Comparison Review: Mercedes S400 Hybrid vs. Lexus LS600h L

Posted on 11. Feb, 2011 by in Auto News

Luxury means many things to many people, but nobody doubts luxury cars should be crammed the latest technology … and what does "art" in today's car market quite like "Hybrid"? Lexus created in a strange reversal of history, the world's first hybrid luxury flagship of a vehicle. Clear of the Mercedes S-Class, and Mercedes now fighting back with its first hybrid sedan, which was inspired S400 Hybrid Sun Lexus Hybrid enough margin to avert a challenge from the vehicle that inspired his birth is more than twenty years? The only way to find out is, in most expensive compared TTAC test at all.

Despite catering to a similar audience, were the Lexus and Mercedes hybrids no longer different missions in mind, if they tried. Lexus' fantastically complicated AWD hybrid system was designed with V12 power. Mercedes on the other hand decided that the easiest way to take a hybridization possible by. A smaller electric motor between the engine and transmission Either you like. It when you're shopping for a car to be driven care in and somehow the baby seals, these two cars will offer the best fuel economy in the luxo-barge market (which is not saying much) Let's dig in.

The LS 600h L is best for the most expensive hybrid vehicle on the market, a fact that deserves to brag endless circle club, however, requires that we purchase price known to speak in earnest. Starting with a base price of $ 111,350 was our press car with the $ 10,835 optional "Package C" containing everything except the radar cruise control equipped and supplied a total MSRP of $ 123,060 for the destination charge. For the fully loaded buyer who heralds $ 12,335 "Parcel" the total up to $ 124,560.

While nearly 125-big as a deal breaker may even sound for the wealthy, the LS 600h L's German competition starts at $ 91,000 in the form of the Mercedes S400 Hybrid. Comparably equipped, the S400 Hybrid ends up on an eye-bulging $ 116,275. And if the option-ticking your thing, $ 123,852 to buy a fully loaded German hybrid. Of course, if you have a driver, the cost of the vehicle is likely to be unimportant, but I am of the richer set that a "discrete" ride is generally preferred to tell a Maybach or Rolls. Noblesse oblige. MSRP winner: LS 600h L.


If the LS 600h L and I was peering out the window, I was impressed by the fact that did not impress the styling. It is not that the LS is boring, it's just that the Camry shares many of the same line. By itself, the LS is a beautiful vehicle and parked next to a Camry you see the LS is much, much bigger, bolder, and has a greater attention to detail. When isolated, but the similarity is with slight sense. Curiously, Lexus did not use their mid-cycle refresh for the 2010 model year to distinguish the LS from the Toyota models, but the LS is a three-grille that looks more Avalon than Lexus receive me. In contrast, the S400 Hybrid some style elements with the C300 shares, but the entire Mercedes design is far less subtle than the Lexus. While I is for the style of the W140 S-Class, there's no doubt the S-Class Benz far the largest on our shores. Exterior Design winner: S400 Hybrid.


Lexus' skills at cabin crafting are evident in the LS. The top model Lexus gets full leather interior, complete with a single seam dashboard and door trim. While the forms that can be the same as a smaller cousin of the LS 600h L's (LS 460), the LS 600h L will make you feel a touch more special. Owners of the 460 will appreciate the fact that a base LS offers a world-class interior space for 60 large, LS 600h L buyers can find almost identical inside a junction. If you spend the cost of a Midwest family home on a car, you will probably expect something unique.

The S400 Hybrid has the odd advantage. The cheapest S-Class in the U.S. (Mercedes decided to compete with the short wheelbase S350 here would sell directly to the LS 460 in the 60K + segment.) This brand positioning means that there are no $ 60,000 cars on American roads with identical styling to your high-rolling hybrid . Despite the fact that the LS 600h L hoped an interior with lush feel and precision when the Germans supplies, the uniqueness factor pushes the S400 to the top on our inner scale. Interior design winner: S400 Hybrid.


The basic model of the S400 will not promise top model performance, which is good, since this hybrid Benz receives an Atkinson-cycle version of the ubiquitous 3.5L V6 Mercedes. Typically Atkinson-cycle engines are. Down on power compared to their petrol versions, but interestingly Mercedes has a new cylinder head, different pistons and a modified camshaft which actually provided the power over the version in the other Merc models In addition, a 20 hp, 118 lb-ft electric motor is added, so the system. Overall performance to 295HP and 284 lb-ft, topping the 268HP and 258 lb-ft rating of the C350 While the S400 Hybrid delivers more power than the V8 S430 (circa 2006) and accelerates to 60 a tenth of a second faster (7.2 to 60, as tested), in this decade, a luxury car 7 with a 0-60 in the second area is quite slow.

Lexus has long embraced technology, but only recently come to admire the performance. For this, the LS 600h L is a slightly de-tuned 5.0L V8 engine from IS-F (. Instead of the 4.6L from the LS460) equipped LS In service, the V8 makes 389HP at 6400RPM and airy £ 383 – ft of twist at 4,000 RPM. Since these numbers are not terribly exciting in their own right, Lexus added a pair of electric motors £ ft-good for 221HP and 221. Due to the nature of the Hybrid Synergy Drive system works (tech nerds can find a wealth of information here), you do not necessarily have the 389HP and 221HP from the motors and get 610HP, but the system PS ended up in a conservative 438HP.

Lexus is quite reticent on the combined torque of the LS hybrid system, but I guess to be at least 400 lb-ft and. Over a very wide speed range thanks to the electric motors When the engine is stopped at a traffic light (saving baby seals), fast (tested TTAC) romp on the go pedal summons 60mph in 5.4 seconds, the 5.4 seconds off the Lexus quotes dates for the LS 460 L., what does not give this number 't that's scary linearly with which the LS delivers this thrust: no shifts, no gaps, no acceleration swells, just constant press-you-back-in-your-seat thrust until you decide to raise. Lexus says the top speed of the LS hybrid is 160MPH. I believe it. Performance winner: LS 600h L.


When it gets hard on winding, it's honestly not so important that a large luxury sedan under control. What is important is that the work without fuss, minimal squeaks and done without irritating rear applications. Since both sedans are equipped with air suspension load setups, I was expecting a very similar journey, and lived in practice, both the S400 and LS 600h L up to my expectations. Both deliver extremely compliant rides on a variety of asphalt, gravel and dirt roads. Both vehicles have a "sport" mode, only the Lexus seemed to actually deliver the hoped-for change enabled the suspension behavior with Sport mode. If you always give Jeeves the day, this is a cetacean mannerism-taming mode a clear "must have." While I would never call the LS 600h L is a "corner carver," grip is pretty impressive, and the AWD system provides a very balanced feel while stopping the massive Brembo brakes £ 5360 sedan without drama every time. In contrast, the S400 is not the personality invite any hasty gimmicks, which is good, because it's not easy to raise bustle of Japanese competition. Handling winner: LS 600h L.


No luxury vehicle would be able to show his face at the country club, without the latest whiz-bang gadgets. The problem is both the S-Class and LS lines are old and luxury shoppers will be surprised to learn that a new Ford can deliver fashionable gimmicks as the two luxury sedan. Both the LS 600h L and S400 USB music device integration, navigation, large LCD screens, Bluetooth hands-free, self-closing doors, four-zone climate control and more buttons and knobs than NASA mission control, but the graphics on both nav systems fail to achieve the "wow" factor that the latest iDrive offers.

Mercedes brings the latest in dynamic air-seats for the fight, which is to massage Jeeves' back and inflate strengthens to him planted, while avoiding the paparazzi. The Lexus, however, provides one of the better rear seat experience in the industry. Not only that, the LS 600h L's right rear seat recline like the S-class, but it has an ottoman to boot a walnut tray and excellent vibrating Shiatsu massage system. Unlike other systems that use the bubbles to work to try your node appears Lexus system uses rollers inside the seat, and can deliver a surprisingly deep massage.

When renting a Jeeves, it is important to remember to test parking skills in the interview. While helping Mercedes and Lexus both parking sensors, which have challenged parallel, both managed to bring only new rels the frustration of parking process for all involved. The Mercedes system is not really park for you, but it will try to guide you, if the space is large enough. For a Greyhound bus and follow the guide lines on the screen with Germanic precision Fail to follow ze commands visout qvestion and the system gives up on you. The Lexus on the other hand is parallel parking or backing your car into a perpendicular parking space, all-by-yourself … If you find yourself a few hours to figure out which buttons to press and how to move the seat in the right place. Unfortunately Ford ultrasonic park in the Lincoln MKT, Ford Explorer and Focus Assist is so easy to use and so fast, both the Lexus and Mercedes systems seem useless. Simply a Jeeves that can park. Here is the Lexus is taking the lead because it can actually park itself (with enough patience). Gadget winner: LS 600h L.


The Germans have a reputation for over-engineering things for decades, just as the Japanese have a reputation for technical perfect everything. Luxury buyers expect not only the finest craftsmanship, but also the best in the art. In this category, neither disappointed. While it appears superficially that Lexus has lost its technological lead in the last decade, the hybrid system in the LS 600h L will be remembered, has a crazy R & D budget.

The Lexus CVT and AWD system is a marvel, as opposed to a "normal" CVT, which uses Hybrid Synergy Drive transmission in the LS 600h L to change motors and planetary gear ratios. Although the idea is the same as the transfer in the Prius, the LS 600, the unit is much more complex, containing designed two power-split units and a motor having two speeds reducer on one of the electric motors in order to improve the efficiency and the noise in the speed . Also the gear Torsen unit was specially designed for the LS transfer to Lexus' stringent standards for noise and physical dimensions of justice.

In comparison, seems Mercedes-hybrid system almost collapsed.