Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Mercedes Benz S-Class VS 2015 Lexus LS Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Mercedes Benz S-Class

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VS

2015 Lexus LS

Safety Comparison

The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The LS Series doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

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 offers an optional Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The LS Series only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The S-Class’ 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, 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 S-Class’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

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

Horsepower

Torque

S550 4.7 turbo V8

449 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

S600 5.5 turbo V12

523 HP

612 lbs.-ft.

S63 AMG 5.5 turbo V8

577 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

S65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

LS 460 AWD 4.6 DOHC V8

360 HP

347 lbs.-ft.

LS 460 4.6 DOHC V8

386 HP

367 lbs.-ft.

LS 600h L 5.0 DOHC V8 hybrid

438 HP

n/a

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

S550

S600

LS 460 AWD

LS 460

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

4.7 sec

6 sec

6.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.2 sec

5.1 sec

6.3 sec

6.4 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.9 sec

n/a

3.3 sec

3.3 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.4 sec

n/a

4.2 sec

3.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

13.1 sec

14.5 sec

14.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

112 MPH

98 MPH

99 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

130 MPH

130 MPH

130 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the S550 gets better fuel mileage than the LS 460:

S-Class

LS Series

RWD

Auto

17 city/26 hwy

16 city/24 hwy

AWD

Auto

16 city/26 hwy

16 city/23 hwy

Regardless of its engine, the S-Class’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the LS Series Hybrid.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the S-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the LS Series:

S550

S63/S65

LS Series

LS 460 F Sport

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

16.5 inches

13.1 inches

14.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.1 inches

12.3 inches

13.1 inches

The S-Class S63/S65 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The LS Series doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

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

S-Class

LS Series

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

209 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the S-Class has larger standard tires than the LS Series (F:245/40R20 & R:275/35R20 vs. 235/50R18). The S63/S65’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the LS Series (F:255/40R20 & R:285/35R20 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 245/40R20 front and 275/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear 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.

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

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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 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 Maybach S600 handles at .88 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 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the LS 600h L AWD (25.8 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27.5 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Mercedes S-Class amounts to more than styling. The S-Class has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .24 Cd. That is lower than the LS Series (.26 to .27) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S-Class get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The S-Class has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 7.2 inches more rear legroom and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the LS Series.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S-Class’ available trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The LS Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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

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.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the S-Class has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The LS Series doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

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

The S-Class’ 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 LS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

Both the Mercedes S-Class and Lexus LS Series won four awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S-Class first among large premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The LS Series isn’t in the top three.

The S-Class was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 3 of the last 16 years. The LS hasn’t been picked since 2001.

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the Lexus LS Series by almost three to one during 2014.

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