Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class VS 2011 Lexus LS Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2011 Mercedes Benz S-Class

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2011 Lexus LS

Safety Comparison

An active infrared night vision system optional on the S-Class helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The LS Series doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The S-Class’ optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The LS Series doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver's blind spots.

The S-Class (except S400 Hybrid)’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The LS Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S-Class and the LS Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

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 S-Class’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

The S-Class has more powerful engines than the LS Series:



S550 5.5 DOHC V8

382 HP

391 lbs.-ft.

S600 5.5 turbo V12

510 HP

612 lbs.-ft.

S63 5.5 turbo V8

536 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

S65 6.0 turbo V12

604 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

LS 460 AWD 4.6 DOHC V8

357 HP

344 lbs.-ft.

LS 460 4.6 DOHC V8

380 HP

367 lbs.-ft.

LS 600h L 5.0 DOHC V8

438 HP


As tested in Car and Driver the Mercedes S-Class is faster than the Lexus LS Series:



LS 460

LS 600h L

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.7 sec

4.6 sec

6.4 sec

5.7 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.9 sec

2.6 sec

3.3 sec


Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.6 sec

2.7 sec

3.8 sec


Quarter Mile

13.7 sec

12.6 sec

14.6 sec

13.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102 MPH

115 MPH

99 MPH

106 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

130 MPH

130 MPH

130 MPH

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




6000 RPM

2400 RPM

S550 5.5 DOHC V8

6000 RPM

2800 RPM

S600 5.5 turbo V12

5000 RPM

1800 RPM

S63 5.5 turbo V8

5500 RPM

2000 RPM

S65 6.0 turbo V12

4800 RPM

2000 RPM

LS 460 AWD 4.6 DOHC V8

6400 RPM

4100 RPM

LS 460 4.6 DOHC V8

6400 RPM

4100 RPM

LS 600h L 5.0 DOHC V8

6400 RPM

4000 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The S-Class has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the LS Series (23.8 vs. 22.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the S63/65’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the LS Series:

S550/S400 Hybrid


LS Series

LS 460 Sport

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

15.4 inches

13.1 inches

14.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

14.4 inches

12.3 inches

13.1 inches

The S-Class stops much shorter than the LS Series:


LS Series

80 to 0 MPH

215 feet

251 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

154 feet

209 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

143 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the S-Class has larger standard tires than the LS Series (255/45R18 vs. 235/50R18). The S-Class’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the LS Series (F:255/40R19 & R:275/40R19 vs. 245/45R19).

The S-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 LS Series’ standard 50 series tires. The S-Class’ optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the LS Series’ optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S-Class offers optional 20 inch wheels. The LS Series’ largest wheels are only 19 inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The S-Class has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The LS Series’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the LS Series, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Lexus doesn’t offer an active suspension on the LS Series.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 7.7 inches longer than on the LS Series (124.6 inches vs. 116.9 inches). The S-Class’ wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the LS Series LWB (124.6 inches vs. 121.7 inches).

The S65 handles at .90 G’s, while the LS 600h L AWD pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S600 goes through Road & Track’s slalom 4.7 MPH faster than the LS 460 (64.6 vs. 59.9 MPH).

The S550 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the LS 600h L AWD (26.3 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 27.3 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by AutoWeek, the interior of the S600 is quieter than the LS 460 Sport:


LS Series

At idle

42 dB

46 dB


68 dB

83 dB

60 MPH Cruising

60 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The S-Class has 5.4 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom, 5.4 inches more rear hip room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the LS Series.

Ergonomics Comparison

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

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The LS Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

A power rear sun shade is standard on the S-Class to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. A sunshade costs extra on the LS Series.

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

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S-Class is less expensive to operate than the LS Series because it costs $996 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the S-Class than the LS Series, including $204 less for a starter, $180 less for fuel injection and $179 less for a timing belt/chain.

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