Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2015 BMW 3 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 Mercedes Benz C-Class

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2015 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. The BMW 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front 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’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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 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 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th.

Engine Comparison

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



C300 Sedan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

C400 Sedan 3.0 turbo V6

329 HP

354 lbs.-ft.

320i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

200 lbs.-ft.

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.

As tested in Motor Trend the C300 Sedan is faster than the 320i (automatics tested):

C-Class Sedan

3 Series Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.4 MPH

90.7 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the C400 Sedan is faster than the 3 Series (automatics tested):

C-Class Sedan

328i Sedan

335i Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.6 sec

4.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

14.2 sec

13.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.3 MPH

97.8 MPH

103.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The C-Class Sedan has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan ActiveHybrid/diesel’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 15 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The C-Class Sedan has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan’s standard fuel tank (18 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

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

113 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The C-Class Sedan has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The C-Class Sedan’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the C-Class Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the 3 Series Sedan (111.8 inches vs. 110.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the C-Class Sedan is 2.2 inches wider in the front than on the 3 Series Sedan.

The C400 Sedan 4MATIC handles at .88 G’s, while the 328i pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The C400 Sedan 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 328i (25.9 seconds @ .8 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the C-Class Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults or children, the C-Class Sedan offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the 3 Series Sedan, the C-Class Sedan offers an optional 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 standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The C-Class Sedan’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

Recommendations Comparison

The C-Class Sedan was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The 3 Series hasn’t been picked since 2014.

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