2019 Dodge Challenger vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Challenger has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Challenger and the C-Class Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, collision warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Dodge’s powertrain warranty covers the Challenger 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the C-Class Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the C-Class Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 6 times as many Dodge dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Challenger’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Challenger has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Challenger optional and 220 392/Hellcat). The C-Class Coupe’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine

The Challenger has more powerful engines than the C-Class Coupe:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Challenger 3.6 DOHC V6

305 HP

268 lbs.-ft.

Challenger R/T automatic 5.7 V8

372 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

Challenger R/T manual 5.7 V8

375 HP

410 lbs.-ft.

Challenger R/T Scat Pack 6.4 V8

485 HP

475 lbs.-ft.

Challenger SRT Hellcat 6.2 supercharged V8

717 HP

656 lbs.-ft.

Challenger Hellcat Redeye 6.2 supercharged V8

797 HP

707 lbs.-ft.

C 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 43 Coupe 3.0 turbo V6

385 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Challenger 5.7/6.4 V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Challenger has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the C-Class Coupe (18.5 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The Challenger offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The Challenger’s optional 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 Coupe doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Challenger Hellcat’s brake rotors are larger than those on the C-Class Coupe:

 

Challenger R/T/AWD

Challenger Scat Pack

Challenger Hellcat

C-Class

AMG C 43

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

15.4 inches

13 inches

14.2 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.8 inches

13.8 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

The Challenger stops shorter than the C-Class Coupe:

 

Challenger

C-Class

 

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Challenger has larger standard tires than the C-Class Coupe (235/55R18 vs. 225/45R18). The Challenger Widebody’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Coupe (305/35R20 vs. 225/45R18).

The Challenger Widebody’s 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 Coupe’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Challenger offers optional 20-inch wheels. The C-Class Coupe’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Challenger’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the C-Class Coupe (116.2 inches vs. 111.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Challenger is 2 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Coupe.

The Challenger Hellcat Redeye handles at .95 G’s, while the C 300 pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Challenger SRT Hellcat executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the C 300 4MATIC (24.7 seconds @ .85 average G’s vs. 25.9 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Challenger Scat Pack’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the AMG C 43 Coupe’s (37.8 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Challenger has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The C-Class Coupe uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Challenger a Compact car, while the C-Class Coupe is rated a Subcompact.

The Challenger offers optional seating for 5 passengers; the C-Class Coupe can only carry 4.

The Challenger has 14.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Coupe (93.7 vs. 79.3).

The Challenger has .5 inches more front headroom, 3.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-Class Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The Challenger has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Coupe (16.2 vs. 10.5 cubic feet).

Towing

The Challenger has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The C-Class Coupe has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Challenger’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The C-Class Coupe does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Challenger has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Challenger owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Challenger with a number “1” insurance rate while the C-Class Coupe is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Challenger is less expensive to operate than the C-Class Coupe because it costs $657 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Challenger than the C-Class Coupe, including $396 less for a water pump, $244 less for a starter, $140 less for fuel injection, $107 less for a fuel pump and $160 less for front struts.

Recommendations

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

The Dodge Challenger outsold the Mercedes C-Class by 10% during 2018.

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

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