parkman

Lexus IS 300h versus Mercedes C 300h.

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I had an interesting conversation, yesterday, concerning the choice between buying a Lexus IS 300h or a Mercedes C 300h.

I have had the experience of owning a 2004 Mercedes E220 cdi, and, although I quite liked it i got fed up with it because every time it was parked up for two or three weeks there would be some stupid, but very expensive, problem when I would try to start it. So I was very glad to sell it during the summer last year and replace it with an IS 300h.

I do own two classic Mercedes, from the early eighties, and these are really very well made cars, but for a day to day driver, having test driven year 2015 Mercedes E-class and C-class I do prefer the Lexus.

I am interested to see what other members views are ?

Parkman

 

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From what I've read on various Merc forums, the 300h suffers a lot of issues with it's charging . Both the connector and the wiring. Water ingress into the charger socket seems prevalent on the earlier models. 

I looked at getting a C300h before settling on the RC300h. I know I've made the right choice.. MB reliability just isn't what it was "back in the day"

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Isn't the C300h a diesel engine with a jerky auto transmission? IS300h every time for me. Hideously expensive too, on paper, although you can normally get £1,000s of the list price of a Mercedes - just look at Drive the Deal. 

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Indeed, diesel isn't the engine I'd automatically expect within a hybrid. Too rough, harder to spin up at start and noisy.

The auto box seems very inconsistent, some say it's wonderful, other jerky and sluggish.

E-CVT is definitely the way to go. a wonderful revelation to me after years of 'normal' automatics..

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The C300h has a 2000cc turbo petrol engine running on the Otto Cycle compared to the Lexus IS 300h non turbo running on the Atkinson Cycle which has a higher efficiency giving a better MPG.

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The C300h has a 2000cc turbo petrol engine running on the Otto Cycle compared to the Lexus IS 300h non turbo running on the Atkinson Cycle which has a higher efficiency giving a better MPG.

I’m sure the c300h is a 2.1 diesel


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Correct Stevet . It was a typo, the 350h is the petrol version.

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Very interesting replies on this subject. I looked at both the E-class hybrid, and the C-class hybrid, before I bought an IS 300h. I agree entirely about the diesel engine, and the rather jerky gearbox. My E220 cdi was a fairly reasonable example of both the noisy 2.1 diesel, and an electronic gearbox which would give a rather alarming thump as it changed down to first gear, after being stationary for about 20 seconds.

The gearbox wasn't great at changing down, say from third to second, when trying to accelerate quickly in traffic. You would get a delay while the gearbox seemed to be trying to puzzle out what to do. I did have it checked out by MB and it was perfect, and the car only had just 90,000 miles on the clock from 2004. It was just a pretty poor combination as far as I was concerned.

Another real bugbear for me was also trying to find a Merc with cream leather. I looked at about 8 or 9 2014 - 2017 E-classes, and about 6 C-classes, and none had cream. One had white leather but it was an AMG 6.3 !!!!! Very, very hard to find a 2013 to 2018 Merc which doesn't just have black leather interior, unless you buy the car new and go for a £1200 colour option to be anything other than black.

Jaguar and Lexus were the two makes that offered a range of models, and years with cream leather as standard. I myself do not like black as I find it just makes the interior of the car too dark. My IS 300h has the cream leather interior, and I decided to add more lightness by buying beige carpets from a car carpet supplier. I am very disappointed that Lexus have stopped selling the cream carpets that they had a few years back, so I had to buy from after-market source. However, I have found the ones I bought are good quality, at least as good as the original Lexus black IS carpets. The only thing is you can't get the logo on the carpets that I bought as that would infringe Lexus copyright, but I don't mind.

Parkman.

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Friend has a Diesel C300h AMG Premium Plus hybrid. Was similar in spec and colour to my old F-Sport IS300h - Grey/Red leather and similar spec/toys.

Merc looked OK, IMO and the interior was alright too, but the growling diesel engine spoilt the drive and the auto box wasn't the best. It was quick though, much faster than the IS, sub 6s 0-60 and with decent diesel shove mid-range. Seats were OK, but the "Leather" was very grainy and plastic feeling, and that was the Cranberry leather upgrade! I still don't like the stick on screen on the dash either.  And he had loads of issues getting phones to work with it.  Ride was poor IMO, very stiff and crashed over any imperfection around town (better on smooth motorways) and that was on the std 18" wheel.  Couple of things it has, which I liked/wished the lexus had.  Electric boot open/close. Adjustable thigh support for seats. Memory seats on passenger side. 

Biggest benefit was that it would do an easy 55mpg+ on motorway, even thrashing it, it wouldn't get below low 40's. drive lightly and it would top 60mpg+.  I'd love for the IS to get anywhere near those figures in F-Sport spec!

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6 hours ago, Steve44 said:

Friend has a Diesel C300h AMG Premium Plus hybrid. Was similar in spec and colour to my old F-Sport IS300h - Grey/Red leather and similar spec/toys.

Merc looked OK, IMO and the interior was alright too, but the growling diesel engine spoilt the drive and the auto box wasn't the best. It was quick though, much faster than the IS, sub 6s 0-60 and with decent diesel shove mid-range. Seats were OK, but the "Leather" was very grainy and plastic feeling, and that was the Cranberry leather upgrade! I still don't like the stick on screen on the dash either.  And he had loads of issues getting phones to work with it.  Ride was poor IMO, very stiff and crashed over any imperfection around town (better on smooth motorways) and that was on the std 18" wheel.  Couple of things it has, which I liked/wished the lexus had.  Electric boot open/close. Adjustable thigh support for seats. Memory seats on passenger side. 

Biggest benefit was that it would do an easy 55mpg+ on motorway, even thrashing it, it wouldn't get below low 40's. drive lightly and it would top 60mpg+.  I'd love for the IS to get anywhere near those figures in F-Sport spec!

Well its a diesel so obviously going to get good mpg on the motorway. It supposedly does 78mpg lol

I doubt it'd be 6s to 60mph. its showing 6.6 but probably feels faster because of the combined diesel and electric torque

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7 hours ago, Steve44 said:

Couple of things it has, which I liked/wished the lexus had.  Electric boot open/close. Adjustable thigh support for seats. Memory seats on passenger side. 

Sounds like you would like a GS Steve. Not sure why Lexus don't allow an IS to be fully spec'd out - if someone is willing to pay the money let them have all the options they want.

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To some degree I can understand Lexus's decision to build only a certain number of optioned cars, as this means it is easier for the dealer, not having to have to go through an options book, like Mercedes do.At least when you decide on a Luxury or a Premier, or whatever, you know that when you see a model that you like then it will nearly always be exactly the same as a previous, or a different one that you saw somewhere else. Only the upholstery may be different, and of course the colour of the car !

Another interesting point is that if you export the car, to Ireland for instance, because, in this example, Ireland charge a vehicle registration tax [ import duty under another name ] if you buy something like a Merc then you have to declare all the options that the car has, and then you have to pay import tax on all those options. So you very rarely find an original registered Merc with both aircon, and a sunroof, as it adds a couple of hundred euro's to the new car price.

I think, but I may be wrong, I think that metallic paint on a new e-class is around €1200 extra, and a sunroof around €900 extra, then different MB alloys are around €800 extra. So if you import a two or three year old E-class the VRT tax [or import duty] is horrendous.

At least with Lexus you only have to consider the model itself to determine the VRT tax, and you know exactly what that import duty will be. No messing, no arguing about what type of alloy wheels are fitted, whether the car has electric memory seats or not, you just present the paperwork and the Irish Revenue tell you how much you owe based on the Lexus factory spec.

One other comment. My brother-in-law has a GS 300f F-Sport, and he was disgusted when he found out that my IS has rear drop-down seats but his GS doesn't !!!! Now I think that he wants to swap.

Parkman.

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17 minutes ago, parkman said:

One other comment. My brother-in-law has a GS 300f F-Sport, and he was disgusted when he found out that my IS has rear drop-down seats but his GS doesn't !!!! Now I think that he wants to swap.

:smile: GS is a traditional saloon with fixed rear seats - better sound insulation and strength but at a loss of practicality. The IS series I and II were the same. 

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13 hours ago, parkman said:

To some degree I can understand Lexus's decision to build only a certain number of optioned cars, as this means it is easier for the dealer, not having to have to go through an options book, like Mercedes do.At least when you decide on a Luxury or a Premier, or whatever, you know that when you see a model that you like then it will nearly always be exactly the same as a previous, or a different one that you saw somewhere else. Only the upholstery may be different, and of course the colour of the car !

Another interesting point is that if you export the car, to Ireland for instance, because, in this example, Ireland charge a vehicle registration tax [ import duty under another name ] if you buy something like a Merc then you have to declare all the options that the car has, and then you have to pay import tax on all those options. So you very rarely find an original registered Merc with both aircon, and a sunroof, as it adds a couple of hundred euro's to the new car price.

I think, but I may be wrong, I think that metallic paint on a new e-class is around €1200 extra, and a sunroof around €900 extra, then different MB alloys are around €800 extra. So if you import a two or three year old E-class the VRT tax [or import duty] is horrendous.

At least with Lexus you only have to consider the model itself to determine the VRT tax, and you know exactly what that import duty will be. No messing, no arguing about what type of alloy wheels are fitted, whether the car has electric memory seats or not, you just present the paperwork and the Irish Revenue tell you how much you owe based on the Lexus factory spec.

One other comment. My brother-in-law has a GS 300f F-Sport, and he was disgusted when he found out that my IS has rear drop-down seats but his GS doesn't !!!! Now I think that he wants to swap.

Parkman.

But what if you imported - say - an early 2014 Luxury with extra cost:

  • Leather
  • Premium Sat Nav
  • Seats - Heated
  • Seats - Cooled
  • Seats - Electrically adjustable

I imported an Executive which (other than metallic paint?) is a fixed spec and the "VRT process" was very simple. Dunno what the story would have been with the above though ...

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I believe that there is a cut-off point where optional extra's are deemed "worthless" as far as the VRT is concerned, but I don't know how many years old the cars have to be.

I imported a Merc E220 cdi, with a lot of extra's included, it was an ex-Daimler staff car. It was about 10 years old when I imported it, and the guy doing the paperwork, in the Revenue office, said that the extra's, metallic paint, panoramic sunroof, 17 inch star alloys, drop-down rear seat option, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, would make no difference to the VRT as after a certain age there is no loading because of extra's.

Parkman.

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2 hours ago, parkman said:

I believe that there is a cut-off point where optional extra's are deemed "worthless" as far as the VRT is concerned, but I don't know how many years old the cars have to be.

I imported a Merc E220 cdi, with a lot of extra's included, it was an ex-Daimler staff car. It was about 10 years old when I imported it, and the guy doing the paperwork, in the Revenue office, said that the extra's, metallic paint, panoramic sunroof, 17 inch star alloys, drop-down rear seat option, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, would make no difference to the VRT as after a certain age there is no loading because of extra's.

Parkman.

Dont know about VRT an the like but in the UK all options are worthless 

Just makes the car more desirable or easier to sell.

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On ‎18‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 5:29 PM, parkman said:

Very interesting replies on this subject. I looked at both the E-class hybrid, and the C-class hybrid, before I bought an IS 300h. I agree entirely about the diesel engine, and the rather jerky gearbox. My E220 cdi was a fairly reasonable example of both the noisy 2.1 diesel, and an electronic gearbox which would give a rather alarming thump as it changed down to first gear, after being stationary for about 20 seconds.

The gearbox wasn't great at changing down, say from third to second, when trying to accelerate quickly in traffic. You would get a delay while the gearbox seemed to be trying to puzzle out what to do. I did have it checked out by MB and it was perfect, and the car only had just 90,000 miles on the clock from 2004. It was just a pretty poor combination as far as I was concerned.

Another real bugbear for me was also trying to find a Merc with cream leather. I looked at about 8 or 9 2014 - 2017 E-classes, and about 6 C-classes, and none had cream. One had white leather but it was an AMG 6.3 !!!!! Very, very hard to find a 2013 to 2018 Merc which doesn't just have black leather interior, unless you buy the car new and go for a £1200 colour option to be anything other than black.

Jaguar and Lexus were the two makes that offered a range of models, and years with cream leather as standard. I myself do not like black as I find it just makes the interior of the car too dark. My IS 300h has the cream leather interior, and I decided to add more lightness by buying beige carpets from a car carpet supplier. I am very disappointed that Lexus have stopped selling the cream carpets that they had a few years back, so I had to buy from after-market source. However, I have found the ones I bought are good quality, at least as good as the original Lexus black IS carpets. The only thing is you can't get the logo on the carpets that I bought as that would infringe Lexus copyright, but I don't mind.

Parkman.

Haven't tried a Merc hybrid C class but had a 17 reg C200 Sport as a loaner for a couple of months while my IS300h was in for body repairs - in comparison to the IS 300h a horrible car. In summary, the engine (the 2l turbo petrol) was totally uncivilised, noisy and harsh - I actually thought they had delivered me a diesel when I first drove it. The 9 speed auto box was never in the right gear and took an age to shuffle to a lower gear when I wanted to accelerate to the point that I then had my foot to the floor waiting for it and so when the car found the gear it lurched off - all very unsettling and felt quite dangerous when approaching (but not having to stop ) at junctions/roundabouts waiting for the right gear. The sat nav screen looks like a cheapo tablet just "stuck" to the dash - awful design. The dash was largely black plastic - not a nice solid plastic (like the Lexus) but '70's like black plastic that creaked and groaned! The sat nav itself was laggy (for those that complain about the Lexus sat nav the Merc is not a patch on the Lexus) - takes an age to enter the various menus and to enter a destination and the spaceship thing on the centre console to use the system is totally unfathomable - and by the time it reroutes for a wrong turn you are getting hopelessly lost - and the routes it selects were just terrible in comparison to Lexus or Google maps. The (fake leather) seats were also very hard and uncomfortable for long journeys. Not surprisingly fuel economy was about 25% or more (especially around town) lower than the Lexus. I was so glad to give it back when my Lexus was repairs were finished.

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I know how Phil feels about the C-class. Last year I got an upgrade when I hired a car from Hertz in Edinburgh. They were very pleased that I qualified for an upgrade to a bigger car that the one I hired in the beginning, which was an automatic Ford Focus estate.

The reason I had booked a Focus estate was I wanted to help my daughter move some stuff for her house, and then also be able to put a baby seat in the back to do some shopping at IKEA. But when the girl on the desk said that I was due an upgrade I took it to be perhaps a BMW estate or maybe a Merc estate.

I got a C200 coupe !!! The weather was a bit grim when I got the car, and I decided that I couldn't be bothered returning to the office and asking for a change back to an estate - of any description. I do appreciate that Hertz were being nice, but I wish that they had asked me before changing my booking, even if I am a gold customer.

I disliked the car from about 20 minutes after getting in, and I hadn't got out of Edinburgh airport at that point ! I found that the car was far too cramped for a tall person like myself, and it is very low, which doesn't help when you have a rather stiff back and bending down is a chore.

The worst thing about it, though, and it was really bad, was that the seat belt is really far back behind you, because of the very long doors. I found that it was really painful to have to twist right around with my left arm stretching back behind me to reach the seat belt. In the end, I found it necessary to pull out the seat belt and hold it out, before getting into the car. I would open the door, then pull the seat belt out and hold it out, and then get into the drivers seat. I couldn't live with that hassle, and I wouldn't keep the car even if you gave it to me for free !!

I collected the car on a Friday lunchtime, and I took it back to Hertz, in the city centre, on the Saturday morning and took out a Kia Ceed estate instead !! The guy on the desk was really amused, but unfortunately I wasn't. The C200 Coupe is probably OK for someone in their twenties or thirties, but for me - absolutely no thank you. A horrible car.

Parkman.

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I have owned a number of Mercedes during the past 28 years and the classic models from the 80s and 90s were wonderful pieces of engineering. Everything went belly up in the noughries when the Daimler Chrysler bean counters took over. I moved away from the brand returning in 2014 for a time with a C class and e class cabriolet. Sadly the build quality of these later cars isn't very special for machines costing (in the case of my cabriolet) nearly £50k new. The service from their dealers is no better than Ford or Vauxhall and not as good as my local Fiat dealer. Don't have a breakdown as their recovery service (Allianz) is awful. Lexus build quality and service is streets ahead. With Mercedes the lead time for a service was around 3 weeks which is no use to me driving 500 miles a week. 

My message is to stick with Lexus 

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