In this exercise, we’ll compare the recently-announced 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W206) against its main rival, the G20 BMW 3 Series. This is merely a visual comparison as the W206 C-Class has yet to arrive in Malaysia.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W206) looks sharper than its predecessor, with slimmer headlamps and taillamps. The front grille is now A-shaped, which appears more aggressive.
The G20 BMW 3 Series should be a familiar sight by now, with its notched headlamps that is said to hark back to the E46 generation 3 Series and the enlarged grille.
At the rear, the taillamps of the W206 C-Class now stretches horizontally to the boot lid with a triangular design, which is now the current design cue of Mercedes-Benz.
The G20 3 Series’ taillamps feature “L” motif graphics with darkened areas. The exhaust tips are real and will pass any stick test.
|Dimensions||W206 C-Class||G20 3 Series|
In terms of exterior dimensions, the W206 C-Class is ever so slightly larger than the G20 3 Series, with longer wheelbase and overall length.
Even in the outgoing C-Class, the W205, the sweeping interior design has withstood the test of time quite well. In the new W206 C-Class, Mercedes-Benz has introduced a raft of technology, with larger screens and a reduction of physical buttons. It looks flashier than ever.
Over in the G20 3 Series, it’s identifiably BMW, which is to say conservative. There are some angular design elements and with metal trims to give the interior a little flair.
Infotainment and Tech
The W206 C-Class is equipped with the second generation of MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). It features the “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant, Smart Home, an integrated music streaming service and augmented reality (AR) technology. Over time, it will receive over-the-air (OTA) updates.
The G20 2 Series features BMW Live Cockpit Professional infotainment system, which runs on BMW Operating System 7.0. It features Intelligent Personal Assistant, a voice assistant that is similar to the C-Class.
There are a variety of engine choices for the C-Class from petrol to diesel, but we’re focusing on the options most that are more relevant to the Malaysian market - the C200 and C300.
|W206 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Powertrain|
|Engine||1.5L 4-cyl turbo,||2.0L 4-cyl turbo|
|Displacement||1,496 cc||1,999 cc|
|Transmission||9-speed auto||9-speed auto|
|Max. Power Output||204 PS||258 PS|
|Max. Torque||300 Nm||400 Nm|
The C200 is powered by a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with an integrated starter generator (ISG), producing 204 PS/300 Nm of torque. Meanwhile, The C300 gets a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with ISG as well. It makes 258 PS/400 Nm of torque, which coincidentally, is identical to the BMW 330i’s output.
Unlike the W206 C-Class, the 320i isn’t a mild-hybrid with 48V architecture. It gets a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 184 PS/300 Nm. The 330i features the same engine albeit tweaked to produce the aforementioned figure of 258 PS/400 Nm.
|G20 BMW 3 Series Powertrain|
|Engine||2.0L 4-cyl turbo||2.0L 4-cyl turbo|
|Displacement||1,998 cc||1,998 cc|
|Transmission||8-speed auto||8-speed auto|
|Max. Power Output||184 PS||258 PS|
|Max. Torque||300 Nm||400 Nm|
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gets upgraded ADAS, but it remains to be seen if our local spec model will receive them. So, we’ll hold off on comparing the ADAS for now.
And that’s about it for the comparison. Do you think the 2021 Mercedes-Benz C-Class is worth waiting for over the BMW 3 Series?