Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW i3 VS 2015 Mercedes B-Class Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 BMW i3

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VS

2015 Mercedes B-Class

Safety Comparison

The i3 offers optional crash mitigation brakes, 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 B-Class Electric Drive has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature which could reduce stopping distances.

Both the i3 and the B-Class Electric Drive have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and available rearview cameras.

Warranty Comparison

The i3’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the B-Class Electric Drive’s (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the i3 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the B-Class Electric Drive.

There are over 12 percent more BMW dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the i3’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW i3 is faster than the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive:

i3

B-Class Electric Drive

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

6.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.5 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.4 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the i3 without its range extender gets better fuel mileage than the B-Class Electric Drive (137 city/111 hwy vs. 85 city/82 hwy MPGe).

On the EPA test cycle the i3 REx running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the B-Class Electric Drive (117 Combined vs. 85 city/82 hwy MPGe).

The i3 REx’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 170.4 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The B-Class Electric Drive’s range is only 87 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The i3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the B-Class Electric Drive are solid, not vented.

The i3 stops much shorter than the B-Class Electric Drive:

i3

B-Class Electric Drive

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

188 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the i3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the B-Class Electric Drive. The i3’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the B-Class Electric Drive.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the i3 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than on the B-Class Electric Drive.

The i3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (48.2% to 51.8%) than the B-Class Electric Drive’s (58% to 42%). This gives the i3 more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the i3’s turning circle is 3.8 feet tighter than the B-Class Electric Drive’s (32.3 feet vs. 36.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The BMW i3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1050 to 1300 pounds less than the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive.

The i3 is 1 foot, 2.2 inches shorter than the B-Class Electric Drive, making the i3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics Comparison

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the i3 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The B-Class Electric Drive doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the i3 offers an optional adaptive cruise control, 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 B-Class Electric Drive doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Recommendations Comparison

The BMW i3 won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive didn't win any award.

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its September 2014 issue and the BMW i3 won out over the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive Station Wagon.

The BMW i3 outsold the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive by almost 8 to one during 2014.

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