BMW 3-Series Vs. Mercedes-Benz C ClassEnlarge Photo
It's not all about power or fuel efficiency, however, in the luxury sedan class. Handling, ride quality, comfort, and features all play into the mix. Here the race is closer, with both cars delivering very well-built cabins wrapped in--mostly--quality materials. Both make some compromises for their price point in terms of plastics and controls, but both also do so better than all but a select few of the competition, notably Audi's A4.
Space and comfort are very good in the front seats of both the C Class and the 3-Series, though the redesigned 3-Series gains an extra inch of wheelbase mostly dedicated to rear-seat legroom--a much needed upgrade in this relatively compact class. Accordingly, it just edges out the C Class, which has a typically compressed rear-passenger experience.
On the technology front, both C Class and 3-Series offer many of the latest innovations, including telematics services, voice controls, and navigation/infotainment systems. Mercedes' COMAND system sometimes comes off a half-step behind being fully modern, however, with a slightly clunky interface despite packing many features inside. BMW's once-confusing iDrive, on the other hand, is slick and polished--and adds BMW Apps functionality for smartphone integration with music and social media apps as well as the standard multimedia you'd expect.
Safety-wise, these two models are also neck-and-neck. Both models earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick award, as well as top five-star overall scores from the federal government, but they fail to achieve a five in every category (both get four stars in side impact). However, the new 3-Series has some features more advanced than those in the mid-life C Class--features like wide-angle and birds-eye cameras for reversing.
While the numbers add up in the BMW 3-Series' favor, it may be hard for some to compare the two cars so coldly; they differ immensely in exterior and interior style, in ride and handling, and in the general atmosphere of the cabin. For those looking for luxury with a strong dash of performance, the 3-Series is a top choice, while those with more of an eye toward relaxed, luxurious comfort may prefer the C Class. At the same time, each of these models are offered in a vast range of trim and interior possibilities, giving you a chance to make them uniquely yours: warm or austere, sporty or plush.
|2013 BMW 3-Series||2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class|
|The 2013 BMW 3-Series is safe, fuel-efficient, and well-connected, yet it delivers the class-leading performance and handling that enthusiasts have come to expect.||For those who are image-conscious yet value-conscious, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class sedans and coupes make a lot of sense.|
|Read moreBusy interiors aside, the BMW 3-Series sedan and wagon have a trim, athletic look.||Read moreThe dramatic exterior and modern interior of the C Class models fit cohesively together, better than other smaller sport sedans.|
|Read moreConfident handling and a choice of strong turbo-six or turbo-four engines give the 3-Series its traditional dynamic excellence.||Read moreThere are several degrees of sportiness to the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class range, but the C 63 AMG pushes it to new heights. .|
|Read moreThe 3-Series is bigger than most of its rivals this time around, and with a wagon on the way, it's a flexible family option, too.||Read moreLimited back-seat space is the consequence of the C Class's compact dimensions, although it has the refinement of a larger car.|
|Read moreBMW's outfitted the latest 3-Series with lots of advanced safety features, and it earns a five-star safety rating.||Read moreThe Mercedes-Benz C Class has solid safety ratings, and some active-safety features that aren't typical in this class.|
|Read moreThe 3-Series has a vast range of options, but prices can hit breathtaking levels--even without some key features.||Read moreThe 2013 C Class models are luxury cars, and equipped that way--and their connectivity and tech offerings keep getting better.|
|Read moreGreat fuel economy, even in six-cylinder form, makes the 3-Series an unheralded green option for sport-sedan buyers, and a hybrid version is on the way.||Read moreFuel-efficiency is decent with the four-cylinder or V-6 engines, but its no surprise that the C 63 AMG is a guzzler.|
|from $32,550||from $35,350|
|from $29,945||from $32,876|
|Fuel Economy - Combined City and Highway|
|- TBD -||25|
|Front Leg Room (in)|
|Second Leg Room (in)|
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