Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2014 BMW 3 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 Mercedes Benz C-Class

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VS

2014 BMW 3

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 BMW 3 Series Sedan 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 BMW 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer 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 3 Series Sedan offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature which would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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

C-Class Sedan

3 Series Sedan

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

34%

36%

Neck Compression

39 lbs.

113 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 BMW 3 Series Sedan:

C-Class Sedan

3 Series Sedan

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

144

258

Chest Movement

.6 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

88 G’s

232 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

320

326

Spine Acceleration

54 G’s

64 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

16 inches

17 inches

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

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 Mercedes C350 Sedan’s reliability will be 75% better than the BMW 3 Series Sedan 335i and the Mercedes C250 Sedan is 35% better than the BMW 3 Series Sedan 328i.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th, below the industry average.

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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 16th.

Engine Comparison

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

Horsepower

Torque

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.

320i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

328i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

335i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the C350 Sedan is faster than the 328i (automatics tested):

C-Class Sedan

3 Series Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

5.6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9 sec

9.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.8 sec

14.9 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.7 sec

3 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.6 MPH

97.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The C-Class Sedan has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan ActiveHybrid/diesel’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The C-Class Sedan has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

C-Class Sedan

3 Series Sedan

80 to 0 MPH

206 feet

225 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

124 feet

Road & Track

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 3 Series Sedan’s standard 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The C250 Sedan handles at .91 G’s, while the 335i pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The C250 Sedan goes through Road & Track’s slalom 2 MPH faster than the 328i (69.1 vs. 67.1 MPH).

For better maneuverability, the C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the 3 Series Sedan’s (35.3 feet vs. 37.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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 lower than the 3 Series Sedan (.29 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the C-Class Sedan get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Road & Track while under full throttle, the interior of the C250 Sedan is quieter than the 328i (73 vs. 75 dB).

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional in the 3 Series Sedan, 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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the C-Class Sedan has standard extendable sun visors. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the 3 Series Sedan because typical repairs cost less on the C-Class Sedan than the 3 Series Sedan, including $53 less for front brake pads and $174 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its February 2013 issue and they ranked the Mercedes C350 Sedan higher than the BMW 335i.

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