Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2017 Lexus IS Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 Mercedes Benz C-Class

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VS

2017 Lexus IS

Safety Comparison

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Collision Prevention Assist Plus optional in the C-Class Sedan as “Superior.” The IS Series scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The C-Class Sedan offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The IS Series only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Mercedes C-Class Sedan is safer than the Lexus IS Series:

 

C-Class Sedan

IS Series

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

138

274

Neck Injury Risk

24%

36%

Neck Stress

203 lbs.

339 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

421/449 lbs.

271/602 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

246

264

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Stress

147 lbs.

197 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

311/161 lbs.

426/505 lbs.

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

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 and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Mercedes C-Class Sedan is safer than the Lexus IS Series:

 

C-Class Sedan

IS Series

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

76

99

Abdominal Force

147 G’s

193 G’s

Hip Force

452 lbs.

474 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

15 inches

HIC

248

295

Hip Force

769 lbs.

806 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the C-Class Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 107 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The IS Series has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

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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

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

 

Horsepower

Torque

C300 Sedan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

AMG C43 Sedan 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

IS Turbo 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

IS 300 3.5 DOHC V6

255 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

IS 350 3.5 DOHC V6

306 HP

277 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the AMG C43 Sedan 3.0 turbo V6 is faster than the IS 350 3.5 DOHC V6:

 

C-Class Sedan

IS Series

Zero to 30 MPH

1.8 sec

2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.5 sec

5.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.2 sec

13.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.4 sec

6.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3 sec

3.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.7 sec

3.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13.1 sec

14 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

102 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the C300 Sedan RWD gets better fuel mileage than the IS Turbo RWD (24 city/34 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

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

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For better stopping power the C-Class Sedan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the IS Series:

 

C-Class Sedan

AMG C43 Sedan

IS Turbo/300

IS 350

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.2 inches

11.7 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11.4 inches

12.2 inches

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

 

C-Class Sedan

IS Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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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

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The C-Class Sedan has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The C-Class Sedan’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. 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 and .1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the IS Series.

The AMG C43 Sedan 4MATIC handles at .93 G’s, while the IS Series AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The C300 Sedan 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the IS Series (26.3 seconds @ .7 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

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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.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the AMG C43 Sedan 4MATIC is quieter than the IS 350 F Sport (41 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

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The C-Class Sedan has .2 inches more rear headroom, 3 inches more rear legroom and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the IS Series.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The C-Class Sedan has a much larger trunk than the IS Series (12.6 vs. 10.8 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the C-Class Sedan’s trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The C-Class Sedan also offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper. The IS Series doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics Comparison

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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 that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, 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.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the IS Series because typical repairs cost much less on the C-Class Sedan than the IS Series, including $221 less for a starter, $306 less for fuel injection, $3 less for front struts, $1617 less for a timing belt/chain and $202 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. The Mercedes C-Class Sedan is ranked above average in the Near-Luxury Car category. The Lexus IS Series is ranked below average.

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 over two to one during the 2016 model year.

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