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Lexus ES vs Mercedes-Benz A35

What's the difference?

Lexus ES
Lexus ES

$47,880 - $84,980

2023 price

Mercedes-Benz A35
Mercedes-Benz A35

$47,990 - $74,950

2020 price


2023 Lexus ES
2020 Mercedes-Benz A35
Safety Rating

Engine Type
Inline 4, 2.5L

Turbo 4, 2.0L
Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded/Electric

Premium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency
4.8L/100km (combined)

7.4L/100km (combined)

  • Dated interior, fiddly controls
  • Firm ride
  • Road and engine noise at speed

  • Media glitches
  • Back seat is tight
  • Terrible road noise
2023 Lexus ES Summary

What’s the closest thing we have to a modern-day Holden Statesman/Caprice?

If, like General Motors, you obliterate Australia’s Own from existence altogether, you’re left with time-honoured rivals also made in this country, like the Ford Fairlane, Chrysler by Chrysler and Toyota’s Crown and Avalon.

But they’re also all in history’s dustbin (well, the American ones, anyway), leaving the humble Camry as the sole living nameplate with any connection to Australian manufacturing.

And since the Lexus ES is a close relative, we’re going to take a fresh look at the latest version, with a view of it as a bit of a survivor of a bygone era – where aspirational vehicles were created from normal family sedans.

Just like the Fairlane, Crown and of course, the Caprice.

Launched in mid 2018 but facelifted in 2021, we test the ultimate version of the seventh-generation ES, the 300h Sports Luxury – or SL, if we’re to make yet another tenuous connection to long-gone Holdens.

Let’s go!

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2020 Mercedes-Benz A35 Summary

If you want a Mercedes-AMG A45 sedan, you’re dead out of luck - there isn’t going to be one. Your alternatives are the sleeker, more style-focused CLA 45 four-door ‘coupe’, or the A45 hatch, which is more often associated with boy racer types… with deep pockets.

Or you could buy this car - the Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic sedan. A lot of pundits have questioned the two-prong AMG strategy in the hatchback range, with the A35 slotting between the already-pretty-hot A250 4Matic and A45 S.

In the sedan line-up, however, there’s a different approach, with the Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic topping the range. So is it a fitting flagship for the small sedan line-up? It certainly has the tech, safety and equipment levels to live up to buyers’ expectations. 

And as a rival to the likes of the Audi S3 sedan, BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and its own sibling, the Mercedes-AMG CLA35, does it offer a compelling alternative?

Let’s go through it, criteria by criteria.

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Deep dive comparison

2023 Lexus ES 2020 Mercedes-Benz A35

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