Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2012 Lincoln MKZ Near Phoenix, AZ

Responsive image

2012 Mercedes Benz C-Class

Responsive image
VS

2012 Lincoln MKZ

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C-Class Sedan 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 Lincoln MKZ doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C-Class Sedan 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 Lincoln MKZ has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The C-Class Sedan has standard NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The MKZ doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Mercedes C-Class Sedan has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The MKZ doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The C-Class Sedan’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The MKZ doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The C-Class Sedan offers optional Parktronic™ to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The MKZ doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The C-Class Sedan’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The MKZ doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the C-Class Sedan’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Lincoln MKZ has a metal gas tank.

Both the C-Class Sedan and the MKZ have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

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 Sedan is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:

C-Class Sedan

MKZ

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

35%

39%

Neck Stress

269 lbs.

390 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 38.5 MPH side impact tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the C-Class Sedan is safer than the MKZ:

C-Class Sedan

MKZ

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Head Injury Criteria

120

228

Thoracic Trauma

45

51

Pelvis Deceleration

39 G’s

78 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Head Injury Criteria

294

471

Thoracic Trauma

52

58

Pelvis Deceleration

38 G’s

77 G’s

More stars indicate a better chance of avoiding serious injuries. Lower numbers indicate better actual numeric test results.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Mercedes C-Class Sedan is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:

C-Class Sedan

MKZ

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

1 inches

Abdominal Force

159 G’s

253 G’s

Hip Force

349 lbs.

480 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

322

327

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

77 G’s

Hip Force

1012 lbs.

1075 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

331

393

Spine Acceleration

46 G’s

51 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the C-Class Sedan has a standard 700 amp battery. The MKZ’s 500 amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The C-Class Sedan has more powerful engines than the MKZ:

Horsepower

Torque

C250 Sedan 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

201 HP

229 lbs.-ft.

C300 Sedan 3.0 DOHC V6

228 HP

221 lbs.-ft.

C350 Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

302 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

MKZ Hybrid 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

191 HP

239 lbs.-ft.

MKZ 3.5 DOHC V6

263 HP

249 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the C250 Sedan is faster than the MKZ Hybrid:

C-Class Sedan

MKZ

Zero to 60 MPH

7.2 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16.5 sec

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

Torque

C250 Sedan 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

2000 RPM

C300 Sedan 3.0 DOHC V6

2700 RPM

C350 Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

3500 RPM

MKZ Hybrid 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

4500 RPM

MKZ 3.5 DOHC V6

4500 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the C300 Sedan 4Matic gets better fuel mileage than the MKZ AWD (18 city/25 hwy vs. 17 city/25 hwy).

The C-Class Sedan has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the MKZ AWD’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 16.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the C350 Sedan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the MKZ:

C350 Sedan

MKZ

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11 inches

The C-Class Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MKZ are solid, not vented.

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The C-Class Sedan has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The MKZ doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The C-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the MKZ:

C-Class Sedan

MKZ

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The C-Class Sedan Luxury’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the MKZ’s standard 50 series tires. The C-Class Sedan Sport’s optional 225/40R18 front and 255/35R18 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the MKZ’s optional 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The C-Class Sedan has a standard continuously variable suspension system. Using sensors on steering angle, speed and other driver inputs, the shocks soften to improve ride, or stiffen when appropriate to aid handling on tricky roads. The MKZ’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the C-Class Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the MKZ (108.7 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

The C-Class Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.5% to 47.5%) than the MKZ’s (61% to 39%). This gives the C-Class Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The C350 Sedan handles at .87 G’s, while the MKZ pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The C350 Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.5 seconds quicker than the MKZ (26.5 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 2.2 feet tighter than the MKZ Hybrid’s (35.3 feet vs. 37.5 feet). The C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (35.3 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 200 pounds less than the Lincoln MKZ.

The C-Class Sedan is 9 inches shorter than the MKZ, making the C-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Mercedes C-Class Sedan amounts to more than styling. The C-Class Sedan has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is significantly lower than the MKZ (.32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the C-Class Sedan get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the C-Class Sedan easier. The C-Class Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.4 inches, while the MKZ’s liftover is 27.6 inches.

The C-Class Sedan’s optional rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The MKZ Hybrid doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

With its coupe or sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the C-Class offers cargo security. The MKZ’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the C-Class Sedan. The MKZ doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the MKZ, the C-Class Sedan offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

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

If the windows are left down on the C-Class Sedan 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 MKZ can only raise the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Keyless-Go optional on the C-Class Sedan allows the driver to unlock the doors, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the car in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Lincoln MKZ doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The C-Class Sedan 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 MKZ doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The C-Class Sedan’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 MKZ’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The C-Class Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The MKZ doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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

A power rear sunshade is optional in the C-Class Sedan to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The MKZ doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Both the C-Class Sedan and the MKZ offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the C-Class Sedan has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The MKZ doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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

C-Class Sedan

MKZ

Four Year

33% to 35%

24% to 27%

Two Year

51% to 54%

41% to 45%

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the MKZ because typical repairs cost much less on the C-Class Sedan than the MKZ, including $5 less for a water pump, $56 less for a starter, $495 less for a fuel pump, $587 less for front struts and $207 less for a timing belt/chain.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.