Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 BMW M3 VS 2011 Mercedes C63 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2011 BMW M3

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2011 Mercedes C63

Safety Comparison

The M3 has standard child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The C63 doesn’t offer child safety locks.

Both the M3 and the C63 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 and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The M3’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the C63’s (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M3 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the C63.

There are over 12 percent more BMW dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it easier to get service under the M3’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The battery on the M3 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the M3’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The C63’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine Comparison

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the M3’s engine produces its peak torque at lower RPM’s than the C63 (3900 vs. 5000).

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the M3 SMG gets better fuel mileage than the C63 (14 city/20 hwy vs. 13 city/19 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The M3’s brakes have 10% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the C63 (694 vs. 629 square inches), so the M3 has more braking power available.

The M3 stops shorter than the C63:



80 to 0 MPH

195 feet

201 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

155 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

112 feet

116 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the M3’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C63 (F:245/40R18 & R:265/40R18 vs. F:235/40R18 & R:255/35R18).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The M3 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 C63’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The M3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.2% to 48.8%) than the C63’s (54.1% to 45.9%). This gives the M3 more stable handling and braking.

The M3 Sedan handles at .95 G’s, while the C63 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The M3 Sedan goes through Road & Track’s slalom 3.6 MPH faster than the C63 (72.9 vs. 69.3 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

The M3 Sedan is 5.6 inches shorter than the C63, making the M3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The M3's standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The C63 doesn't offer a retractable hardtop.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the M3 Sedan is quieter than the C63 (48 vs. 49 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The M3 Sedan has 4.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C63 (93 vs. 88.2).

The M3 Sedan has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear legroom and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the C63.

Ergonomics Comparison

The M3’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the C63.

The M3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The C63’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the M3 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The C63 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

While driving with high-beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the M3 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low-beams. The C63 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high-beams.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The M3 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the M3 will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the C63.



Four Year

42% to 44%


Two Year

60% to 62%


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