2020 Mercedes A-Class vs. 2020 BMW 3 Series 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 Mercedes A-Class have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

Both the A-Class and the 3 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

© 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

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

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Transmission

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The A-Class offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The A-Class stops much shorter than the 3 Series Sedan:

A-Class

3 Series Sedan

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

134 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

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The A-Class’ 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 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The A 220 4MATIC handles at .95 G’s, while the 330i xDrive pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the A-Class’ turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the 3 Series Sedan’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The A-Class’ turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the 3 Series Sedan xDrive’s (36.1 feet vs. 39.2 feet).

Chassis

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The Mercedes A-Class may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 550 pounds less than the BMW 3 Series Sedan.

The A-Class is 6.6 inches shorter than the 3 Series Sedan, making the A-Class easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The front step up height for the A-Class is 1.5 inches lower than the 3 Series Sedan (15” vs. 16.5”). The A-Class’ rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the 3 Series Sedan’s (15” vs. 16.3”).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the 3 Series Sedan, the A-Class has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The A-Class’ standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A-Class keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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