Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2016 Audi A4 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 Mercedes Benz C-Class

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VS

2016 Audi A4

Safety Comparison

The C-Class Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The A4 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The C-Class Sedan has a standard Collision Prevention Assist Plus, which uses 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 A4 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 A4 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 A4 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 A4 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 A4 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 A4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.

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 Audi A4:

C-Class Sedan

A4

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

24%

28%

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 Audi A4:

C-Class Sedan

A4

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

76

182

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.4 inches

Abdominal Force

147 G’s

253 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

20 inches

HIC

248

318

Spine Acceleration

43 G’s

50 G’s

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

Warranty Comparison

There are over 18 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the C-Class Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 14th.

Engine Comparison

The C300 Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (241 vs. 220) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the A4’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The C450 AMG’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 142 more horsepower (362 vs. 220) and 126 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 258) than the A4’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the C300 Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the A4:

C-Class Sedan

A4

2WD

4 cyl./Auto

25 city/34 hwy

24 city/31 hwy

AWD

4 cyl./Manual

n/a

22 city/32 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

24 city/31 hwy

21 city/30 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the C-Class 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 A4 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The C-Class Sedan has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the A4 (17.4 vs. 16.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the C-Class Sedan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A4:

C-Class Sedan

C450 AMG

A4

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

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 A4 are solid, not vented.

The C-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the A4:

C-Class Sedan

A4

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

166 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the C-Class Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A4 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The C-Class Sedan has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The A4’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The C-Class Sedan has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The A4 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 A4 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 A4 (111.8 inches vs. 110.6 inches).

The C450 AMG 4MATIC handles at .93 G’s, while the A4 2.0T Quattro pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The C300 Sedan 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the A4 2.0T Quattro (26.3 seconds @ .7 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the A4’s (36.8 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

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 A4 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the C-Class Sedan’s trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The C-Class Sedan also offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper. The A4 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the A4, 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 A4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The C-Class Sedan offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The A4 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left down on the C-Class Sedan the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the A4 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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 A4 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the C-Class Sedan offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The A4 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the C-Class 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 A4’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional air conditioned seats in the C-Class Sedan keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The A4 doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the C-Class Sedan 300’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The A4 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The C-Class Sedan has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the A4.

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 A4 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 A4 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The C-Class Sedan’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The A4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

Both the Mercedes C-Class Sedan and Audi A4 won an award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the C-Class Sedan second among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A4 isn’t in the top three.

The C-Class Sedan was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The A4 has never been an “All Star.”

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Audi A4/S4 by over three to one during the 2015 model year.

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