Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2010 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2010 Cadillac CTS Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2010 Mercedes Benz C-Class

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2010 Cadillac CTS

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C Class have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Cadillac CTS doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 Cadillac CTS has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The C Class has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The CTS doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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

Reliability Comparison

The C Class’ reliability is better than the CTS’. In Consumer Reports, the C Class’ reliability is 17% better.

Engine Comparison

The C350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 223) than the CTS’ standard 3.0 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the C350 is faster than the Cadillac CTS 3.6 V6 (automatics tested):

C Class


Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.3 sec

17.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.5 sec

7.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

93 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the C Class’ engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the CTS:


C300 3.0 DOHC V6

2700 RPM

C350 3.5 DOHC V6

2400 RPM


5700 RPM


5200 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the C300 RWD Manual gets better fuel mileage than the CTS RWD Manual 3.6 V6 (18 city/26 hwy vs. 16 city/25 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The C Class stops shorter than the CTS:

C Class


60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

131 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) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CTS’ standard 55 series tires. The C Class Sport’s optional 225/40R18 front and 255/35R18 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the CTS 3.6 V6’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The C Class offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The CTS’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The C350 goes through Road & Track’s slalom faster than the CTS Sedan (63.8 vs. 63.7 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

The Mercedes C Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 500 pounds less than the Cadillac CTS.

The C Class is 9.3 inches shorter than the CTS, making the C Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Road & Track while under full throttle, the interior of the C350 is quieter than the CTS Sedan (74 vs. 77 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The C Class has .8 inches more rear hip room and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the CTS Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the C Class easier. The C Class’ trunk lift-over height is 26.4 inches, while the CTS’ liftover is 28.3 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the C Class offers cargo security. The CTS’ non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics Comparison

The C Class’ front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The CTS’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the C Class the driver can raise them all using the keyless remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor); on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the CTS can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The C Class has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The CTS doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

A power rear sun shade is optional in the C Class to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The CTS doesn’t offer a rear sun shade.

The C Class offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CTS has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C Class is less expensive to operate than the CTS because it costs $532 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the C Class than the CTS, including $160 less for a water pump, $455 less for an alternator, $87 less for front brake pads, $17 less for fuel injection, $447 less for a fuel pump and $39 less for a timing belt/chain.

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