The BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class have long been rivals, with each generation of these famous models trading blows in every category.
It competes directly with the Mercedes-Benz C300 Avantgarde – at R892,200 – which caters to a similar crowd.
Below, we compare these luxury sedans.
The latest BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class look strikingly different – with the newer BMW sporting an angular design, while the Mercedes-Benz has more rounded elements.
The Mzansi Edition styling package enhances the athletic look of the BMW by adding LED headlights with DRL, M Sport front and rear bumpers, unique side skirts, 19-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers, and LED backlighting behind the kidney grille.
Additionally, it’s treated to an exclusive front splitter as well as carbon fibre inserts on the front bumper, mirror caps, and rear spoiler.
The Shadowline option also comes standard on this model, and sees the fitment of a gloss black kidney grille, headlights surrounds, side sills, and rear diffuser – along with black chrome tailpipes.
In contrast, Mercedes-Benz’s Avantgarde trim aims for a classier look with its softer lines, rounder LED headlamps with DRL, 18-inch alloys, and chrome highlights.
The C300’s interior continues the design by offering an artificial leather upholstery, black-ash wood veneers, a 7-inch infotainment display, a multifunction steering wheel, and an analogue gauge cluster.
Once again, the Mzansi Edition package comes into play for the BMW on the inside.
This model receives two-tone Alcantara leather/Sensatec sports seats, an M Sport multifunction steering wheel, a sunroof, a 10.25-inch infotainment display, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
It also matches the C300 in maximum cargo capacity, at 480 litres.
These premium sedans share a large number of premium features.
Both come with automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, keyless entry and start, gearshift paddles, drive mode selectors, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Minor differences come in the form of three-zone climate control and ambient lighting in the BMW – where the Mercedes-Benz brings two-zone climate control and adaptive highbeam assist.
These apps talk with the owner’s smartphone to provide information like maintenance appointment reminders, optimised travel routes, and emergency services.
In the BMW, this includes all-round parking sensors, driver attentiveness assist, run-flat tyres, dynamic traction control, pull-away assist, ABS with cornering brake control, and six airbags.
In the Mercedes-Benz, an interior monitoring system, run-flat tyres, seven airbags, ABS with brake assist, and active parking assist with parktronic is available.
The BMW 320i Mzansi Edition is fitted with a 2.0-litre, turbo-petrol motor that produces 135kW and 300Nm, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.
The engine drives the rear wheels, achieves a combined fuel consumption of 6.3l/100km, and pushes the 320i to 100km/h in 7.1 seconds.
In the Mercedes-Benz C300 lies a 2.0-litre, turbo-petrol engine generating 190kW and 370Nm, mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
This combination drives the rear wheels, achieves a combined fuel consumption of 6.9l/100km, and completes the 100km/h sprint in 5.9 seconds.
The C-Class also measures 4,686mm long, 1,810mm wide, and 1,442mm tall, making it slightly shorter and narrower than the BMW.
If the optional tow hooks are fitted you will also be able to tow up to 1,600kg in the 320i, while the more powerful C300 boasts a maximum braked towing capacity of 1,800kg.
The BMW 320i Mzansi Edition has a South African price of R863,692.
Each purchase includes a 5-year/100,000km BMW Motorplan.
The Mercedes-Benz C300 Avantgarde has a South African price of R892,200.
Buyers receive a 5-year/100,000km PremiumDrive maintenance contract.