2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

Warranty

The 4 Series Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the C-Class Coupe’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4 Series Coupe for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the C-Class Coupe.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 440i Coupe has a standard 210-amp alternator (170-amp - 430i Coupe). The C-Class Coupe’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 4 Series Coupe’s reliability 33 points higher than the C-Class Coupe.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The C-Class Coupe isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

The 440i Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 65 more horsepower (320 vs. 255) and 57 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 273) than the C 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 4 Series Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the C-Class Coupe:

MPG

4 Series Coupe

RWD

Manual

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/33 hwy

Auto

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

AWD

Manual

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

18 city/28 hwy

Auto

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

C-Class Coupe

RWD

Auto

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

Auto

AMG 43 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/27 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the 4 Series Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the BMW 4 Series Coupe as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Transmission

The 4 Series Coupe offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 4 Series Coupe is 1.6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Coupe.

The 440i Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the C 300 4MATIC (25.5 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 25.9 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

Chassis

The design of the BMW 4 Series Coupe amounts to more than styling. The 4 Series Coupe has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the C-Class Coupe (.32). A more efficient exterior helps the 4 Series Coupe go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 4 Series Coupe get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 4 Series Coupe a Compact car, while the C-Class Coupe is rated a Subcompact.

The 4 Series Coupe has 10.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Coupe (90 vs. 79.3).

The 4 Series Coupe has 1 inch more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom and 1.7 inches more rear legroom than the C-Class Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The 4 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Coupe (15.7 vs. 10.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 4 Series Coupe to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The 4 Series Coupe has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 4 Series Coupe owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 4 Series Coupe with a number “1” insurance rate while the C-Class Coupe is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4 Series Coupe is less expensive to operate than the C-Class Coupe because it costs $346 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4 Series Coupe than the C-Class Coupe, including $42 less for a muffler, $587 less for a fuel pump and $145 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The 4 Series Coupe was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The C-Class Coupe has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 4 Series Coupe was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The C-Class Coupe has never been an “All Star.”

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

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