2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class vs. Its Competition

2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

With the introduction of a base four-cylinder engine in the C250, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is now a more direct rival to the likes of the Audi A4--as well as the BMW 3-Series, which also gets a new four.

Compared to the A4, the C-Class is priced and equipped much the same, though the A4 offers quattro all-wheel drive though more of the lineup and its interior design is arguably still a step ahead.

The C-Class, on the other hand, offers a stronger luxury image.

BMW's 3-Series continues to stand out as the handling and steering champ, although its interior is also quite cramped.

The Lexus IS models remain competitive but lack the luxury sheen and desirability of most of this group, yet their prices are nearly the same.

Finally, Acura's TSX is a recommendation if don't mind giving up some image and want to save a few thousand dollars while getting an enjoyable, even slightly roomier compact sedan.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class
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2012 Acura TSX 5dr Sport Wagon I4 Auto Tech Pkg Angular Front Exterior View2012 Acura TSX
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2012 Audi A4 4-door Avant Wagon Auto quattro 2.0T Premium Angular Front Exterior View2012 Audi A4
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2012 BMW M3 2-door Coupe Angular Front Exterior View2012 BMW 3-Series
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Quick Specs
8.2
With a new base four-cylinder engine, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class makes even more sense for value-conscious (yet image-conscious) luxury shoppers.
8.0
With attractive designs and a light, efficient driving feel, the 2012 Acura TSX lineup strikes an ideal balance for a front-wheel-drive sport sedan or sport wagon.
8.2
The 2012 Audi A4 provides an engaging driving experience, impressive in-cabin technology, and surprisingly great fuel efficiency—making it a good everyday driver among premium sedans.
8.4
Despite the weight gain, the BMW M3's still one of the most stunning performance vehicles we've driven.
MSRP From   
$34,800$30,010$32,500$34,900
Gas Mileage   
15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy
Engine   
Turbocharged Gas I4Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4
EPA Class   
CompactCompactCompact CarsCompact Cars
Style Name   
4-Door Sedan C 250 Sport RWD4-Door Sedan I4 Automatic4-Door Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Premium4-Door Sedan 328i RWD
Drivetrain   
Rear Wheel DriveFront-Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
5555
Passenger Doors   
N/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style   
4 Door Sedan4 Door SedanSedanSedan
Transmission   
AutomaticAutomaticContinuously Variable RatioManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class vs. 2012 Acura TSX2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class vs. 2012 Audi A42012 Mercedes-Benz C Class vs. 2012 BMW 3-Series