Is Lexus better than Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi?
This is a one-stop article for the ultimate comparison between the leading German car brands like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi and a Japanese brand Lexus. We also answer the following questions: Which is best when it comes to luxury? And which are the flagship models of the Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Lexus?
Is Lexus better than Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi?
No, Lexus is not better than Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi. Lexus is a luxury car maker owned by the Japanese automotive giant Toyota. Its headquarters is located in Nagoya prefecture. As Toyota manufactures small cars along with a few luxury models for the Japanese market, they wanted to create a more premium brand and sell luxury cars in the international market.
Lexus was launched globally in 1989 and America was its biggest market, in Europe, the company could not improve its brand image due to the lack of service centres. Lexus is considered a small brand across the European market even though the annual sales figures are almost equivalent to the German companies.
Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi are major car manufacturers in Germany. All three companies are rich in automotive history and have contributed to significant growth in the luxury automobile sector. In terms of luxury car sales and service globally, Mercedes Benz is on the top followed by BMW and then Audi. Mercedes Benz Headquarters and Main factory are located in Stuttgart, Germany. There are assembly plants located in the rest of the world. Audi is the only company out of Mercedes Benz and BMW that comes under a bigger Volkswagen group.
Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi make sedans, Sports utility vehicles and sports cars. Mercedes AMG and BMW M power are the two sub-brands that are solely focused on making higher performance models of standard cars. All four companies have a wide range of fully electric cars as the current aim of the automotive industry is to move towards a more sustainable technology and reduce the use of internal combustion engines. The following table summarises key information from all four companies.
|Number of models||25||20||17||12|
|Sub brands||AMG, Maybach, EQ||MINI, Rolls-Royce BMW Motorrad||–||–|
Additionally to passenger cars, Mercedes Benz also manufactures commercial vehicles and vans. BMW is also a prominent brand in Adventure motorcycling. BMW Motorrad makes some of the highest-selling motorcycles and the company sold more than 190,000 units in 2021.
Which is best when it comes to luxury?
When it comes to luxury, the Mercedes Benz is the best, BMW and Audi have similar levels of luxury and comfort while the Lexus is last in terms of luxury and comfort. Mercedes Benz even has the Mercedes Maybach brand which makes luxurious models of the standard S, GLS, and G wagon models. The wheelbase is longer along with exclusive interior and exterior colour and a premium surround sound system.
BMW is more focused on the driving experience instead of luxury, the M performance parts like carbon fibre spoilers, front and rear bumper elements and special alloy wheels can be purchased at the time of buying the car. Audi has a similar program called Audi exclusive, which offers customers to personalise their cars. Customers can choose from different seat upholstery and interior trim elements by visiting Audi’s exclusive studio.
Lexus takes customers’ requests for special orders so that they can make their car more luxurious but custom orders are not available globally and the number of modifications is very limited. Lexus is a Luxurious brand of Toyota and its models are based on popular Toyota models so in a way they can be considered luxurious versions of a standard car. Therefore there are not many ways to customise the Lexus cars.
What are the flagship models of Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi and Lexus?
The flagship models of Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi and Lexus are as follows.
- Mercedes Benz S Class
Mercedes Benz’s flagship model is the S Class, it is the most luxurious car on offer by the German manufacturer. The S class comes with both petrol and diesel engine options with an inline 6 cylinder and a V8 engine. Mercedes Benz recently launched the seventh generation S Class with the most advanced driver assistance system and a Mercedes Benz S 600 Maybach is also available globally.
The latest S class also has new safety features like an active blindspot assist that can warn the passenger of any obstacle while opening the rear door. There is an audible as well as flashing of the interior ambient lights on the door. Passive safety systems are also included thanks to a rear seat passenger airbag for the Maybach model which can protect the passenger even if the seat is reclined
- BMW 7 series
The BMW 7 series is the flagship model of the BMW, it is a 4 door sedan with an extended-wheelbase body style. BMW launched a refreshed model of the 7 series in 2019 in order to compete with the S Class facelift but underneath the cosmetic changes, it is still the 2015 sixth-generation 7 series.
Mechanically there are no updates to the vehicle which makes it outdated compared to the newly launched S Class. The BMW 7 series had great handling thanks to the adaptable damping suspension and it is powered by a massive 4.4 litres V 8 engine that makes 530 horsepower and 750 NM of torque. Luxury cars with V12 12 engines are getting rare with strict emission standards, the 7 series is probably the last BMW flagship car which will have a V12 engine under the hood.
- Lexus LFA
Although Lexus is a luxury car maker it gave the world one of the best sports cars powered by a V10 engine. Initially, designers thought to make the entire body out of space-grade aluminium but after creating a prototype, they finally settled on making all the bodies out of carbon fibre. The carbon fibre material not only made the car lighter but also strengthened the entire chassis.
The V10 engine was specially tuned by the motorsport division of Yamaha and it is so well balanced that it can go from 1000 to 9000 RPMs in a few milliseconds. Lexus made only 500 units of the LFA and each unit was given to the customer on a two-year lease; so they will not make a profit from selling the car.
The Audi A8 is the top model and competes against the Mercedes Benz S Class in the luxury passenger car segment. Like the S Class, it is available in shorter and longer wheelbase versions. There is also a high-performance variant called the Audi S8 with Audi’s signature all-wheel-drive Quattro system. The A 8 is loaded with tech and comfort levels are very similar to the S Class and BMW 7 series.
There are also two independent android tablets which double up as rear entertainment displays for the passengers. Audi introduced the first A 8 in 1994 and since then there have been 4 generations. The use of space-grade aluminium has been carried over throughout the generations.
Other articles about Lexus you may be interested in
Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi continue to Dominate the luxury car market globally but Lexus is also planning to expand its factories in the rest of the world so that it can compete against the German brands. The Lexus also has the advantage of lower maintenance costs and better reliability. However, in the current state, the Lexus is simply not better than Mercedes Benz, BMW or the Audi.