2020 Nissan 370Z vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 370Z has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 370Z and the C-Class Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the 370Z 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the C-Class Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the C-Class Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 370Z’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 3 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

The 370Z’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6 produces 77 more horsepower (332 vs. 255) than the C 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The 370Z has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the C-Class Coupe (19 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The 370Z offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The 370Z stops shorter than the C-Class Coupe:

370Z

C-Class Coupe

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 370Z NISMO’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Coupe (F:245/40R19 & R:285/35R19 vs. F:225/45R18 & R:245/40R18).

Suspension and Handling

The 370Z NISMO handles at .99 G’s, while the C 300 pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 370Z executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the C 300 4MATIC (24.9 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 25.9 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 370Z’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the C 300’s (32.8 feet vs. 36.8 feet). The 370Z Sport/NISMO’s turning circle is 5.6 feet tighter than the AMG C 43 Coupe’s (34.1 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan 370Z may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 500 pounds less than the Mercedes C-Class Coupe.

The 370Z is 1 foot, 5 inches shorter than the AMG C 43 Coupe, making the 370Z easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the 370Z has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The C-Class Coupe uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The design of the Nissan 370Z amounts to more than styling. The 370Z has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd (optional .29 Cd with Sport). That is lower than the C-Class Coupe (.32). A more efficient exterior helps the 370Z go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 370Z get better fuel mileage.

The 370Z Sport/Sport Touring/NISMO/50th Anniversary Edition uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Ergonomics

The 370Z’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Mercedes does not offer a locking feature on the C-Class Coupe’s standard power windows.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 370Z is less expensive to operate than the C-Class Coupe because it costs $706 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 370Z than the C-Class Coupe, including $16 less for a water pump, $373 less for a muffler, $28 less for front brake pads, $62 less for a starter and $356 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan 370Z, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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