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

3-Series | October 15th, 2011 by 28

Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz took off the veil of their latest update to the popular C-Class family. The facelifted C-Class launched in 2011 and competes …

Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz took off the veil of their latest update to the popular C-Class family. The facelifted C-Class launched in 2011 and competes directly with the BMW 3 Series. With the launch of the new 2012 BMW 3 Series, we decided to create a new photo comparison showcasing the design lines of the two vehicles.

Design wise, the facelift 2012 Mercedes C-Class brings small changes to the current exterior design. The tweaks are limited to a new aluminum hood, slightly revised headlights and a set of LED running lights situated below. The distinctive depth of the lights are achieved by LED indicators located in the center that appear to float in front of the more deeply set red LED bands above and below. At the rear-end, the changes are even more subtle.

A continuous character line on the upper edge of the rear bumper runs into the fenders of the C-Class to provide a connection to the sides and emphasizes the sporty character of the rear view.

The interior of the C-class has been restyled to reflect that of the E-class, with an angular instrument binnacle and improved materials. The company’s new telematics system will also make its debut before being gradually introduced to the rest of its model range. The system offers larger LCD displays, music played wireless via Bluetooth and the SMS displayed on the LCD screen.

The styling of the 2012 BMW 3 Series is also an evolution of the previous model. The styling follows the design language seen in the new 5 Series, with concave and convex shapes providing a sporty stance and image. The flanks of the car are shaped by an eye-catching double character line running alongside each other.

At the front, the headlights have been completely redesigned. For the first time, the lights end directly in the kidney grille, providing a 3D look. The kidney grille also inherits the 3D aspect as seen on the new 6 Series.

The rear lights continue the BMW L-shaped design positioned at the outer edges of the rear – accentuate the broad face of the wheels and wide track of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.

BMW has also redesigned the interior of the new 3 Series. The future model combines luxury with sportiness and different combinations of interior trim can be seen across the three lines: Sport, Luxury and Modern. The driver-focused cockpit is even more emphasized in the F30 3 Series being angled towards the driver by seven degrees.

The beautiful black panel display is now available for the fuel gauge, speedometer, tachometer and oil temperature gauge.

Take a look at the photo comparison below and share with us your thoughts.

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  • Tn

    The Merc’s center console stack is so fugly.

  • Tzm

    Only front of mercedes looks better than new 3 series. But the side, inside and back looks a lot better in 3 series than in Merc.

  • Ahmad Haziq

    I’ll take the F30. That C-Class now looks a bit dated. The interior is where physically the F30 is very strong at…

  • fruneed

    nothing to do….BMW WINS!!….battle between germans…MB class C is nice too…

  • Br

    The 3 series is still using traditional a handbrake? 

  • LexusLVR

    Kia Optima has both these drag queens beat.

  • Babken

    Design-wise no comparison at all since the Benz is much more better looking than the already outdated 3 Series. As for the rear, there’s no difference at all between the 5 and 3 Series which is a shame for BMW. Overall I’m hugely disappointed with the design of the new 3 Series. It doesn’t look like a premium vehicle at all but rather a Golf like car . The C-Class is the clear winner here for me.

    • daniel hoang

      The 3 series was designed be a sporty car which it is. It was never designed to be elegant and upscale like the C class. Even the interior of the 3 series is more sport orientated. Less cluttered buttons and even a traditional handbrake. There is no clear winner since both cars are designed for different groups of people, only a driving test comparison will determine the winner.

      • Babken

        That’s why the C-Class sedan is the obvious choice in its segment leaving no chance for the outdated 3 Series.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder how heavy it is.           

  • Bigk

    In pictures the new 3er wins out in ever category except for the mean front of the C.  BTW Merc needs to do something about their interiors and their computer system interface is made for people who are still using Commadore64 …

  • MasterCertified

    Drive them both then decide. I’ve owned, driven and sold both for a living. I drive a C250 coupe now. It’s unbelievably nice. Quiet, fast, fuel efficient, loaded with latest safety features. Watch out BMW, your 3-series is about to be de-throned!

    • Babken

      It has already been dethroned, my friend.

    • Anonymous

      So the Benz and C-class has been playing catch-up?

      • Babken

        Now it’s BMW who is hopelessly playing a catch-up.

  • Me

    I like when BMWBLOG does this types of comparisons. I like the front end of the benz better and the Instrument panel.  But overall, think the F30 looks better.  Both are nice cars however

  • Auto Dealer Leads

    Both the cars looks good but I liked the BMW 3-series than the Mercedes C-class. The BMW looks great and the interiors are good with comfortable seats. The BMW car looks like a sports car and it seems luxurious as well. Thank you for sharing these pictures with everyone and keep sharing some good blogs like this….  

  • Efoza

    I know many would hate me for saying this but the Benz looks a lot better. This new 3 series is depressingly boring. I am just shocked by BMW’s mistake on this. They may as well start making Hondas if they want to continue down the path of making boring cars.

  • scooternva

    Sorry, but I just don’t like the way the navigation display sticks up like that. I prefer the E90’s integrated look. This looks like it was slapped on as an afterthought.

    Other than that, looks great.

  • Fredyschiftan

    Mercedes is looking sooooooo old and is just not interesting , BMW Will do very good again , cant wait to get my hands on one of them !!!

    • Efoza

      are you gay or what?

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