Enform Safety Connect.
· Lexus Enform Safety Connect—complimentary for the first 10 years of ownership—can help connect you with roadside assistance for any reason, using your location or your vehicle’s GPS.
· If the worst happens, you can be confident that the 10-airbag system in the Lexus has you fully covered as compared to the Mercedes 9-airbag system.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find a clear victor. This time, that isn’t even close to the case. The Lexus offers more power, more tech, more comfort, and more safety for less money than the Merc. Hood ornaments are nice and all, but they won’t prevent a collision or connect you for a decade of free roadside assistance.