2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class vs. Its Competition

2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class 4-door Sedan C250 Sport RWD Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

Last year, Mercedes-Benz opened up the C Class models to a more competitive position in the compact sport-sedan class, thanks to the introduction of a base four-cylinder engine in the C250.

It's now more of a direct rival to the likes of the Audi A4, as well as the BMW 3-Series, which is now offered in turbo four-cylinder guise as the 328i.

Standard equipment is much the same in the C Class models, compared to the A3 or 3-Series, though the A4 offers quattro all-wheel drive though more of the lineup and its interior design is arguably still a step ahead.

The A4 is perhaps a rung lower in actual luxury image or prestige next to the C Class.

For handling, BMW's 3-Series continues to be the champ, and the richly appointed interior of the new models and improved ride no longer make it feel as compromised.

The current Lexus IS models feel a step behind the rest at this point; they lack the luxury sheen and desirability of most of this group, as well as the performance in base IS 250 form, yet their prices are nearly the same.

For less money, the Acura TSX might be worth considering, especially if getting a rear-wheel-drive sport sedan isn't your main reason for looking at the C Class.

2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class 4-door Sedan C250 Sport RWD Angular Front Exterior View2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class
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2013 Acura TSX2013 Acura TSX
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2013 Audi A42013 Audi A4
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2013 BMW 3-Series 4-door Sedan 335i RWD Angular Front Exterior View2013 BMW 3-Series
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2013 Infiniti G37 Sedan2013 INFINITI G37 Sedan
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2013 Lexus IS 3502013 Lexus IS 350
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Quick Specs
For those who are image-conscious yet value-conscious, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class sedans and coupes make a lot of sense.
For nearly all compact-sedan shoppers except serious enthusiasts or green-car fanatics, the 2013 Acura TSX strikes an agreeable compromise between sport-sedan attitude and premium-car practicality.
Magnificent design and technology sets the Audi A4 apart, but it's not quite as sporty as its BMW and Cadillac competition.
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.
The 2013 Infiniti G37 offers some of the sensory thrills of a sports car, in a more practical sedan body style, although it's not as refined as other premium-brand alternatives.
The 2013 Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 look like exciting sport sedans--especially in F Sport guise--though they're not as fun to drive or even as fuel-efficient as other small sport sedans.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy
Turbocharged Gas I4Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4Gas V6Gas V6
EPA Class     
CompactCompactCompact CarsCompact CarsMidsize CarsSub-Compact
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan C 250 Sport RWD4-Door Sedan I4 Automatic4-Door Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Premium4-Door Sedan 320i RWD South Africa4-Door Journey RWD350 4-Door Sedan RWD
Rear Wheel DriveFront-Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear-Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 Door SedanSedanSedanSedan4 Door SedanSedan
AutomaticAutomatic w/Manual ShiftContinuously Variable RatioAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/Manual Shift
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class vs. 2013 Acura TSX2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class vs. 2013 Audi A42013 Mercedes-Benz C Class vs. 2013 BMW 3-Series2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class vs. 2013 INFINITI G37 Sedan2013 Mercedes-Benz C Class vs. 2013 Lexus IS 350