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Compare the2024 BMW M3VS 2023 Mercedes AMG C-Class Sedan

2024 BMW M3
2023 Mercedes AMG C-Class Sedan

Safety

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The BMW M3 has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The AMG C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a front passenger side knee airbag.

The M3 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 AMG C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The M3 has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The AMG C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The M3’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The AMG C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the M3 and the AMG C-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors and available around view monitors.

Warranty

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The M3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the AMG C-Class Sedan’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M3 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, air filter replacements, cabin filter replacement, brake fluid replacement, inspections, and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the AMG C-Class Sedan.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2023 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. With 9 fewer problems per 100 vehicles, JD Power ranks BMW higher than Mercedes.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2022 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW above average in long-term dependability. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles in the first three years of ownership, Mercedes is rated below average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ January 2023 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW third in overall reliability. Mercedes is ranked 24th.

Engine

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The M3’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 71 more horsepower (473 vs. 402) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 369) than the AMG C-Class Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid. The M3 Competition’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 101 more horsepower (503 vs. 402) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 369) than the AMG C-Class Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid. The M3 CS’ standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 141 more horsepower (543 vs. 402) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 369) than the AMG C-Class Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the M3 Competition is faster than the Mercedes AMG C-Class Sedan (automatics tested):

M3

AMG C-Class Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

3.5 sec

4.5 sec

Quarter Mile

11.6 sec

13 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

125.6 MPH

107.3 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the M3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the AMG C-Class Sedan:

M3

M3 CCB

AMG C-Class Sedan

Front Rotors

15 inches

15.7 inches

14.6 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

15 inches

12.6 inches

The M3 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 AMG C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The M3 stops shorter than the AMG C-Class Sedan:

M3

AMG C-Class Sedan

60 to 0 MPH

102 feet

103 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the M3 has larger tires than the AMG C-Class Sedan (F:275/40R18 & R:285/35R19 vs. 245/45R18).

The M3’s standard 275/40R18 front and 285/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the AMG C-Class Sedan’s standard 45 series tires. The M3’s optional 275/35R19 front and 285/30R20 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the AMG C-Class Sedan’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the M3 has standard 19-inch rear wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the AMG C-Class Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the M3 is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the AMG C-Class Sedan.

The M3 Competition handles at 1.03 G’s, while the AMG C 43 Sedan pulls only .95 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The M3 Competition executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the AMG C 43 Sedan (23.8 seconds @ .85 average G’s vs. 24.9 seconds @ .76 average G’s).

Chassis

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The BMW M3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 250 pounds less than the Mercedes AMG C-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

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The M3 has a larger trunk than the AMG C-Class Sedan (13 vs. 12.6 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 17% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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Laser headlights, optional on the M3, produce their light by firing blue lasers through phosphorus, a process that uses one-half the power of the AMG C-Class Sedan’s LED headlights. Laser headlights can have double the range of LEDs with a much smaller surface area.

Both the M3 and the AMG C-Class Sedan have standard heated front seats. The M3 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the AMG C-Class Sedan.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW M3 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the AMG C-Class Sedan.

Model Availability

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The M3 is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The AMG C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

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The BMW 3 Series outsold the Mercedes C-Class by 16% during 2022.

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