Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2015 Lexus IS Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 Mercedes Benz C-Class

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2015 Lexus IS

Safety Comparison

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 IS Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the C-Class Sedan and the IS 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

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 C300 Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 37 more horsepower (241 vs. 204) and 88 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 185) than the IS 250’s standard 2.5 DOHC V6. The C400 Sedan’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 23 more horsepower (329 vs. 306) and 77 lbs.-ft. more torque (354 vs. 277) than the IS 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the C300 Sedan is faster than the IS 250:

C-Class Sedan

IS Series

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.4 MPH

86.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the C-Class Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the IS Series:

C-Class Sedan

IS Series



25 city/34 hwy

21 city/30 hwy

IS 250/Auto


19 city/28 hwy

IS 350/Auto



24 city/31 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

IS 250/Auto


21 city/29 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

IS 350/Auto

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the C-Class Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The IS Series doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

C-Class Sedan

IS Series

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the C-Class Sedan offers optional 19-inch wheels. The IS Series’ largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the C-Class Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The IS Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The C-Class Sedan has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The IS Series doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The C-Class Sedan’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The IS Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the C-Class Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the IS Series (111.8 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the C-Class Sedan is 2.1 inches wider in the front than the average track on the IS Series.

The C400 Sedan 4MATIC handles at .88 G’s, while the IS 250 F Sport AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The C400 Sedan 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the IS 250 (25.9 seconds @ .8 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the C-Class Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The IS Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

The C-Class Sedan has .2 inches more rear headroom and 3 inches more rear legroom than the IS Series.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults or children, the C-Class Sedan offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The IS Series doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the IS Series, the C-Class Sedan offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The C-Class Sedan’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the IS Series.

The C-Class Sedan offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and navigation instruction readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The IS Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the C-Class Sedan and the IS 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 IS 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 IS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the C-Class Sedan offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The IS Series doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The C-Class Sedan’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The IS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

The C-Class Sedan was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The IS Series has never been an “All Star.”

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Lexus IS Series by 46% during 2014.

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