Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2010 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2010 Lexus GS Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2010 Mercedes Benz C-Class

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2010 Lexus GS

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C Class are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Lexus GS Series has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the C Class and the GS Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the C Class is safer then the GS Series:

C Class

GS Series

Overall Evaluation



Head Restraint Design



Distance from Back of Head

41 mm

68 mm

Distance Below Top of Head

38 mm

62 mm

Dynamic Test Rating



Seat Design



Torso Acceleration

11.7 g’s

13.9 g’s

Neck Force Rating



Max Neck Shearing Force



Max Neck Tension



(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard Electronic Stability Program, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the C Class as a “Top Pick” for 2010, a rating only granted to 26 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GS Series was not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

There are over 58 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the C Class’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the C Class’ engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the GS Series:


C300 3.0 DOHC V6

2700 RPM

C350 3.5 DOHC V6

2400 RPM

GS350 3.5 DOHC V6

3600 RPM

GS460 4.6 DOHC V8

3600 RPM

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The C Class’ brakes have 14% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the GS Series (537 vs. 473 square inches), so the C Class has more braking power available.

The C Class stops much shorter than the GS Series:

C Class

GS Series

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The C Class’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GS350’s standard 50 series tires. The C Class Sport’s optional 255/35R18 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the GS460/450h’s 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The C350 handles at .87 G’s, while the GS350 AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The C350 goes through Road & Track’s slalom 3.1 MPH faster than the GS450h (63.8 vs. 60.7 MPH).

The C350 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GS460 (26.5 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the C Class’ turning circle is tighter than the GS Series’:

C Class

GS Series


35.5 feet

36.7 feet

AWD Sedan

35.5 feet

36.7 feet

Chassis Comparison

The Mercedes C Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 400 pounds less than the Lexus GS Series.

The C Class is 8.4 inches shorter than the GS Series, making the C Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The C Class’ optional rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The GS Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the C Class and the GS Series have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the C Class is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The GS Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The C Class’ standard power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GS Series’ standard power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the C Class owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the C Class will cost $833 less than the GS Series over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C Class is less expensive to operate than the GS Series because it costs $154 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the C Class than the GS Series, including $55 less for a water pump, $107 less for fuel injection, $123 less for a fuel pump, $64 less for front struts and $3 less for a timing belt/chain.

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