2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan vs. 2019 Chrysler 300

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 Chrysler 300 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 300 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The C-Class Sedan offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 300 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 300 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the C-Class Sedan and the 300 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front 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 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 Chrysler 300:

 

C-Class Sedan

300

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

24%

31%

Neck Stress

203 lbs.

280 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

421/449 lbs.

617/568 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.9 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

311/161 lbs.

504/415 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 300:

 

C-Class Sedan

300

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

161

222

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

9 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

21 cm

28 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

1.2/1.3 kN

3.7/3 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

1%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.5/.43

1.21/.58

Tibia forces R/L

2.8/2.4 kN

3/4.7 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 Chrysler 300:

 

C-Class Sedan

300

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

76

236

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.4 inches

Abdominal Force

147 G’s

315 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

14 inches

HIC

248

302

Spine Acceleration

43 G’s

47 G’s

Hip Force

769 lbs.

910 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 300 was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

The C-Class Sedan comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 300’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The C-Class Sedan’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the 300 runs out after 100,000 miles.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the C-Class Sedan have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the 300.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the C-Class Sedan has a standard 800-amp battery. The 300’s 730-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Chrysler vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chrysler is ranked 26th, below the industry average.

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 Chrysler vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 15th in reliability. With 64 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chrysler is ranked 31st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Chrysler vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 3 places higher in reliability than Chrysler.

Engine

The C-Class Sedan has more powerful engines than the 300:

 

Horsepower

Torque

C 300 Sedan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 43 Sedan 3.0 turbo V6

385 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

300 3.6 DOHC V6

292 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

300S 3.6 DOHC V6

300 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

300 5.7 V8

363 HP

394 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the C-Class Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the 300:

 

 

C-Class

300

 

RWD

300/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

19 city/30 hwy

V6/Auto

 

 

n/a

16 city/25 hwy

V8/Auto

AWD

300/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

V6/Auto

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the C-Class Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The 300 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 Chrysler 300 (3). This means the C-Class Sedan produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 300 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 300.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the C-Class Sedan’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the 300:

 

C 300

AMG C 43

300

300 V8/AWD

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

The C-Class Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the 300 are solid, not vented.

The C-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the 300:

 

C-Class

300

 

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the C-Class Sedan has larger standard tires than the 300 (225/50R17 vs. 215/65R17).

The C-Class Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 300 Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The C-Class Sedan’s optional 225/40R19 front and 255/35R19 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the 300S/300C/Limited’s 45 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The C-Class Sedan offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The 300’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 300 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The AMG C 43 Sedan handles at .93 G’s, while the 300 Limited pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The C 300 Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the 300 (25.7 seconds vs. 27.2 seconds).

For better maneuverability, the C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the 300’s (36.8 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 pounds less than the Chrysler 300.

The C-Class Sedan is 1 foot, 2.1 inches shorter than the 300, making the C-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 300 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

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 300’s liftover is 30.1 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the C-Class offers cargo security. The 300’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

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 300 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Chrysler. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 80% lower rating, Chrysler is ranked 26th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the 300 (except Touring/Touring L), 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. An easy entry system costs extra on the 300, and is not available on all models.

The C-Class Sedan offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 300 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The C-Class Sedan’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The 300’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 300 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 300’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The C-Class Sedan’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 300 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Mercedes C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Chrysler 300 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the 300 because typical repairs cost much less on the C-Class Sedan than the 300, including $798 less for a muffler, $16 less for front brake pads, $456 less for front struts, $342 less for a timing belt/chain and $173 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The C-Class Sedan was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The 300 hasn’t been picked since 2007.

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Chrysler 300 by 32% during the 2018 model year.

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

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