2020 Audi RS 3 vs. 2020 Mercedes AMG C-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi RS 3 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 Mercedes AMG C-Class Sedan has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The RS 3 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The AMG C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the RS 3. But it costs extra on the AMG C-Class Sedan.

Both the RS 3 and the AMG C-Class Sedan 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The RS 3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the AMG C-Class Sedan’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 7 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The RS 3’s 2.5 turbo 5-cylinder produces 9 more horsepower (394 vs. 385) than the AMG C 43 Sedan’s standard 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi RS 3 is faster than the AMG C 43 Sedan:

RS 3

AMG C-Class

Zero to 30 MPH

1.3 sec

1.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.5 sec

4.5 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

5.7 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.7 sec

11.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

5.4 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.8 sec

3 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.2 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

11.9 sec

13.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

117 MPH

108 MPH

Top Speed

174 MPH

131 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/18

On the EPA test cycle the RS 3 gets better fuel mileage than the AMG C-Class Sedan:

MPG

RS 3

AWD

2.5 turbo 5-cyl.

19 city/28 hwy

AMG C-Class Sedan

RWD

63 4.0 turbo V8

18 city/27 hwy

63 S 4.0 turbo V8

18 city/27 hwy

AWD

43 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/27 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the RS 3’s front brake rotors are larger than those standard on the AMG C-Class Sedan:

RS 3

AMG C 43

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

14.2 inches

The RS 3 stops shorter than the AMG C-Class Sedan:

RS 3

AMG C-Class

80 to 0 MPH

204 feet

206 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

157 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

118 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the RS 3 has larger standard tires than the AMG C-Class Sedan (235/35R19 vs. 225/45R18). The RS 3’s optional front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the AMG C-Class Sedan (255/30R19 vs. 245/40R18).

The RS 3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the AMG C 43 Sedan’s standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires. The RS 3’s optional 255/30R19 front tires have a lower 30 series profile than the AMG C-Class Sedan’s optional 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RS 3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the AMG C 63 Sedan.

The RS 3 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the AMG C-Class Sedan; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the AMG C-Class Sedan don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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The RS 3 handles at .98 G’s, while the AMG C 43 Sedan pulls only .93 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the RS 3’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the AMG C 63 Sedan’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The RS 3’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the AMG C 43 Sedan’s (36.1 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Audi RS 3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 300 pounds less than the Mercedes AMG C-Class Sedan.

The RS 3 is 8.7 inches shorter than the AMG C 63 Sedan, making the RS 3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the RS 3 is quieter than the AMG C 63 S Sedan (42 vs. 52 dB).

Ergonomics

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Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the RS 3 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The AMG C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The RS 3 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The AMG C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi RS 3 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the AMG C-Class Sedan.

Economic Advantages

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The RS 3 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RS 3 will retain 46.8% of its original price after five years, while the AMG C-Class Sedan only retains 44.57% to 44.61%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi RS 3 will be $9946 to $15282 less than for the Mercedes AMG C-Class Sedan.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/02/18

The RS 3 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The AMG C-Class Sedan has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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

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