Recently we compared the BMW 3 Series with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, highlighting the 328i and C250 models. In this comparison, we’ll take a step down in price and compare the 320i with the C200, which start at $60,500 and $60,900 respectively. If you’re considering a mid-size luxury sedan in this price range, read below for our detailed 2015 BMW 328i and Mercedes-Benz C200 review and comparison.
With Sport, Modern, and Luxury variations available, the 320i has more options to choose from than the Benz. Unlike the BMW though, the C200 also offers a diesel-engine model.
Exterior and Styling
The C200’s new design features contrasting lines that stay true to that stylish, traditional Mercedes-Benz look. The 3D radiator grille sports the trademark star, and the lines flowing back to the rear offer sporty and elegant appeal. The 320i also has an elegant yet sporty appearance and features its trademark kidney grille. Like previous 3 Series models, the long bonnet and wheelbase hint at the car’s finely tuned driving dynamics.
Interior and Styling
Sporting an updated interior, the C200 has nicely matched materials along with stitched leather-look seats that look like the real deal. The seats are soft and supple, and there’s slightly more leg room in the back seat than you’ll find in the BMW. For an additional $3,454, the Vision Package upgrade adds head-up display and a panoramic sunroof, among other things. The BMW’s interior doesn’t impress like the Benz’s does, although it’s user-friendly iDrive system is superior to the C200’s Comand system. An upgrade takes the display screen up to 8.8-inches, while the Benz’s display can be upgraded to an 8.0-inch screen. Both sedans offer the same amount of boot space (480 litres) and 40:20:40 folding rear seats.
Under the Bonnet
Both sedans have 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged engines that produce 135 kW of power. Acceleration time from 0-100 Km/hr is also an identical 7.3 seconds, as is fuel consumption (6.0 L/100 Km). The Benz has a 7-speed transmission, while the BMW has a more responsive 8-speed.
On the Road
The C200 offers a smooth and quiet ride with minimal noise intrusion. Adding Airmatic suspension for $2,490 gives you two driving modes (Comfort and Sport) with an even smoother ride. The noise from the road and the engine is noticeably louder in the 320i, but its suspension handles smooth roads even better than the C200. Like the Benz, an upgrade to Adaptive M Suspension for $2,200 takes the ride to another level. Although the BMW is slightly more agile on the road, the Benz handles bumpy roads better in addition to having tighter steering and less body roll.
Each sedan features blind-spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, and a self-parking system. While the C200 just has the rearview camera, the 320i has a surround-view camera. Unlike the 320i, though, the C200 has a collision warning system that applies the brakes if a collision is imminent, and it also offers slightly better airbag protection.
Both of these sedans offer the best value to date compared to their predecessors, providing solid performance, economy, comfort, and technology. Although the Benz’s Comand system can’t compete with BMW’s iDrive, our clear winner in this comparison is the C200 due to its more refined interior and better handling on the road.