1st Place: Mercedes S420 CDI (522/650)
The benchmark in this class. High quality comfort and easy to use controls. Strong and fuel efficient. The perfect car for long distance traveling and business trips.

2nd Place: BMW 745d (503/650)
The BMW is the oldest in this group. Compared to the S-Class it is outperformed in most criteria. It is however fuel efficient, handles well and has good brakes.

3rd Place: Lexus LS600h (462/650)
The refinement and power of the hybrid are impressive. The comfort and braking qualities on the other hand are severely lacking. On rough roads, the suspension of the LS goes from comfortable to uncomfortable.

In overall driving, the diesel-powered Germans were more fuel efficient than the Lexus particularly in mixed driving which included city, country roads and highway.

Only in city driving did the Lexus win (9.8 L / 100 km vs 12.1 (BMW) and 11.6 (Mercedes)). Advantage? Hybrid.

On the Autobahn at a steady 180 km/h, the Lexus needed 24.5 L / 100 km, the BMW 16.6 L / 100 km and the Mercedes 15.4 L / 100 km.

Range wise, the Lexus needs to refuel after 661 km, BMW after 815 km and the Mercedes after 841 km. The range of the Lexus drops significantly if driven faster over 150 km/h on the Autobahn.

The Lexus LS600h also placed last because its small trunk volume space, which is a laughable 325 liters (that's in the same class as the BMW 3-Series, C-Class etc.). The BMW 745d had a 500 liter trunk, the Mercedes even boasted a 560 liter trunk and the most payload capacity as well.

Performance wise, all cars were clocked from 0-100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. At midrange acceleration at higher speeds past 180 km/h, the Lexus pulls away from the diesel competition by as much as 4 seconds. However the engine response of the Lexus is a bit sluggish. The Mercedes had the best engine response followed by the BMW.

The Lexus was the quietest car until 150 km/h. Past this speed the Lexus engine became louder and was measured to be louder than the diesel BMW and Mercedes.


Trunk Space
BMW 4/10
Lexus 0/10
Mercedes 5/10

Payload Capacity
BMW 3/5
Lexus 0/5
Mercedes 4/5

Engine Refinement
BMW 13/15
Lexus 14/15
Mercedes 14/15

Visual Quality Impression
BMW 14/15
Lexus 12/15
Mercedes 14/15

Interior Ergonomics and User friendliness
BMW 20/25
Lexus 17/25
Mercedes 24/25

BMW 20/25
Lexus 17/25
Mercedes 24/25

Overall Quietness (100 km/h)
BMW 8/10
Lexus 10/10
Mercedes 8/10

Interior Quietness (100 km/h)
BMW 4/5
Lexus 5/5
Mercedes 5/5

BMW 24/25
Lexus 25/25
Mercedes 25/25

BMW 13/15
Lexus 10/15
Mercedes 13/15

Steering Response
BMW 9/10
Lexus 7/10
Mercedes 9/10

Active Safety Features
BMW 11/20
Lexus 11/20
Mercedes 14/20

Brakes & Braking
BMW 9/10
Lexus 7/10
Mercedes 9/10

BMW 2/10
Lexus 0/10
Mercedes 2/10

BMW 3/10
Lexus 3/10
Mercedes 3/10

Traction & Winter
BMW 7/10
Lexus 10/10
Mercedes 7/10

Resale Outlook
BMW 7/10
Lexus 1/10
Mercedes 8/10

BMW 745d vs Mercedes S420 CDI vs Lexus LS600h

About the Author