2019 Audi A3 Cabriolet vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A3 Cabriolet has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The C-Class Cabriolet doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the A3 Cabriolet and the C-Class Cabriolet have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The A3 Cabriolet’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the C-Class Cabriolet’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi A3 Cabriolet’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the C-Class Cabriolet’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 10 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A3 Cabriolet uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on A3 Cabriolet 45 TSFI for maximum performance). The C-Class Cabriolet requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A3 Cabriolet higher (7 out of 10) than the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet (5). This means the A3 Cabriolet produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the C-Class Cabriolet every 15,000 miles.

The EPA certifies the Audi A3 Cabriolet as a “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV). The Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Transmission

The A3 Cabriolet offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The C-Class Cabriolet doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A3 Cabriolet Prestige’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Cabriolet (235/35R19 vs. 225/45R18).

The A3 Cabriolet Prestige’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the AMG C 43 Cabriolet’s optional 40 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the A3 Cabriolet’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the C 300 Cabriolet’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.8 feet). The A3 Cabriolet’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the AMG C 43 Cabriolet’s (36.1 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

The Audi A3 Cabriolet may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 600 pounds less than the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet.

The A3 Cabriolet is 10.4 inches shorter than the AMG C 43 Cabriolet, making the A3 Cabriolet easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The A3 Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top up than the C-Class Cabriolet with its top up (9.9 vs. 8.8 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 6th.

Ergonomics

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A3 Cabriolet to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The C-Class Cabriolet doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi A3 Cabriolet, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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