2020 Mercedes AMG C-Class Coupe vs. 2019 Cadillac ATS-V

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 AMG C-Class Coupe 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 Cadillac ATS-V doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The AMG C-Class Coupe’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The ATS-V doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Using vehicle speed sensors, smart airbags in the AMG C-Class Coupe deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The AMG C-Class Coupe’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The ATS-V’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The AMG C-Class Coupe has standard Active Brake Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The ATS-V offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The AMG C 43 Coupe has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The ATS-V doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The AMG C-Class Coupe offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The ATS-V 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 AMG C-Class Coupe’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 ATS-V doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the AMG C-Class Coupe and the ATS-V 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 17th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 9 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

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The AMG C 63 Coupe’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 5 more horsepower (469 vs. 464) and 34 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 445) than the ATS-V’s 3.6 turbo V6. The AMG C 63 S Coupe’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 39 more horsepower (503 vs. 464) and 71 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 445) than the ATS-V’s 3.6 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the AMG C-Class Coupe’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 ATS-V doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The AMG C-Class Coupe has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the ATS-V (17.4 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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

Transmission and Drivetrain

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The Mercedes AMG C-Class Coupe comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the ATS-V.

A nine-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Mercedes AMG C-Class Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the ATS-V.

The AMG C-Class Coupe offers an available 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 ATS-V doesn’t offer an SMG.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the AMG C-Class Coupe has a standard up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The ATS-V doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

All-wheel drive, available in the AMG C-Class Coupe, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all-wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Cadillac ATS-V is not available with all-wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the AMG C 63 S Coupe’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the ATS-V:

AMG C 63 S Coupe

ATS-V

Front Rotors

15.8 inches

14.5 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13.3 inches

The AMG C-Class Coupe S offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The ATS-V doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The AMG C-Class Coupe stops shorter than the ATS-V:

AMG C-Class Coupe

ATS-V

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

154 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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The AMG C 63 S Coupe’s optional 285/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ATS-V’s 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the AMG C 63 S Coupe offers optional 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels. The ATS-V’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the AMG C-Class Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The ATS-V doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The AMG C-Class Coupe’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 ATS-V doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the AMG C-Class Coupe’s wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than on the ATS-V (111.8 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the AMG C-Class Coupe is 3.3 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the ATS-V.

The AMG C 63 S Coupe handles at .98 G’s, while the ATS-V pulls only .97 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the AMG C 63 Coupe’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the ATS-V’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Passenger Space

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The AMG C-Class Coupe has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the ATS-V.

Cargo Capacity

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With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the AMG C-Class offers cargo security. The ATS-V’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

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

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the ATS-V, the AMG C-Class Coupe has standard driver and 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 AMG C-Class Coupe 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 ATS-V can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The AMG C-Class Coupe’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 ATS-V’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the AMG C-Class Coupe keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The ATS-V doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the AMG C-Class Coupe offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The ATS-V doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The AMG C-Class Coupe’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The ATS-V doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes AMG C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Cadillac ATS-V isn’t available as a convertible or 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 2020/02/23

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes AMG C-Class Coupe, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the AMG C-Class Coupe first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The ATS-V isn’t in the top three.

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

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