2021 BMW 3 Series or 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class? Pros and Cons Review

The rivalry between the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class is likely one of the oldest within the compact luxury sedan section. These two icons compete for supremacy with their very own approaches to model and efficiency. For 2021, these approaches have rarely been extra completely different, regardless of some specs being fairly comparable. Is the 2021 BMW Three Sequence higher than the 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class? Listed below are a few of the issues we made in our resolution.

2021 BMW Three Sequence: Professionals Over the C-Class


The present G20-generation Three Sequence was launched for the 2019 model year. In the meantime, the W205 C-Class went on sale for 2015 and received a refresh for 2019 that introduced styling, know-how, and efficiency enhancements. Newer doesn’t essentially imply higher, however the Three Sequence is indisputably a more energizing sight on the highway. The C-Class is beginning to look a bit acquainted. The tables will flip when the next-generation C-Class is revealed, likely for the 2022 model year.

Gas Economic system

With a couple of exceptions, the three Sequence achieves higher gasoline economic system than comparable C-Class rivals. The rear-drive 330i and C300 each have a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-Four producing 255 hp, however the Three Sequence makes use of an eight-speed computerized transmission whereas the C-Class has a nine-speed unit. However, the 330i will get 26/36 mpg metropolis/freeway, in response to the Environmental Safety Company, whereas the C300 sedan returns 23/35 mpg.

Up the vary, the M340i and C43 AMG every have a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder, which will get 23/32 mpg within the BMW and 18/27 mpg within the AMG. That’s regardless of the M340i having only a 2-hp deficit to the C43’s 385-hp output.

In a twist, the twin-turbo 3.0-liter I-6-powered M3 and M3 Competitors worsen gasoline economic system than the C63 and C63 S, which pack a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. The M vehicles are rated at 16/23 mpg, whereas the AMGs get 17/26 mpg—a shock contemplating their comparable energy output.

The 330e plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid is the clear selection for the economy-conscious. It will get a 75-mpg-e mixed score and roughly 22 miles of all-electric vary. There’s no hybrid equal within the C-Class lineup.


IntelliChoice is a MotorTrend subsidiary centered on determining car values. a five-year possession interval, the three Sequence vary earns an Above Common worth score whereas the C-Class lineup will get a Under Common rating. Nonetheless, the AMG fashions skew the general worth score of the C-Class. These earn Poor IntelliChoice worth scores as a consequence of their depreciation, thirst for gasoline, and costly upkeep prices. It’s been an analogous case with previous M3s. For extra entry-level fashions, the worth equations enhance. The C300 earns a Good score whereas the 330i will get the best Wonderful rating; anticipated five-year possession prices differ by about $2,000.

Transmission Decisions

Guide transmissions are an rising rarity in 2021, and the compact luxurious sedan section is not any exception. Each Three Sequence is provided with an eight-speed computerized transmission—except for one. The M3 is obtainable with a real six-speed, three-pedal, do-it-yourself guide transmission for extra driver involvement. Nonetheless, the more- highly effective M3 Competitors can solely be had with the automated. We’d desire that BMW provided a stick shift in additional Three Sequence fashions, but when there can solely be one, it’s a superb factor it’s the M3. Regardless, the eight-speed auto’s tuning is top-notch. In the meantime, each C-Class variant will get a nine-speed computerized transmission, not practically as satisfying for fans preferring to shift manually.

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Professionals Over the three Sequence


We’ll come proper out and say it: The C-Class seems higher than the three Sequence, in and out. The design is a couple of years previous however nonetheless seems good, with elegant, understated bodywork that’s offset by eye-catching LED headlights and taillights. Likewise, the cabin is fitted with massive panes of wooden and metal-look trim. In the meantime, the three Sequence is somewhat disjointed, sporting completely different styling cues that look neat individually however don’t come collectively cohesively. Its inside is relatively inartistic, to not point out riddled with buttons.

Between the AMG and M vehicles, there’s no comparability. The broad-shouldered C63 seems correctly muscular, whereas the M3 is simply straight-up—nicely, have you seen it?


For a car that goals to be a luxurious cruiser, the C-Class rides a bit firm. In any other case, although, it’s convincingly luxurious. Classical styling offers the C-Class a glance that’s distinctly Mercedes, whereas the inside enjoys supplies appropriate for the model’s highest-end sedans. The usual big-screen infotainment suite lends a contemporary vibe to the cabin.

In the meantime, the three Sequence feels nicely assembled however has some cheap-feeling particulars that point out its mid-tier standing in BMW’s vary. The obtainable M Sport suspension setup does probably the most to undermine the posh declare of the three Sequence. It’s stiff and uncomfortable and doesn’t return a worthwhile dealing with enchancment.


Regardless of being an older automobile, the C-Class has a technology edge over the three Sequence. The Mercedes comes normal with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The BMW can match with screens of the identical measurement, however these are elective or included relying on trim; twin 8.8-inch screens are normal. Even with the elective screens, the BMW’s graphics aren’t as enticing and crisp, and the C-Class provides extra choices to reconfigure and personalize readouts. For individuals who are simply going to plug of their smartphones, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are normal on each automobiles.


The three Sequence earned the 2020 Prime Security Decide designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the second-highest accolade from the establishment. Solely the Prime Security Decide+ designation is best—and the C-Class earned it. Each automobiles obtained the best doable rating of Good in each crash take a look at. Nonetheless, the entry-level headlights of the three Sequence bought the bottom rating of Poor. The fundamental headlights of the C-Class bought an Acceptable rating, the second-highest.

Each the C-Class and three Sequence embrace entrance computerized emergency braking and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The C-Class has blind-spot monitoring, which is elective on the three Sequence. To be able to obtain Prime Security Decide + standing, the C-Class have to be geared up with the Driver Help bundle, which provides rear cross-traffic alert, in addition to adaptive cruise management, lane-keep help, and emergency evasive steering, amongst different options.

The Verdict



As soon as the benchmark-setting compact luxurious sedan, the three Sequence appears to have misplaced its means. It falls someplace between luxurious and sporty—and doesn’t fairly succeed at being both. The C-Class feels extra determined in its mission. In fundamental trims, it’s snug and properly appointed, and the AMG fashions are correct enjoyable. Regardless of the case, the higher styling and know-how appointments of the C-Class make it our selection over the three Sequence.

2021 BMW Three Sequence: Professionals Over the C-Class

  • Newer
  • Higher gasoline economic system
  • Obtainable guide transmission
  • Stronger worth

2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Professionals Over the three Sequence

  • Higher wanting
  • Extra luxurious
  • Compelling normal tech
  • Greater IIHS security score

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