2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan vs. 2019 Cadillac CTS

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

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 Cadillac CTS doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 CTS doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the C-Class Sedan and the CTS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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, 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 Mercedes C-Class Sedan is safer than the Cadillac CTS:

 

C-Class Sedan

CTS

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

138

204

Neck Injury Risk

24%

25%

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

246

328

Neck Stress

147 lbs.

200 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

311/161 lbs.

122/351 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Mercedes C-Class Sedan is safer than the CTS:

 

C-Class Sedan

CTS

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

161

183

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Femur Force R/L

1.2/1.3 kN

5.9/3.7 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

14%/1%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia forces R/L

2.8/2.4 kN

5.7/7.8 kN

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 Mercedes C-Class Sedan is safer than the Cadillac CTS:

 

C-Class Sedan

CTS

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

76

113

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

147 G’s

189 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

14 inches

HIC

248

297

Spine Acceleration

43 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

769 lbs.

892 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, 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 CTS was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the C-Class Sedan has a standard 800-amp battery. The CTS’ 730-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in reliability. With 39 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 27th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 13 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

C-Class

CTS

 

RWD

300/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

22 city/30 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Auto

 

 

n/a

19 city/29 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

AWD

300/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

21 city/29 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Auto

 

 

n/a

18 city/26 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

Regardless of its engine, the C-Class Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CTS V-Sport doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes C-Class Sedan higher (5 out of 10) than the Cadillac CTS (3 to 5). This means the C-Class Sedan produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CTS every 15,000 miles.

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 CTS.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the C-Class Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CTS:

 

C 300

AMG C 43

CTS

CTS V-Sport

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

12.4 inches

12.4 inches

The C-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the CTS:

 

C-Class

CTS

 

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

115 feet

Motor Trend

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 CTS doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The AMG C 43 Sedan handles at .93 G’s, while the CTS Premium pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The C 300 Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the CTS Luxury AWD (25.7 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis

The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 pounds less than the Cadillac CTS.

The C-Class Sedan is 11 inches shorter than the CTS, making the C-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the C-Class Sedan easier. The C-Class Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 28 inches, while the CTS’ liftover is 29.5 inches.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the C-Class Sedan’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CTS doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the CTS, 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.

If the windows are left open on the C-Class Sedan the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CTS can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The C-Class Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The CTS’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Model Availability

The Mercedes C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Cadillac CTS isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the C-Class Sedan owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the C-Class Sedan with a number “3” insurance rate while the CTS is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the CTS because typical repairs cost much less on the C-Class Sedan than the CTS, including $335 less for a muffler, $77 less for front brake pads, $73 less for a fuel pump, $1 less for front struts and $339 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

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

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Cadillac CTS by almost six to one during the 2018 model year.

© 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