2019 Ford Mustang vs. 2018 Mercedes C-Class Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

Warranty

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Mustang 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 8 times as many Ford dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Mustang’s warranty.

Reliability

The Mustang has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Mustang first among midsize sporty cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The C-Class Coupe isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

Engine

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

 

Horsepower

Torque

Mustang 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

310 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Mustang GT 5.0 DOHC V8

460 HP

420 lbs.-ft.

Mustang BULLITT 5.0 DOHC V8

480 HP

420 lbs.-ft.

C 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 43 Coupe 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Mustang EcoBoost is faster than the C 300 (automatics tested):

 

Mustang

C-Class

Zero to 60 MPH

5.3 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

13.9 sec

14.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.2 MPH

93.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Mustang Fastback EcoBoost Auto gets better fuel mileage than the C 300 RWD (21 city/32 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

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

The Mustang has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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

A 10-speed automatic is available on the Ford Mustang, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the C-Class Coupe.

The Mustang Manual’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 Coupe doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Mustang GT

Mustang GT opt.

C 300

AMG C 43

Front Rotors

13.9 inches

15 inches

13 inches

14.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

The Mustang stops shorter than the C-Class Coupe:

 

Mustang

C-Class

 

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Mustang has larger standard tires than the C-Class Coupe (235/55R17 vs. 225/45R18). The Mustang Premium’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Coupe (265/35R20 vs. 225/45R18).

The Mustang Premium’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 Coupe’s optional 40 series front tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mustang is .9 inches wider in the front and 4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Coupe.

The Mustang GT Premium Fastback handles at 1.00 G’s, while the C 300 4MATIC pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Mustang GT Premium Fastback executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the C 300 4MATIC (24 seconds @ .83 average G’s vs. 25.9 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Mustang (except Performance Pack) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Mustang uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Mustang Fastback has 3.1 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-Class Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The Mustang Fastback has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Coupe (13.5 vs. 10.5 cubic feet).

Towing

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

Ergonomics

The Mustang’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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Mustang is less expensive to operate than the C-Class Coupe because it costs $684 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Mustang than the C-Class Coupe, including $406 less for a water pump, $14 less for a muffler, $341 less for a starter, $139 less for fuel injection, $607 less for a fuel pump and $257 less for front struts.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Mustang third 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 Ford Mustang outsold the Mercedes C-Class by 6% during 2017.

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

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