Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2014 Lexus ES Near Phoenix, AZ

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2014 Mercedes Benz C-Class

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2014 Lexus ES

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C-Class Sedan 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 ES Series has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 5 points, IIHS rates the PRE-SAFE Brake optional in the C-Class Sedan as “Superior.” The ES Series scores only 2 points, and is rated only “Advanced.”

The C300 Sedan has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The ES Series doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The C-Class Sedan’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 ES Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the C-Class Sedan and the ES Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Mercedes C-Class Sedan is safer than the Lexus ES Series:

C-Class Sedan

ES Series

Front Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

88 G’s

245 G’s

Hip Force

367 lbs.

510 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 58 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the C-Class Sedan’s warranty.

Engine Comparison

The C-Class Sedan has more powerful engines than the ES Series:



C250 Sedan 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

201 HP

229 lbs.-ft.

C300 Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

248 HP

251 lbs.-ft.

C350 Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

302 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

ES 300h 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

200 HP

199 lbs.-ft.

ES 350 3.5 DOHC V6

268 HP

248 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the C250 Sedan is faster than the ES 300h:

C-Class Sedan

ES Series

Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.2 MPH

90.1 MPH

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the C350 Sedan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ES Series:

C350 Sedan

ES Series

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11 inches

The C-Class Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the ES Series are solid, not vented.

The C-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the ES Series:

C-Class Sedan

ES Series

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the C-Class Sedan has larger standard tires than the ES Series (225/45R17 vs. 215/55R17).

The C-Class Sedan Luxury’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ES Series’ standard 55 series tires. The C-Class Sedan’s optional 225/40R18 front and 255/35R18 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the ES Series’ optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The C-Class Sedan has a standard continuously variable suspension system. Using sensors on steering angle, speed and other driver inputs, the shocks soften to improve ride, or stiffen when appropriate to aid handling on tricky roads. The ES Series’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The C-Class Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.4% to 47.6%) than the ES Series’ (59% to 41%). This gives the C-Class Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The C350 Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the ES 350 (26.1 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the ES Series’ (35.3 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The C-Class Sedan is 11.9 inches shorter than the ES Series, making the C-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

Ergonomics Comparison

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

The C-Class Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The ES Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The C-Class Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The ES Series doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the C-Class Sedan offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The ES Series doesn’t offer cornering lights. The C-Class Sedan also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The C-Class Sedan’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The ES Series’ 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 C-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the ES Series because typical repairs cost much less on the C-Class Sedan than the ES Series, including $23 less for fuel injection and $1140 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Lexus ES by 22% during 2013.

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