Photo Comparison: 2011 BMW 3 Series Coupe vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

3-Series | February 14th, 2011 by 38
Mercedes C Klasse Coupé BMW 3er Coupé Bildvergleich Front1 750x500

Ahead of its Geneva debut, Mercedes-Benz previews the new 2012 C-Class Coupe. The new model takes a different approach and moves away from the compact …

Ahead of its Geneva debut, Mercedes-Benz previews the new 2012 C-Class Coupe. The new model takes a different approach and moves away from the compact look. Many design elements have been inherited from the C-Class sedan, similar front fascia and fenders as its four-door siblings.

To differentiate itself, the Coupe models receive a sweeping panoramic glass roof that’s nearly an inch and a half lower than the sedan. Interesting enough, the C-Class Coupe incorporates a kink in the quarter window design which somewhat reminds of the Hoffmeister Kink seen on BMWs.

The 2012 C-Class Coupe is built on the same platform as the sedan and uses the same 108.7-inch wheelbase, but it’s slightly lighter – 100 lbs. By comparison, the BMW 3 Series Coupe is nearly two centimeters shorter.

Mercedes C Klasse Coupé BMW 3er Coupé Bildvergleich Front 655x229

Mercedes C Klasse Coupé BMW 3er Coupé Bildvergleich Heck 655x243

At US launch, Mercedes will offer a base model, C250 Coupe, equipped with a direct-injection, turbocharged 1.8-liter I-4, which produces 201 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 229 pound-feet of torque from 2200-4300 rpm. The four-cylinder powered C250 Coupe has a standard fuel consumption of 6.5 to 7 liters per 100 kilometers.

BMW 325i Coupe is the one that comes close to C250. The six-cylinder 218 horsepower 325i Coupe runs to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds and has a standard consumption of 7.2 to 7.4 liters.

In Europe, Mercedes will launch the C180 Blue Efficiency powered by a four-cylinder engine. The car accelerates to 100 km/h in 9 seconds and has fuel consumption rating of 6.7 liters to 7.3 liters. Its counterpart in the BMW lineup is the 318i Coupe that has a standard consumption of 6.3 liters per 100 kilometers.

The higher-end C350 Coupes receive a direct-injection 3.5-liter V-6, which is rated at 302 horsepower at 6500 rpm, and 273 pound-feet of torque from 3500-5250 rpm. A seven-speed automatic transmission is matted to the engines which drives the rear wheels. 4Matic all-wheel drive will not be offered on the C-Class coupe. The BMW 335i Coupe runs to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds, but it consumes 8.4 liters, more than the Mercedes, which reports 6.8 to 7.0 liters.

Inside, Mercedes continues to offer the luxury touches its customer became accustomed to, along with some cutting-edge electronic wizardry.

As always, we decided to place the two vehicles head-to-head and compare them through images from different angles.

[Photo source: BimmerToday ]

38 responses to “Photo Comparison: 2011 BMW 3 Series Coupe vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe”

  1. Heddlu_Cymru M5 says:

    In my opinion, they’re both a great looking car and has great spec. The C looks a bit more aggresive than the 3-Series, but I just like the simplicity of the 3-Series. Too much LEDs going on the C just let me down a bit.

  2. Babken says:

    The new C-Class is the clear winner here. We’ll see what BMW will be able to do with the new 3 Series in order to compete with the new C-Class. But BMW should worry indeed as Mercedes-Benz is taking the fuel consumption advantage from their hands.

  3. Giom says:

    The Merc looks seriously uncomfortable to me. Like they tried something new that didn’t work. The kink in the c pillar, for instance.

    The Three series still rocks this duet!

  4. Stevie says:

    if you cover the front grill of the C coupe, the entire car looks like a honda accord coupe.
    Bmw 3 series coupe on the other hand is a winner for me, except the recent facelift bum me out. I like the pre-face life front look. more aggressive and sleek.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Especially the side-view of the C, it looks exactly like the new Honda Accord coupe. In my opinion, with respect to design, the 3 series is the superior choice. It is so clean looking. The C is trying to hard, its too aggressive; its design is “in your face”. Whereas the 3 series’ design is more subtle and only hints at the emotions it’s trying to convey. It’s an elegant, clean, powerful machine.

    • Tom says:

      i totally agree as well. preface coupe will go down in history. stunning and perfect design and nothing compares.

      The new 3er will be a better comparison here.

    • Davidjervistoronto says:

      Is English your third language?

  5. I am a big fan of Mercedes and I drive a CLK. I got to test drive a C-Class before as a rental car (when my car was in the shop), it was a C300 and I didn’t like the feel of the C-Class at all; visibility was really bad for me plus it felt really boxy. My old CLK just “feels” better to me; I think it’s because I can see more due to the C-pillar.

    I would need to test drive both the new C-class and BMW series in order to do a fair comparison as to which cars “feels” most comfortable. In terms of looks I prefer the Benz in this case; I like the lines around the roof and cockpit. It looks sleeker.

  6. wazon8 says:

    I’ve got two worries about feul consumption reports. First is that I’ve never met MB’s reports on fuel consumption that would have application, unless car is driven slowly. They are usually too optimistic or maybe, I find their predictions too optimistic, because I don’t know how statistical driver of MB does in fact drive her car. I know, however, that I’ve never reached the fuel consumption level that MB considers as average. But I did it in BMW without sacrificing driving dynamic too much.

    The seocnd worry is whether this C350 Coupe is of E350 BlueEfficiency kind. If it was, then it would provide as terrible performance against its competitors as E350 BlueEfficiency does against its own. In E350 BlueEfficiency small fuel consumption is gained by sacrificing perfomance hard. I’m not sure whether it’s what one looks for, when one looks for efficiency.

    • JakeM says:

      My parents have a 2002 E320 Sport which is rated at 21 mpg – but we average nearly 29 mpg – even if we drive it sporty.

      • wazon8 says:

        Do you mean W210 E320? If so, I had got much lower results – usually around 17 mpg during driving outside city and only 13 mpg while driving in mixed driving with predominence of city. Most of drivers of E320 W210, that I know, usually got 450km per tank in mixed driving. Perhaps, the meaning of sporty-driving deiffers for us. Or more siriously, your result sounds simply implausible. 8.2/100km in 9 years old car with with 3.5 litre pethrol engine. To get that you need to drive not only outside city all the time, but also treat gas pedal gently, even very gently, touch break pedal rarely and avoid taking passangers.

  7. Bryce says:

    Looks like the 3-series is ready for a redesign…

  8. StraightSix says:

    318i Coupe? In Europe 20i/20d is the initial offer for coupe.

  9. Anonymus says:

    From the side, the MB looks like an Honda Accord Coupe…
    The 3-series still get my vote.

  10. Ray says:

    The face-lifted 3 looks more impressive in person, but I still prefer the original better. Gotta give it to the C for having a more modern, up to date front-end.

    However, like many have already said, short of the front-end, the C looks like the current Accord Coupe. So I’d probably still take a 3 over the C.

  11. plaxico says:

    3er looks old ,uncomfortable and outdated. Merc wins !!

  12. Daniel Hoang says:

    The Benz would look much better with the pre facelift front. Other than that, The Benz looks really nice. But Until Car and Driver or Edmunds come out with there comparison, Ill go for the BMW since it has aready proved its superb driving dynamics.

  13. viper says:

    they look way too similar , its a matter of opinion , there are better MB’s than this one , but here Id pick the bmw , because its already established as a descent good competitor against c class , however I still like the c class interior more.

  14. Johny says:

    I think mercedes has a lack of imagination with these new designes

  15. Bence says:

    my vote is tied
    E46 Coupe is my favorite from 3er coupe series.
    Inside for me 3er is better, from outside I better like the Limo and Touring front than C-Class facelift, but this facelifted C-Class front s better than the current 3er Coupe front. The same is for the back.
    The sideview vote goes for 3er.

    So I have no winner.

  16. the new C Class Coupe looks nice, especially its front end with the LED daytime running lights.

    However, I will still go with BMW since the sporty is running in BMW’s blood!

  17. Na guys, you just got to thumbs up for the bemmer.
    Screw the Mercedez.

  18. Tony Williams says:

    No comparison really. Buy the Merc and enjoy or buy the BMW and let everyone know what a twat you are. Also expect to be cut up and pulled out on regullary.

  19. Raj says:

    Copy of the BMW, looks feminie. As far as I’m concerned no where as good as the BMW

  20. Tommybournemouth says:

    The New C63 Coupe with distroy the M3 !!! Can’t wait for it later this year in the UK

  21. Lemukani says:

    mercedes is always the BEST..this car is for people with visions..

  22. Alexander0530 says:

    For the front view, the C Class wins. The back view, the 3 series wins. The C class’ back view looks like a geo metro. For the side view, the 3 series wins again. The side view of the C class looks very similar to a honda accord coupe. Not bad design at all. It’s just a shame that your expensive C class could be mistaken to be a cheaper honda accord. The 3 series’ side view is distinctively BMW, sleek and elegant. Overall, the 3 series wins. Although if we include the interior design, between the two, the C class wins in the interior design. Both good looking cars though. Just can’t stand the geo metro looking behind of the C class.

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