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Lexus LS 500 vs Mercedes S 560: Which Luxury Sedan is Best?

It’s time for this week’s video: Lexus LS 500 vs Mercedes S 560! In this corner, we have the Lexus LS 500. It’s latest incarnation of the luxury sedan Lexus challenged Germany with three decades ago, and it gets a long awaited update for 2019.

Next, we have the Mercedes S 560. A rolling illustration of German opulence, and an undisputed benchmark in the automotive world, this year’s model arrives mostly unchanged.

Both the Lexus and Mercedes are excellent competitors in the high-end luxury segment, so let’s take a look at the engines, cabins, infotainment, and price to determine a winner. Of course, you shouldn’t buy a car without a thorough test drive.

So if you’re deciding between the Lexus LS 500 and the Mercedes S560, visit AutoNation.com to find a nearby dealer. Full text of the video follows below.

Lexus LS 500 vs Mercedes S 560: Powertrain

First, let’s look at the powertrains. The Lexus LS 500 features a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 which delivers 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. A ten-speed automatic handles shifting duties, and it gets 18 miles per gallon city, 27 highway. The sprint from zero to 60 mph takes 5.3 seconds.

In comparison, the Mercedes features a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, which is good for 463 horsepower and 516 lb-feet of torque. It’s mated to a nine-speed transmission, which allows it to hit 17 miles-per-gallon city, and 27 highway. Put your foot in it, and 60 miles per hour will arrive in just 4.2 seconds.

Since the Mercedes get similar fuel economy, and significantly more power, we’re going to give the win to the S560 here.

Lexus LS 500 vs Mercedes S 560: Cabin

Now, let’s look inside the cabin. The interior of a Lexus used to be defined by how understated it was — but the LS 500’s cabin is nothing but understated. The lines of the dash flow organically, and visual touches abound. From the intricate stitching on the seats and door cards, to the elegantly sculpted door pulls, to the antena-like controls above the wheel, it’s a feast for the eyes in a way we haven’t previously seen from the company, and it’s stunning.

Immediately, the Mercedes presents itself as a technological powerhouse. The digital gauges reside in a massive screen which stretches from the cockpit to the center of the dash, and gives the environs a spacecraft like feel. That said, there are also plenty of old-world touches, like quilted leather seats and burled wood trim pieces too. It’s a beautiful blend of classic and modern, that for all its high-tech touches, remains intuitive.

Since both cabins are supremely comfortable places to be, and both are testament to craftsmanship of the highest order, we’re going to call this a draw.

Lexus LS 500 vs Mercedes S 560: Infotainment

With the LS 500, Lexus has answered a big complaint about its infotainment system, in that Apple Car is now available, as is Amazon Alexa integration. But Android Auto remains unavailable, and many functions, including heated and cooled seats, require using a touchpad controller in the center console. So there’s a steep learning curve to climb to get comfortable with controls that often feel fussy.

The Mercedes also uses a touchpad controller, but the infotainment system supports Android Auto, along with Apple CarPlay. That said, with less menus to navigate, the overall design is more streamlined than it is in the Lexus, so drivers will spend more time enjoying the superb speakers and less time fiddling with the controls. .

Of course, both these vehicles are available with loads of tech, including Bluetooth and Wifi hotspots. But we think the S560’s more intuitive controls, and support for Android Auto give it the edge here.

Lexus LS 500 vs Mercedes S 560: Safety

From a safety standpoint, neither the LS 500 or S560 has been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Lexus comes standard with a long list of standard safety features, including automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise. Other features, like front cross traffic alert, a heads up display, and surround view camera are optional.

In the Mercedes, features like blind spot monitoring and lane keep assist are standard. But other features, like blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and rear cross traffic alert, are optional extras. So while the company offers a robust variety of safety tech, you’ll have to pay for it.

So while both vehicles are safe, we think the longer list of standard features gives it the edge here.

Lexus LS 500 vs Mercedes S 560: Price

Now, it’s time to talk price. The Lexus LS 500 starts at $75,300, which is a very reasonable cost of entry in the world of high-end luxury, though adding options will quickly cause it to climb.

In contrast, the Mercedes starts significantly higher, at $101,350, and there’s a bevy of additional options, like massaging seats, which will cause it to climb from there.

So from a cost standpoint, opting for the Lexus leaves room for over $25,000 worth of additional equipment, and we’re going to give it the win here.

Overall, this is a very tough choice — particularly given the wide price disparity. But with its more powerful engine, fantastic interior, and more functional infotainment, we think the Mercedes is a better expression of the ultimate luxury sedan.

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