Comparison: 2008 Lexus IS 250 vs. 2008 Mercedes C200k

The Lexus IS 250 vs. The Mercedes C200K

British car mag Auto Express has pitted the Lexus IS 250 against the Europe-only C200K version of the new Mercedes C-Class, with the Mercedes coming up with the win:

The IS’s V6 has more character than the C-Class’s four-cylinder engine, but isn’t any pacier, unless pushed hard. The IS250 costs more in SE-L trim, too, and it doesn’t ride as well, either.

Yet these aren’t the only reasons why the Mercedes takes victory. The new C-Class is simply more talented. Yes, the cabin is plain and finished in brittle plastics, but it has extra room, plus the driving position is better and the boot bigger. What’s more, the C200K offers a smooth ride, sharp steering and excellent composure in corners – the Lexus is uninvolving in comparison.

The IS has always been renowned for comfort, and that’s still the case: for refinement, the Lexus is unsurpassed. But against the C-Class, that’s not enough.

As Mercedes’ best selling model, the C-Class needed to make a real statement with its latest version, and reviews have been extremely favorable, so it’s not all that surprising to see it best a car now three years into production.

(Europe has the craziest cars, seriously, a four-cylinder C-Class? Wow.)