2020 Mercedes AMG C-Class Coupe vs. 2020 Ford Mustang

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 Ford Mustang 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 Mustang 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 Mustang’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

The AMG C 43 Coupe has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Mustang 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 Mustang only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the AMG C-Class Coupe and the Mustang have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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.

Warranty

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

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 Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

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The AMG C-Class Coupe has more powerful engines than the Mustang:

Horsepower

Torque

AMG C 43 Coupe 3.0 turbo V6

385 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 63 Coupe 4.0 turbo V8

469 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 63 S Coupe 4.0 turbo V8

503 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Mustang 2.3 turbo 4-cylinder

310 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Mustang 2.3 turbo 4-cylinder

330 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Mustang GT 5.0 DOHC V8

460 HP

420 lbs.-ft.

Mustang BULLITT 5.0 DOHC V8

480 HP

420 lbs.-ft.

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 Mustang doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The AMG C-Class Coupe has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Mustang EcoBoost’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The AMG C-Class Coupe has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Mustang GT’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 16 gallons).

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 Ford Mustang (3 to 5). This means the AMG C-Class Coupe produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Mustang 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 Mustang.

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 Mustang doesn’t offer an SMG.

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 Ford Mustang is not available with all-wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the AMG C-Class Coupe’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Mustang:

AMG C 43 Coupe

AMG C 63 S Coupe

Mustang

Mustang V8 PP

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

15.8 inches

12.6 inches

15 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

13 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 Mustang doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The AMG C-Class Coupe stops much shorter than the Mustang:

AMG C-Class Coupe

Mustang

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction and acceleration, the AMG C-Class Coupe has larger standard rear tires than the Mustang (245/40R18 vs. 235/55R17).

The AMG C 43 Coupe’s standard 225/45R18 front and 245/40R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mustang’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the AMG C-Class Coupe has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Mustang.

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 Mustang 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 Mustang doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the AMG C-Class Coupe’s wheelbase is 4.7 inches longer than on the Mustang (111.8 inches vs. 107.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the AMG C-Class Coupe is 1.4 inches wider in the front than the track on the Mustang.

The AMG C 63 S Coupe handles at .98 G’s, while the Mustang GT Premium Fastback pulls only .96 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the AMG C 63 Coupe’s turning circle is 4.6 feet tighter than the Mustang GT Fastback Performance Pack 2’s (37.1 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis

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The AMG C 43 Coupe is 3.7 inches shorter than the Mustang, making the AMG C-Class Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The AMG C-Class Coupe has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more rear headroom and 3 inches more rear legroom than the Mustang Fastback.

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 Mustang’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the AMG C-Class Coupe’s trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Mustang doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The AMG C-Class Coupe uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Mustang uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 59% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Mustang Premium/BULLITT, 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.

The AMG C-Class Coupe’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Mustang, and is not available on all models.

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

The AMG C-Class Coupe’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Mustang has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

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 Mustang can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The AMG C-Class Coupe has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Mustang doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the AMG C-Class Coupe offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Mustang doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The AMG C-Class Coupe’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Mustang Premium.

When the AMG C-Class Coupe is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Mustang’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The AMG C-Class Coupe has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Mustang has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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 Mustang doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The AMG C-Class Coupe has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Mustang.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the AMG C-Class Coupe has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Mustang doesn’t offer rear vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes AMG C-Class offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Mustang doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Mustang 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 Ford Mustang isn’t available as a sedan.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the AMG C-Class Coupe is less expensive to operate than the Mustang because typical repairs cost much less on the AMG C-Class Coupe than the Mustang, including $17 less for front brake pads, $428 less for a timing belt/chain and $387 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mercedes AMG C-Class Coupe and the Ford Mustang, 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 Mustang isn’t in the top three in its category.

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