2019 Audi A4 vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The A4 has a standard Audi Backguard System that uses a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Audi Backguard System moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The A4 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The C-Class Sedan 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.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the A4’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the A4 and the C-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A4 is safer than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan:

 

A4

C-Class Sedan

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

236

246

Neck Injury Risk

25%

60%

Neck Stress

119 lbs.

147 lbs.

Neck Compression

47 lbs.

219 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi A4 is safer than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan:

 

A4

C-Class Sedan

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

308 lbs.

452 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

277

459

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

67 G’s

Hip Force

777 lbs.

949 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

12 inches

Hip Force

666 lbs.

769 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A4 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The C-Class Sedan was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

The A4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the C-Class Sedan’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi A4’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the C-Class Sedan’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the A4’s reliability 14 points higher than the C-Class Sedan.

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

On the EPA test cycle the A4 gets better fuel mileage than the C-Class Sedan:

 

 

A4

C-Class

 

2WD

40 TFSI/Auto

27 city/34 hwy

23 city/34 hwy

300/Auto

AWD

45 TFSI/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

22 city/33 hwy

300/Auto

 

 

n/a

19 city/27 hwy

AMG 43/Auto

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A4 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The C-Class Sedan requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The A4 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 Sedan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The A4 Auto’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The A4 stops shorter than the C-Class Sedan:

 

A4

C-Class Sedan

 

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Sedan (245/40R18 vs. 225/40R19).

The A4’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 C-Class Sedan’s optional 40 series front tires.

The A4 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the C-Class Sedan; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the C-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

The A4 Premium Plus Quattro handles at .92 G’s, while the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A4 Premium Plus Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the C 300 Sedan 4MATIC (25.3 seconds @ .74 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

Chassis

The design of the Audi A4 amounts to more than styling. The A4 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is lower than the C-Class Sedan (.3 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A4 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The A4 has 1.8 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom and .5 inches more rear legroom than the C-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The A4 has a larger trunk than the C-Class Sedan (13 vs. 12.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A4 easier. The A4’s trunk lift-over height is 26.9 inches, while the C-Class Sedan’s liftover is 28 inches.

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 A4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The A4’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the C-Class Sedan’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A4 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The A4 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the C-Class Sedan. The A4 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the C-Class Sedan.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A4 is less expensive to operate than the C-Class Sedan because it costs $315 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the A4 than the C-Class Sedan, including $263 less for a muffler, $251 less for a fuel pump and $462 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® chose the Audi A4 as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its June 2017 issue and they ranked the Audi A4 Premium Plus Quattro higher than the Mercedes C 300 Sedan.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A4 first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The C-Class Sedan isn’t in the top three.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos