Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2014 Acura TL Near Phoenix, AZ

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2014 Mercedes Benz C-Class

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2014 Acura TL

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 Acura TL doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The C-Class Sedan’s optional front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The TL doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Acura TL has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The C-Class Sedan offers optional PRE-SAFE Brake, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The TL doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The C-Class Sedan’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The TL 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 TL 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 TL doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The C-Class Sedan has standard mbrace, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The TL doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the C-Class Sedan and the TL have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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 Acura TL:

C-Class Sedan




4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

39 lbs.

55 lbs.



4 Stars

3 Stars




Chest Compression

.9 inches

.9 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

121 lbs.

220 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

699/387 lbs.

1190/895 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 Mercedes C-Class Sedan is safer than the Acura TL:

C-Class Sedan



5 Stars

4 Stars

Front Seat


5 Stars

3 Stars




Chest Movement

.6 inches

1.4 inches

Abdominal Force

88 G’s

345 G’s

Hip Force

367 lbs.

449 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars




Spine Acceleration

54 G’s

61 G’s

Hip Force

832 lbs.

906 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

16 inches

18 inches

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

Warranty Comparison

There are over 14 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the C-Class Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the C-Class Sedan’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The TL’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the TL’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 8th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the C350 Sedan is faster than the Acura TL SH-AWD:

C-Class Sedan


Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9 sec

10.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.8 sec

15.7 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.7 sec

3 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.6 MPH

96.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the C300 Sedan 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the TL SH-AWD ® Auto (20 city/27 hwy vs. 18 city/26 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the C300/C350 Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The TL doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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 TL are solid, not vented.

The C-Class Sedan stops shorter than the TL:

C-Class Sedan


60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

107 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

148 feet

Consumer Reports

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 TL’s standard 50 series tires. The C-Class Sedan’s optional 255/35R18 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the TL SH-AWD ®’s optional 40 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 TL’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The C-Class Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52.4% to 47.6%) than the TL’s (58% to 42%). This gives the C-Class Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The C250 Sedan goes through Road & Track’s slalom 1.7 MPH faster than the TL SH-AWD ® (69.1 vs. 67.4 MPH).

The C350 Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the TL SH-AWD ® (26.1 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 26.5 seconds @ .67 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the TL’s (35.3 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 pounds less than the Acura TL.

The C-Class Sedan is 1 foot, 1.2 inches shorter than the TL, making the C-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Road & Track, the interior of the C250 Sedan is quieter than the TL SH-AWD ®:

C-Class Sedan



73 dB

78 dB

50 MPH Cruising

71 dB

72 dB

70 MPH Cruising

73 dB

76 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The C-Class Sedan has .2 inches more rear headroom and .1 inches more rear hip room than the TL.

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 TL’s liftover is 31.2 inches.

The C-Class Sedan’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The TL doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the TL, 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 optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The TL doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the C-Class Sedan and the TL have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the C-Class Sedan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The TL prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 TL’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 TL’s 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 TL 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 TL doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the C-Class Sedan offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The TL doesn’t offer cornering lights. The C-Class Sedan also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

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

The C-Class Sedan has standard 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 TL has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the C-Class Sedan offers an optional Distronic Plus, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The TL doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Optional Mercedes-Benz Apps for the C-Class Sedan allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including finding fuel prices at nearby service stations, searching the internet and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The TL doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the TL because typical repairs cost much less on the C-Class Sedan than the TL, including $334 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Mercedes C-Class Sedan as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Acura TL by almost four to one during 2013.

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