2020 Mercedes AMG C-Class Coupe vs. 2020 Ford Shelby GT500

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 Shelby GT500 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 Shelby GT500 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 Shelby GT500’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 Shelby GT500 doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The AMG C 43 Coupe has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The AMG C-Class Coupe’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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 Shelby GT500 only offers a rear monitor.

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 Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the AMG C-Class Coupe and the Shelby GT500 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 and available 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 Shelby GT500’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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the AMG C 63 Coupe RWD Auto 4.0 twin-turbo V8 (469 HP) gets better fuel mileage than the Shelby GT500 Auto (17 city/26 hwy vs. 12 city/18 hwy).

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 Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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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 a seven-speed automatic is available for the Shelby GT500.

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 Shelby GT500 is not available with all-wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

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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 Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

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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 Shelby GT500 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 Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the AMG C-Class Coupe’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the Shelby GT500 (111.8 inches vs. 107 inches).

For better maneuverability, the AMG C 63 Coupe’s turning circle is 6.7 feet tighter than the Shelby GT500’s (37.1 feet vs. 43.8 feet). The AMG C 43 Coupe’s turning circle is 5.7 feet tighter than the Shelby GT500 Track Package’s (38.4 feet vs. 44.1 feet).

Chassis

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The AMG C 43 Coupe is 5.4 inches shorter than the Shelby GT500, 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 Shelby GT500.

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 Shelby GT500’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat 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 Shelby GT500 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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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 Shelby GT500, 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. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Shelby GT500 can only close 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 Shelby GT500’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the AMG C-Class Coupe detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Shelby GT500 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 charges extra for heated mirrors on the Shelby GT500.

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 Shelby GT500’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 Shelby GT500 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 Shelby GT500 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 Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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 Shelby GT500 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 Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

© 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 2020/04/05

The Mercedes AMG C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Ford Shelby GT500 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 2020/04/05

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

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