2020 Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet vs. 2020 BMW 8 Series

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 C-Class Cabriolet 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 8 Series doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

Both the C-Class Cabriolet and the 8 Series 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the C 300 Cabriolet 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the 840i Convertible xDrive (21 city/29 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet higher (6 out of 10) than the BMW 8 Series (3). This means the C-Class Cabriolet produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 8 Series every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the 8 Series.

Brakes and Stopping

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The C-Class Cabriolet stops shorter than the 8 Series:

C-Class

8 Series

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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The C-Class Cabriolet offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 8 Series, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The C-Class Cabriolet’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 8 Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the C 300 Cabriolet’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the 8 Series’ (36.8 feet vs. 38.2 feet). The C 300 Cabriolet’s turning circle is 2.2 feet tighter than the 8 Series xDrive’s (36.8 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

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The C-Class Cabriolet is 6.7 inches shorter than the 8 Series, making the C-Class Cabriolet easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet amounts to more than styling. The C-Class Cabriolet has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is lower than the 8 Series (.31 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the C-Class Cabriolet get better fuel mileage.

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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The C-Class Cabriolet’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the 8 Series’ standard power windows.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the C-Class Cabriolet has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the C-Class Cabriolet has standard extendable sun visors. The 8 Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the C-Class Cabriolet owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the C-Class Cabriolet will cost $3245 to $3615 less than the 8 Series over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet will be $51010 to $52981 less than for the BMW 8 Series.

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 2020/02/29

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the C-Class Cabriolet first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 8 Series isn’t in the top three.

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the BMW 8 Series by almost 24 to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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