Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2009 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2009 BMW 5 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2009 Mercedes Benz C-Class

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2009 BMW 5

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C Class are height adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 5 Series doesn’t offer height adjustable seat belts.

Both the C Class and the 5 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Mercedes C Class is safer than the 5 Series Sedan:

C Class

5 Series



4 Stars

3 Stars

Head Injury Index



Chest forces

46 g’s

57 g’s

More stars indicate a better overall result. Lower numbers indicate better individual test results.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The C Class stops shorter than the 5 Series:

C Class

5 Series

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The C Class’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the 528i’s standard 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The C300 handles at .83 G’s, while the 5 Series Sedan pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The C350 goes through Road & Track’s slalom 3.1 MPH faster than the 5 Series Sedan (63.8 vs. 60.7 MPH).

For better maneuverability, the C Class’ turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the 5 Series’ (35.6 feet vs. 37.5 feet). The C Class’ turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the 5 Series AWD’s (35.6 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The C Class is 8.8 inches shorter than the 5 Series Sedan, making the C Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Mercedes C Class amounts to more than styling. The C Class offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .27 to .3 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the 5 Series (.29 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the C Class get better fuel mileage.

Ergonomics Comparison

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the C Class has standard extendable sun visors. The 5 Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the C Class owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the C Class will cost $693 less than the 5 Series over a five year period.

The C Class is less expensive to operate than the 5 Series because of its lower insurance rate. Typical repairs cost much less on the C Class than the 5 Series, including $79 less for a water pump, $115 less for a fuel pump, $168 less for front struts and $372 less for a timing belt/chain.

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