This puts the Mercedes-Benz in direct competition with BMW’s newest 2.0-litre, turbo-diesel, 3 Series – the 320d Mzansi Edition.
Despite the longer time the 3 Series has been on the road, the recently-added Mzansi Edition styling pack brings a refreshing design and exclusive features to level up the BMW’s game.
We compare these popular luxury sedans, below.
Design is an important factor in these premium sedans as the look of the new cars has never been further apart.
In the past, a healthy dash of athleticism and luxury could be found in either the Mercedes-Benz or BMW – but the newest models have a pure distinction in purpose.
The BMW 3 Series Mzansi Edition went for a sporty design with an exclusive front splitter and rear bumper, black side sills, LED backlighting for the black kidney grille, a carbon fibre lip spoiler, 19-inch M alloy wheels, red brake callipers, and black chrome tailpipes.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Avantgarde, however, went all-out luxury with swooping body lines, minimal angles, chrome detailing, and 18-inch alloys.
Inside, the stark difference continues as the Mercedes-Benz comes with artificial leather seats and a silver-grey trim – whereas the BMW sports an Alcantara/synthetic leather upholstery, M Sport seats and seatbelts, aluminium tetragon finishes, and a sunroof.
Both have striking LED headlights with daytime running lights and digital cabin layouts, too.
The 320d Mzansi Edition and C220d Avantgarde both offer an array of features that aim to make your life easier.
Fitted to both are automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting, LED door projectors, leather multifunction steering wheels, cruise control, and drive mode adjusters.
On the Mercedes-Benz, a new operating system that adds a 10-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10-inch infotainment display that protrudes out of the redesigned centre console were added.
This is used to access Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, online services, and just about every new feature that the C-Class offers, as the redesigned cabin has significantly fewer buttons than its predecessor.
Furthermore, every new C220d gets adaptive high beam assist, active brake assist, a reverse camera, parking sensors, and a fingerprint scanner that lets drivers save their preferred settings on their personal vehicle profile.
An active parking assistant fitted to the Mercedes-Benz then helps a driver maneuver the car into tight parking spots.
In the features department, the athletic 320d Mzansi Edition receives a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.25-inch infotainment display, pull-away assist, driver attentiveness alert, parking sensors, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and integrated navigation.
In addition, the BMW allows access to live traffic updates and adapted travel routes. This is an optional extra on the Mercedes-Benz.
Both manufacturers then have their own smartphone-connected apps – Mercedes Me for the C-Class and BMW Connected Services for the 3 Series.
These programmes allow you to monitor maintenance appointments, access emergency services, and keep important vehicle data on your smartphone.
Those buyers that have practicality high up on their checklist will be glad to know the new C-Class provides 455 litres of boot capacity and a maximum braked towing capacity of 1,800kg. The 3 Series offers 480 litres in the rear and a 1,600kg towing capacity.
Powering the Mercedes-Benz is a 2.0-litre, turbo-diesel engine that generates 147kW and 440Nm, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The range of engines in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class are all accompanied by a 48-volt integrated starter generator, too, which adds up to 15kW of temporary power through EQ Boost.
Drive in this model is sent to the rear wheels through an active damping suspension set-up, and reaching 100km/h from standstill takes 7.3 seconds.
Top speed for the C220d is rated at 245km/h, while combined fuel consumption comes in at 4.7l/100km.
At the front of the BMW 320d also lies a 2.0-litre, turbo-diesel engine.
This motor connects to an eight-speed sports automatic transmission in the Mzansi Edition, and produces 140kW and 400Nm.
Accelerating to 100km/h takes 6.8 seconds, top speed is pinned at 240km/h, and combined fuel consumption comes in at 4.8l/100km.
The Mercedes-Benz C220d Avantgarde has a South African price of R911,740.
Each purchase includes a 5-year/100,000km PremiumDrive maintenance contract.
The BMW 320d Mzansi Edition has a South African price of R908,126.
Along with this you get a 5-year/100,000km BMW Motorplan.