Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 BMW 3 Series VS 2013 Mercedes C-Class Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 BMW 3 Series

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VS

2013 Mercedes C-Class

Safety Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The C-Class Sedan only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the C-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact 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 BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

C-Class Sedan

OVERALL STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

232

335

Leg Forces (l/r)

321/434 lbs.

821/801 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

2 Stars

HIC

150

351

Neck Injury Risk

32%

68%

Neck Stress

115 lbs.

145 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

275 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

174/298 lbs.

891/740 lbs.

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

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 BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

C-Class Sedan

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

184 lbs.

349 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Hip Force

688 lbs.

1012 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Max Damage Depth

17 inches

18 inches

HIC

291

331

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

46 G’s

Hip Force

513 lbs.

960 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the C-Class Sedan’s (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sedan 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 C-Class Sedan.

There are over 12 percent more BMW dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 3 Series Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the 3 Series Sedan’s reliability will be 50% better than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan C250 and 53% better than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan C350.

Engine Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan has more powerful engines than the C-Class Sedan:

Horsepower

Torque

328i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

335i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

ActiveHybrid 3 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

C250 Sedan 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

201 HP

229 lbs.-ft.

C300 Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

248 HP

251 lbs.-ft.

C350 Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

302 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the 335i is faster than the C350 Sedan (automatics tested):

3 Series Sedan

C-Class Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

4.8 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

14 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103.7 MPH

100.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the ActiveHybrid 3 gets better fuel mileage than the C250 Sedan (25 city/33 hwy vs. 22 city/31 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 3 Series Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the C-Class:

3 Series Sedan

C-Class

2WD

320i/Manual

23 city/34 hwy

n/a

328i/Manual

22 city/34 hwy

n/a

335i/Manual

20 city/30 hwy

n/a

320i/Auto

23 city/33 hwy

n/a

328i/Auto

23 city/33 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

C250

335i/Auto

23 city/33 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

C350

AWD

335i/Manual

20 city/28 hwy

n/a

328i/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

C300

335i/Auto

21 city/31 hwy

n/a

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sedan’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the 3 Series Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Mercedes only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the C-Class Sedan C300/C350.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 3 Series Sedan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the C-Class Sedan:

320i/328i

335i

C250/C300

C350 Sedan

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

11.6 inches

12.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

11.8 inches

11.8 inches

The 3 Series Sedan stops much shorter than the C-Class Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

C-Class Sedan

80 to 0 MPH

219 feet

241 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

164 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

135 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 3 Series Sedan offers optional 19-inch wheels. The C-Class Sedan’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 3 Series Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 3 Series Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the C-Class Sedan (110.6 inches vs. 108.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 3 Series Sedan is 2.3 inches wider in the rear than on the C-Class Sedan.

The 328i handles at .91 G’s, while the C350 Sedan pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The 328i goes through Road & Track’s slalom 5.2 MPH faster than the C350 Sedan (69 vs. 63.8 MPH).

The 328i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the C250 Sedan (25.9 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 27.2 seconds).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Road & Track, the interior of the 328i is quieter than the C250 Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

C-Class Sedan

At idle

39 dB

54 dB

Full-Throttle

70 dB

73 dB

50 MPH Cruising

60 dB

71 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan has 7.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Sedan (96 vs. 88.2).

The 3 Series Sedan has 3.2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan has a larger trunk than the C-Class Sedan (13 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an available heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 3 Series Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

When the 3 Series Sedan is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The C-Class Sedan’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the C-Class Sedan offer optional heated front seats. The 3 Series Sedan also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the C-Class Sedan.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i)’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the 3 Series Sedan owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 3 Series Sedan will cost $715 less than the C-Class Sedan over a five-year period.

The 3 Series Sedan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the 3 Series Sedan will retain 57% of its original price after two years, while the C-Class Sedan only retains 54% to 56%.

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