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2009 Lexus GS Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Lexus GS 350 vs. Mercedes Benz E320 Bluetec by AG

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Reviewed: 2009 Lexus GS

4dr Sedan 303-horsepower 3.5L V6 6-speed shiftable automatic RWD

Compared: 2009 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

4dr Sedan turbocharged 210hp 3.0L V6 Diesel 7-speed shiftable automatic RWD

Why the 2009 Lexus GS?

  Compared to the E-Class
Quietness
Quietness: Much better Better Worse

The cabin is quite hushed with no wind noise and only a little tire whine from the concrete highway. I went to the dealer intending to buy a W211 (2009) MB E320 Bluetec but the MB was disappointingly loud at highway speeds and the clatter of the diesel engine protruded into the cabin at low speeds. I also test drove a Cadillac CTS Wagon on the same day. It was much quieter than the MB and a bit louder than the Lexus.

Materials & workmanship
Materials & workmanship: About the same Better Worse

The plastics are soft, the wood is rich and the leather is thick. Although the car is 3 years old with almost 40k miles, I have not heard a squeak or a rattle despite Houston's cratered concrete highways.

Fuel economy
Fuel economy: Worse Better Worse

I have been averaging 26 MPG (indicated) in mixed suburban and highway driving, which I think is pretty good.

Ride smoothness
Ride smoothness: Better Better Worse

Compared to the MB E320 Bluetec, the Lexus feels considerably smoother, although less stately and a little less posh. The quiet cabin contributes to the perceived smoothness of the engine.

Why Not the 2009 Lexus GS?

  Compared to the E-Class
Driving position & visibility
Driving position & visibility: About the same Better Worse

The seating position is a bit low for my taste and it has taken me some time to find a comfortable driving position. My brief search on the interwebz reveals that I may be alone in this opinion. Leg room is good, and the adjustable lumbar support is adequate. Compared to the full-sized SUV I traded in for it, I do feel like I am sitting on the floor.

Conclusion

I bought the Lexus instead of the Mercedes Benz because of the superior quietness of the Lexus and the more intuitive control layout. I was also influenced by the absence of a pass-through in the MB trunk.

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