2020 Mercedes C-Class Coupe vs. 2020 BMW M2

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 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 BMW M2 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The 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 M2 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The C-Class Coupe offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The M2 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The C-Class Coupe offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The M2 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 C-Class Coupe’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The M2 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the C-Class Coupe’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The M2 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the C-Class Coupe and the M2 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available lane departure warning systems.

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 Coupe’s warranty.

Reliability

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The M2’s redline is at 7600 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The C-Class Coupe has a 6500 RPM redline.

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-Class Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the M2:

MPG

C-Class Coupe

RWD

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

M2

RWD

Manual

3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

18 city/25 hwy

Auto

3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

17 city/23 hwy

The C-Class Coupe has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the M2 (17.4 vs. 13.7 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 C-Class Coupe higher (6 out of 10) than the BMW M2 (3). This means the C-Class Coupe produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the M2 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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The Mercedes C-Class Coupe comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the M2.

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes C-Class Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the M2.

All wheel drive, available in the 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 BMW M2 is not available with all wheel drive.

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 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 M2 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

The C-Class Coupe 300 has a standard 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 M2, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The 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 M2 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the C-Class Coupe’s wheelbase is 5.8 inches longer than on the M2 (111.8 inches vs. 106 inches).

For better maneuverability, the C 300’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the M2’s (36.8 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

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The design of the Mercedes C-Class Coupe amounts to more than styling. The C-Class Coupe has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the M2 (.35). A more efficient exterior helps the C-Class Coupe go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the C-Class Coupe get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The C-Class Coupe has .5 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more front shoulder room than the M2.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the C-Class Coupe easier. The C-Class Coupe’s trunk lift-over height is 25.3 inches, while the M2’s liftover is 27.3 inches.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 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 M2 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 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 Coupe has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The M2 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the M2, the C-Class Coupe offers an optional 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 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 M2 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The C-Class Coupe offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The M2 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The C-Class Coupe’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The M2 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.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the C-Class Coupe has standard extendable sun visors. The M2 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The C-Class Coupe’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The M2’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the C-Class Coupe keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The M2 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 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 M2 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The C-Class Coupe’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, stopping and changing direction automatically. The M2 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the BMW M2 isn’t available as a convertible or sedan.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the C-Class Coupe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the C-Class Coupe will cost $3355 to $3980 less than the M2 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 Coupe will be $10555 to $12830 less than for the BMW M2.

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 2020/10/26

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 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 M2 isn’t in the top three.

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