A battle older than time itself – BMW 3 Series against the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Although the BMW 3 Series has been with us for a longer time through 7 generations from 1975 (5 generations for the Merc, from 1982), the C-Class certainly gave and is still giving the 3 Series a run for its money.
For a time, the common knowledge when it comes to these two is that the 3 Series provides a sportier drive while the C-Class is a more relaxing and comfortable car to be in.
Now though, it’s not as straightforward anymore. BMW is on top their suspension game, balancing comfort and handling superbly. On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz has been rebranding their image to appeal to younger demographic, which inevitably leads to sportiness.
And to make it even more complicated, it’s spec dependent. Options like M Sport suspension on the BMW 330i or Airmatic suspension on the Mercedes-Benz C300 would tip the balance to either side of handling or comfort.
So to paint a clearer picture of what you will be getting should you go for either one of these, here is a specs comparison between the BMW 330i M Sport and the Mercedes-Benz C300 AMG Line.
Right off the bat, the 330i has a ZF sourced 8-speed automatic transmission that is said to be the best in the business. The C300 has an in-house developed 9-speed automatic transmission, it is said to be an improvement over the previous 7-speed transmission but still not quite up to par with the ZF.
Both are wearing the sportier outfit of M Sport and AMG Line packages respectively. The 330i rides on passive M Sport suspension with its much talked about lift-related dampers. The C300 has Airmatic suspension, which is the only car in its segment with air suspension.
The 330i wears 18-inch wheels versus the C300’s 19-inch wheels. Both are equipped with adaptive LED headlights, interior ambient lighting, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. Both are Apple CarPlay compatible but only the C300 has Android Auto.
For music lovers, the 330i has a 205-watt 10-speaker HiFi Loudspeaker system. The C300 has Burmester Sound System, capable of 590 watts channeling to 13 speakers.
The 330i only has a rear-view camera whereas the C300 gets a 360-degree camera. There is also a panoramic sunroof on the C300. Airbag count is up on the C300 by 1, the knee airbag.
Crucially, the C300 is equipped with ADAS while the 330i goes without, and it could be a deal-breaker for some.
The C300 has Active Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, and Active Brake Assist, but they don't work very well in our Malaysian road conditions as they trigger prematurely. They might just end up being disabled altogether and turn out to be not such a big deal after all.
While the 330i is not as well equipped as the C300, it is less expensive at RM 288,800 against the C300 at RM 304,888. On paper, the C300 has the upper hand, but do give both a test drive. You might end up liking how the 330i drives and feels, or it could reaffirm your decision to go for the C300.