2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan vs. 2019 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C-Class Sedan have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The C-Class Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C-Class Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

To help make backing safer, the C-Class Sedan’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The C-Class Sedan’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the C-Class Sedan and the 4 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the C-Class Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the C-Class Sedan’s warranty.

Engine

The C 300 Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (255 vs. 248) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the 430i Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The AMG C 43 Sedan’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 63 more horsepower (385 vs. 322) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (384 vs. 332) than the 440i Gran Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The C-Class Sedan has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (17.4 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Sedan, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the C-Class Sedan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

 

C 300

AMG C 43

430i

440i

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.2 inches

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

The C-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

 

C-Class

4 Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

The C-Class Sedan’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the C-Class Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the 4 Series Gran Coupe (111.8 inches vs. 110.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the C-Class Sedan is 1.1 inches wider in the front than the average track on the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

The AMG C 43 Sedan handles at .93 G’s, while the 430i Gran Coupe pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 250 pounds less than the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

The front grille of the C-Class Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The C-Class Sedan has .5 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.5 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the C-Class offers cargo security. The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 11% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

The C-Class Sedan has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the 4 Series Gran Coupe, the C-Class Sedan offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The C-Class Sedan’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the C-Class Sedan has standard extendable sun visors. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the C-Class Sedan keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the 4 Series Gran Coupe because typical repairs cost much less on the C-Class Sedan than the 4 Series Gran Coupe, including $101 less for a water pump, $49 less for front brake pads, $126 less for a starter, $659 less for a timing belt/chain and $78 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The C-Class Sedan was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The 4 Series hasn’t been picked since 2014.

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the BMW 4 Series by 85% during the 2018 model year.

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

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