Lexus vs. Mercedes: Who Wins?

Lexus 2

If you’re in the market for a luxury vehicle you have several brands to choose from. The question to start with is which one is right for you? There’s been an ongoing debate over which is better, Luxus or Mercedes? These are the two most popular luxury brands within an affordable range of the average buyer. Not that either is inexpensive, but they offer reasonable pricing for the value they deliver. When it comes to Lexus vs Mercedes, we’ve found that there are pros and cons with both. The best way to answer the question is with a thorough comparison of the merits of each.

Lexus vs Mercedes Benz in the small luxury car class

US News compares the 2020 Mercedes Benz C class with the 2020 Lexus IS and RC models. Mercedes scored an overall rate of 8.1 out of 10. Its engine was far more powerful and the addition of standard blind-spot monitoring and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen as new features put it over the top. The Lexus IS came in at a lower score with its outdated interior, awkward infotainment features, small trunk, and unimpressive gas mileage. The RC came in at an even lower score with cramped space in the back seat and a small cargo area. The controls for the infotainment system are hard to use and the driving dynamics didn’t impress. The Mercedes wins the prize in the small luxury class.

Lexus vs Mercedes in the midsize cars class

The 2020 Lexus GS went up against the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in the midsize class. While both vehicles achieved an overall score of 8.1 out of 10 points, Lexus came out on top with its 2021 Lexus ES with an 8.2 score. The ES surged to the top of the list with an overall number 3 ranking for its slew of safety features, reliability rating, and the low starting price of a hair under $40,000. This tipped the scales in favor of Lexus.

Lexus vs Mercedes in the luxury sports car class

Lexus Cars 1

US News put the 2021 Lexus LC in competition with the 2020 Mercedes-Benz SL. The LC’s driving dynamics along with its convertible body style, creature comforts, and reliability score outperformed the Mercedes SL which was the top of the brand’s class. The Mercedes is no slouch with its powerful engine and sexy sporty aesthetic, but the cumbersome tech for creature comforts and poor fuel economy lowered the overall ratings, allowing Lexus to emerge as the winner in this class.

Super Luxury Class

The Lexus LS and the Mercedes S Class represent each in the Super Luxury Class. The 2020 Lexus LS looked good with its predicted reliability rating high, as usual, and a beautiful cabin. This model had a few downfalls including a difficult set of infotainment controls, no touch screen, and a cramped back seat. This took it down several points while the 2020 Mercedes S Class came out with a score of 9.1 out of 10. It excelled in a comfortable cabin, a powerful engine, and to of the line in styling. The LS couldn’t compete with a score of 8.2.

Luxury Subcompact SUV battle

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLZ took on the 2020 Lexus UX for this battle. The GLA has a few things against it from the start. The acceleration is lackluster, the trunk and cabin are cramped and the ride is too rough to call it luxurious. The interior materials are cheap and although the starting price is $34,250, the UX beats it with a cost of $32,300. Additionally, Lexus comes packed with standard features including cabin comfort, excellent fuel efficiency, and a few extra creature comforts. Lexus comes out on top in this battle.

Luxury Compact SUV

Mercedes

The Lexus NX with a starting price of $36,870. The quiet and smooth ride, beautiful cabin, and high-reliability score combine with its excellent fuel economy for an impressive SUV. The downsides, however, took the score down. The handling isn’t as good as the Mercedes GLC, the infotainment controls are hard to use and the trunk is extremely small. The Mercedes GLC, on the other hand, is a five-seater that is more expensive, however, it excels in handling, its luxury cabin, and a host of user-friendly tech features.

Luxury Midsize SUV class

The Lexus RX 350 was pitted against the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE in the luxury midsize SUV class. The GLE achieved a score of 8.7 out of 10 for its luxurious interior, the fun infotainment center, and a host of safety tech features. It also scored high for its spritely engine and enjoyable handling. The Lexus RX 350 didn’t lose by much, however, the scores didn’t quite come out as high, even though the V6 engine supplied ample power along with a comfortable ride, luxury interior, and slew of safety tech features. It only scored 8.3 out of 10. Mercedes came out ahead on this one.

Head to head competition

Next, we compare the models that call one another out as direct competitors in the luxury vehicle market. Hennessey Lexus provides us with a few examples.

2020 Lexus RX350 vs 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC

2020 Lexus RX350

The Lexus rose to the top of the contest with a more luxurious interior. Although Mercedes is beginning to make improvements in the cross over the market, it still hasn’t caught up in terms of interior luxury.

Lexus IS 300 vs Mercedes C 300

The Mercedes 300 for 2020 established a strong reputation for its performance with a powerful engine, exceptional handling, and a smooth ride. This is tough to compete against. When it comes to performance, Lexus has been known to take the backseat in favor of a luxury interior, but that isn’t the case in this battle. Luxus equipped the IS 300 with a 2.0 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that cranked 240 hp. An additional option is a 3.5-liter V6 featuring AWD with a bump of 11 extra horsepower. The 2020 Mercedes C200 has a standard fare of a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo engine that comes in 5 hp less. The Lexus IS and the IS 350 have also been rated as easier to handle in tight spaces than the Mercedes competitor.

Comparison of the space

When we compare the IS 300 and the C300, once again, Lexus comes out ahead. The IS 300 offers more legroom, headroom, and shoulder room than the Mercedes C300. Driver and passenger comfort are both big considerations. If you’re looking for a more spacious interior for driver and passenger, then the Lexus IS 300 or 350 trumps the Mercedes C300.

Affordability

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC

Motorbiscuit compares the cost to value ratio of the Lexus vehicles compared to Mercedes-Benz. After you’ve compared the features which can go tit for tat, for some, affordability is a huge factor in the decision to buy. When considering the cost of a luxury vehicle, it’s essential to examine the features and specifications of a vehicle and determine if the elevated cost is justified. The 2021 Lexus ES stepped up to the stage and took on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Both are upscale vehicles. When we compare the pricing the Lexus starts with an affordable base price of $39,900. The Mercedes-Benz E-class has a starting price of $54,200. This is a radical price difference. The Lexus forges ahead in its luxury, and while Mercedes has a host of amenities that come with the base model of this car, the price difference for some, is the determining factor in favor of the Lexus.

Which car is right for you?

As we look over the various pros and cons of each brand, it’s easy to see that there is a pattern that arises. By and large, the Lexus is consistent in coming in at a lower starting price. It’s usually a difference of several thousand dollars. Mercedes has won its share of battles in the overall war, but there are a few benefits of owning a Lexus. If you’re on a budget or you insist on the most reliable vehicle on the market today, then you might be better off with a Lexus. If you’re into super luxury and powerful performance, in most cases, Mercedes emerges as the winner. Each brand has its own set of pros and cons, depending on the competing vehicles you decide to compare.

How to choose the best luxury vehicle between Lexus and Mercedes-Benz

Performance

Common sense must prevail when you’re getting ready to purchase a new luxury vehicle. The first consideration is your budget. The Lexus is the more affordable option across the classes. When it comes to performance, there are a few instances where a comparison of individual vehicles will show Lexus as the winner, but most of the time, Mercedes vehicles outperform Lexus with more powerful engines and better acceleration rates.

Space

Lexus

Consider the amount of space you need inside. Is your preference for better cargo room or better leg and headroom? Most of the time, Lexus has a more spacious cabin. Although some models have cramped back seats and cargo areas, in general, the average is for a bigger cabin space for the driver and at least the front-seat passenger. Compare the differences between both brands in this class because there are some variations.

Reliability

When it comes to reliability, you’re not going to find a brand that does beyond the high scores achieved by Lexus. This is one of the most reliable brands on the market today across the classes. Even the brand new models that have not yet been rated come out with a highly predictable reliability score. Lexus is really that good at what they do.

Prestige

If you’re a die-hard Mercedes fan and you don’t mind spending a little extra for the privilege of ownership, you might be better off with a Mercedes. Although Lexus is coming up in the ranks as an impressive and highly desired luxury vehicle, the Mercedes name is older and more solidly established. Not all Mercedes vehicles are impressive, but again, neither are all Lexus models. When it comes to prestige, it’s a matter of personal preference because they’re both exceptional luxury brands. It’s just that Mercedes has been around longer. Lexus is still the new kid on the block.

Features

Mercedes

Perhaps one of the most important factors to consider is the features that a vehicle has to offer. if you value interior creature comforts with state of the art infotainment systems and larger screens, then a Mercedes may be your best best. Lexus has had too many issues with awkward infotainment controls that are not easy for drivers or passengers to use. Also, some of their vehicles don’t even come with an infotainment touch screen. We return to Lexus with its higher number of standard features, including tech, aesthetics, and comfort.

Final thoughts

Lexus and Mercedes Benz are both strong competitors in the luxury vehicle market and it’s tough to say which one is better than the other. Our comparisons revealed that there are distinct differences between the two, but there are also similarities. Each has its own pros and cons, but both are exceptional brands in the luxury car niche. In the end, these comparisons do not really tell us that one is better than the other overall, but rather, that both give you a range of options. Lexus is a brand that is best for those who are budget conscious and want to get as much bang for their buck as possible. Those who prefer high performance can find it in either brand, depending on the model, but in general, Mercedes outperforms Lexus in its overall scores, but you have to pay more for enhanced performance. Lexus tends to render the softer and more satisfying ride, in most cases, but there are exceptions.

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