When it comes to famous automotive battles, there are a couple that immediately come to mind; Mustang versus Camaro, Corvette versus 911 and Ferrari versus Lamborghini. However, there’s an older battle, which admittedly only lasted one generation, that was absolutely epic in its time — the E30 BMW M3 versus the Mercedes-Benz 190E Cosworth.

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Back in the ’90s, these two cars had absolutely fantastic battles, both on road and on track. During their DTM days, they were also the two coolest cars on track. But now that decades have past since they’ve done battle, what are they actually like? In this comparison, we get to see what each of these legends is like to drive.

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What’s fascinating is the fact that, despite being direct competitors back in their day, the E30 BMW M3 and Mercedes 190E Cosworth are drastically different cars. They were both developed for racing originally, they both have four-cylinder engines and both have dog-leg gearboxes. But that’s about it, really.

The M3 is a small, spartan, two-door coupe while the 190E is a bigger four-door with comfy seats and all the luxury you’d expect from the standard road car. While the E30 M3’s engine is buzzy, high-strung and motorsport-inspired, the Merc’s four-cylinder Cosworth-tuned engine is torque-happy low-down, smooth and easy. Both cars are fast, capable and fun to drive but they go about it in very different ways.

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This is a very good read and one that’s worth your time. Both cars are extremely desirable and I’d gladly drive either one every day. However, like Highlander, there can only be one. So which is the better car; the more livable, comfortable and better looking 190E Cosworth or the more frenetic, potentially compromised, motorsport-inspired E30 BMW M3? The choice is tough but a choice is made at the end. Which would you choose?

[Source: Car Magazine]