2020 Mercedes 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 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 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.

The C-Class Coupe offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Mustang 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 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 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 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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 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 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 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 C-Class Coupe higher (6 out of 10) than the Ford Mustang (3 to 5). This means the C-Class Coupe produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Mustang 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 Mustang.

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 Ford Mustang is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

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

C-Class Coupe

Mustang

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

The C-Class Coupe stops shorter than the Mustang:

C-Class Coupe

Mustang

60 to 0 MPH

109 feet

111 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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

The C-Class 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 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 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 Mustang doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

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 Mustang doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

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

For better maneuverability, the C 300’s turning circle is 4.9 feet tighter than the Mustang GT Fastback Performance Pack 2’s (36.8 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis

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The C-Class Coupe is 4 inches shorter than the Mustang, making the C-Class Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The 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 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 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 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 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. An easy entry system costs extra on the Mustang, and is not available on all models.

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 Mustang 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 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 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 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 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 standard 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 C-Class offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Mustang doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Mustang 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 Ford Mustang isn’t available as a sedan.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C-Class Coupe is less expensive to operate than the Mustang because typical repairs cost much less on the 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

© 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 2020/07/12

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

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