What's the Difference: BMW 3 Series vs Mercedes-Benz C-Class

 

BMW 3 Series vs Mercedes-Benz C-Class near Dallas, TX

In the battle for the ultimate sport-focused luxury sedan, the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class are both at the top of their game.

BMW's iconic 3 Series has long been the global standard for what a sport sedan should be. Power comes from a variety of turbo engines that range from an efficient four-cylinder or plug-in hybrid, all the way to a screaming TwinPower Turbo inline-six developed by the BMW M team. From cruising down Red River Roadway to taking friends to a Rangers game, the BMW 3 Series makes every drive a blast. Mercedes-Benz takes a similar approach, with plenty of engine choices culminating in an AMG® engineered, turbocharged inline-six that provides big thrills.

Inside, each vehicle offers enough room for small families thanks to spacious legroom and a rear seat that can easily fit child safety seats, along with a trunk big enough for groceries or a road trip to Cedar Hill State Park. Large touchscreen infotainment systems dominate the driver's space, and features like dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a panoramic sunroof with heated and cooled front seats up the luxury game.

Let's dive into each of these iconic sedans to find out which one reigns supreme.

BMW 3 Series vs Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Features BMW 3 Series Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Fuel Economy 21 MPG City - 23 MPG Highway 20 MPG City - 22 MPG Highway
Engine
  • 4-Cyl, Turbo, 2.0 Liter
  • 4-Cyl, Hybrid, Turbo, 2.0 Liter
  • 6-Cyl, Turbo, 3.0 Liter
  • 4-Cyl, Turbo, 2.0 Liter
Drivetrain AWD and RWD AWD and RWD
Cargo Space 13.20 cu ft 12.6 cu ft
Seating Capacity 5 5

BMW 3 Series vs Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Reliability and Quality

In general, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series are both reliable, high-quality vehicles that feature the best in German engineering and design.

The BMW 3 Series rates slightly above average for all overall reliability according to the experts at J.D. Power. Along with the better-than-average reliability ratings, the BMW 3 Series also comes with a comprehensive warranty program:
  • Basic New Vehicle Limited Warranty: four years / 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage
  • Roadside Assistance: four years / 50,000 miles

In addition to the outstanding warranty coverage, the BMW 3 Series also comes with no-charge scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles. Mercedes-Benz offers a nearly identical level of reliability according to J.D. Power, along with a similar warranty that includes complimentary scheduled maintenance services.

Performance and Efficiency

Performance is the name of the game with any sport sedan and the BMW 3 Series absolutely has the goods to deliver a thrilling drive.

BMW offers an array of engine options that include a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine (330i models), a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder BMW M TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine (M340i & M3 models), and a combination 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine & electric motor (330e models). Each engine is backed up by BMW's excellent eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard on core models like the 330i, but xDrive all-wheel drive is either standard or optional on every trim.

330i models have 255 horsepower and can scream to sixty miles per hour in only 5.5 seconds. Enthusiast drivers bent on speed will want to check out the M models that have up to 503 horsepower, 479 lb-ft of torque, and a sporty, race-tuned suspension. Every BMW 3-Series comes with My Modes, which allows drivers to change the driving experience of the BMW with the push of a button. Those looking for a more efficient drive will want to check out the 330e plug-in hybrid model that offers 22 miles of all-electric range,** making it perfect for short trips around Dallas. Gas-powered 2.0-liter models earn solid mpg estimates of up to 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg out on the highway.**

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class offers few powertrain options than the BMW 3 Series. On standard, non-AMG® models, there is only one engine: a 255 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder with a 48-volt hybrid system. Unlike the 3 Series, there is no plug-in variant, and the hybrid system is only in place to provide starting help and extra grunt when needed. AMG® models include the C43 AMG® with 402 horsepower and the C63 (2024) with a proposed 671 horsepower. All C-Class models come with DYNAMIC SELECT® which allows drivers to dial in comfort or performance at the push of a button. RWD is standard on the new C-Class, but 4MATIC® AWD is optional on every trim.

Safety and Driving Assistance

BMW has made driver safety a top priority for many years, and the latest 3 Series shows off the research and development that BMW has put into advanced driver assistance systems. Every 3 Series comes standard with six airbags and Active Driving Assistant, which includes Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation and Lane Departure Warning. Active Blind Spot Detection is optional on every 3 Series.

Drivers looking for more safety features and control should check the option box for the Driving Assistance Professional Package which includes an upgraded version of Active Driving Assitant. You'll get a Steering and Lane Keeping Assistant, Lane Change Assistant, Emergency Stop Assistant, and Evasion Aid assist. In addition, you'll get Active Cruise Control with a Stop&Go function and Extended Traffic Jam Assistant, which enables the 3 Series to basically drive itself at speeds under 40 miles per hour. There's even a Parking Assistance Package that includes front and rear park distance control and a surround-view monitor to navigate tight parking spots.

Mercedes-Benz outfits the C-Class with a similar suite of safety equipment. PRE-SAFE® reads information from onboard sensors to prepare the car for a collision in a matter of moments with brake assist, pre-tensioning the seat belts, and more. Blind Spot Assist with Exit Warning Assist makes sure that your blind spot is clear, along with keeping passengers safe from exiting into traffic. ATTENTION ASSIST® continuously scans drivers for up to 70 parameters to ensure that fatigue doesn't cause an accident. Overall, it's a comprehensive and safe package.

Infotainment and Technology

One of the first things you'll notice when you peer into the interior of the 3 Series is a beautiful piece of curved glass that stretches across nearly half of the dashboard.

The BMW Curved Display includes a 12.3-inch Digital Instrument Cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen Central Information Display. iDrive 8, a first for the 3-Series, runs the BMW Curved Display and allows for a level of personalization and customization that sets it apart from the rest of the pack. In addition to the giant display, there's also an optional heads-up display to help drivers keep their eyes on the road ahead. Other high-end tech includes wireless Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, Bluetooth® connectivity, and BMW's Intelligent Personal Assistant.

Inside the C-Class, high levels of technology are also available. An 11.9-inch multimedia MBUX touchscreen infotainment screen is mounted in portrait orientation for ease of use. Drivers also enjoy a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster that is reconfigurable to meet the needs of nearly any driver. Wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ are standard, along with "Hey, Mercedes", which allows drivers to use their voice to control the MBUX system.

Shop BMW 3 Series near Dallas, TX

Drivers looking for the ultimate luxury sports sedan near Dallas, Irving, Rockwall, Mesquite, Arlington, and Garland should make BMW of Dallas their first stop. Our dealership carries one of the largest selections of Certified Pre-Owned and new cars in the Dallas area, including a full selection of BMW M models. Every pre-owned vehicle we sell must pass a stringent 125-point inspection before it ever makes it on to our lot.

Once you test drive the BMW 3 Series, run your hands over the SensaTec upholstery, and hit the gas, we know you'll be in love with this iconic sedan. If you have a lease trade-in from BMW, we can handle that in-house. Looking to trade in your Audi A4? We accept trade-ins from all manufacturers. Once you're ready to get on the road, our in-house finance center will ensure you receive all the latest incentives and secure you an affordable monthly payment.

Maintaining your 3 Series will be easy in our advanced service center, complete with a customer lounge and more. No matter what your BMW needs are, BMW of Dallas wants to be your first and last call.

*Bluetooth® is a registered mark Bluetooth SIG, INC.

**Based on 2022 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition and other factors.