2020 Mercedes AMG C-Class Sedan vs. 2020 Subaru WRX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/02/24

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes AMG C-Class Sedan 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 Subaru WRX doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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

The AMG C-Class Sedan offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The WRX only offers a rear monitor.

The AMG C-Class Sedan’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 WRX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the AMG C-Class Sedan and the WRX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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 Sedan comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The WRX’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 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

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The AMG C-Class Sedan has more powerful engines than the WRX:

Horsepower

Torque

AMG C 43 Sedan 3.0 turbo V6

385 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 63 Sedan 4.0 turbo V8

469 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 63 S Sedan 4.0 turbo V8

503 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

WRX 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

268 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

WRX STI 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder

310 HP

290 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the AMG C 43 Sedan 3.0 turbo V6 is faster than the Subaru WRX 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder (automatics tested):

AMG C-Class Sedan

WRX

Zero to 60 MPH

4.5 sec

5.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.2 sec

14.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.4 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.1 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108 MPH

99 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the AMG C 43 Sedan 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the WRX CVT with its standard engine (19 city/27 hwy vs. 18 city/24 hwy).

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

The AMG C-Class Sedan has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the WRX (17.4 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

The AMG C-Class Sedan 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 WRX doesn’t offer an SMG.

The AMG C-Class Sedan V8’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The WRX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

AMG C 43 Sedan

AMG C 63 S Sedan

WRX

WRX STI

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

15.8 inches

12.4 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

14.2 inches

11.3 inches

12.8 inches

The AMG C-Class Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the WRX are solid, not vented.

The AMG C-Class Sedan 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 WRX doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The AMG C-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the WRX:

AMG C-Class Sedan

WRX

70 to 0 MPH

147 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

101 feet

112 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction and acceleration, the AMG C-Class Sedan has larger standard rear tires than the WRX (245/40R18 vs. 235/45R17). The AMG C 63 Sedan’s rear tires are larger than the largest rear tires available on the WRX (265/40R18 vs. 245/40R18).

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

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

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

Suspension and Handling

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The AMG C-Class Sedan has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The WRX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The AMG C-Class Sedan’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 WRX doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the AMG C-Class Sedan’s wheelbase is 7.5 inches longer than on the WRX (111.8 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the AMG C-Class Sedan is 3 inches wider in the front and .5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the WRX.

The AMG C-Class Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56.3% to 43.7%) than the WRX’s (58.4% to 41.6%). This gives the AMG C-Class Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The AMG C 63 S Sedan handles at 1.01 G’s, while the WRX pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The AMG C 63 S Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the WRX (24.1 seconds @ .86 average G’s vs. 25.7 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the AMG C 63 S Sedan is quieter than the WRX STI:

AMG C-Class Sedan

WRX

At idle

41 dB

54 dB

Full-Throttle

78 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

75 dB

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/02/24

The AMG C-Class Sedan has 5.1 inches more front hip room, 4.1 inches more rear hip room and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the WRX.

Cargo Capacity

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The AMG C Sedan has a larger trunk than the WRX (12.6 vs. 12 cubic feet).

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

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

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 41% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.

Ergonomics

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When three different drivers share the AMG C-Class Sedan, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The WRX doesn’t offer a memory system.

The AMG C-Class Sedan’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 WRX doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The AMG C-Class Sedan 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 WRX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The AMG C-Class Sedan’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The WRX 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.

The power windows standard on both the AMG C-Class Sedan and the WRX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the AMG C-Class Sedan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The WRX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The AMG C-Class Sedan’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The WRX’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the AMG C-Class Sedan 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 WRX can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The AMG C-Class Sedan’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 WRX’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The AMG C-Class Sedan has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The WRX has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Premium/STI/Limited.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the AMG C-Class Sedan to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The WRX doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

When the AMG C-Class Sedan 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 WRX’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The AMG C-Class Sedan 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 WRX offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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

The AMG C-Class Sedan 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 is only available on the WRX STI.

Both the AMG C-Class Sedan and the WRX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the AMG C-Class Sedan has available rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The WRX doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat 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 WRX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The AMG C-Class Sedan’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The WRX 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 Subaru WRX isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

The AMG C-Class Sedan is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The WRX doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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