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BMW 3 Series Touring vs. Mercedes C-Class T-Model: comparison

Ralph Wagner
BMW 3 Series Touring vs. Mercedes C-Class
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W o it is only possible for the older ones among us to understand why the 3 Series is so important for BMW. Those who remember how in 1975 the 3 Series from the E21 series replaced the 02 Series, still without a black band between the taillights, but compact, handy and pleasantly spirited. Since then, not only 40 years have passed, but also another five model generations 3 Series.

BMW 3 Series Touring offers 495 l trunk volume

The current one is still what the E21 was back then : the sportiest premium car of the middle-class middle class, rear-wheel drive and active driving, but down to earth and suitable for everyday use. A T-model of the Mercedes C-Class has cheated its way to the BMW 3 Series Touring: next to the Audi A4, which is known to be replaced and is therefore out of the question as a comparative candidate, the traditional favorite opponent of the 3 Series.

In the meantime they have come so close that they hardly differ in their dimensions. Of course, nothing changed about that during the facelift: Compared to the BMW 3 Series Touring, the C-Class has ( for the launch of the BMW 3 Series ) a little more wheelbase (2,840 to 2,810 mm), is a little longer (4,702 to 4,633 mm) and has the insignificantly smaller trunk (490 to 495 liters), both of which hold a maximum of almost exactly 1.5 cubic meters of cargo. These are decent, but not outstanding values ​​in the premium mid-range.

The dimensions of the interior are just as similar. In both, four adults will find decent, but not too lush space. The fact that you feel a little more comfortable in the front and back of the BMW 3 Series Touring is primarily due to the higher quality of the furnishings. This applies in any case if the optional sports seats are ordered for the two front seats (prices are not yet fixed) and the armchairs are wrapped in fine leather. At the rear, it is also better to sit on the standard seating because the BMW has the ergonomically more appropriate rear bench seat.

BMW 3 Series Touring delivers up to 326 hp

In the Mercedes, the knee angle is a bit acute Lean more strongly. For free. The differences are so small that you only notice them when you change trains directly. Just like those in the interior. The BMW 3 Series Touring is now a little more elegant and of higher qualityFitted out, it looks fresher and more modern compared to the Mercedes. But let's be honest, that wasn't so much different with the earlier generations of the 3 Series and C-Class either.

Of course, that's not what the facelift of the BMW 3 Series Touring is about, this time the focus is on the engines. There is a choice of six diesel engines and four petrol engines, covering the power spectrum from 116 to 313 (diesel) and 136 to 326 hp (petrol), with and without all-wheel drive and with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. So far everything is normal. The engines should all have become a bit more efficient, which is nothing sensational either.

But the fact that there will now be a three-cylinder engine in the BMW 3 Series Touring is a not so small paradigm shift for the manufacturer, who has a big M for engines in its name. The 318i shares with its four- and six-cylinder colleagues in the 320i, 330i and 340i the individual cubic capacities of almost 500 cubic meters each and the crankcase in what is known as a close-deck construction.

More options for the C-Class

The range of engines in the C-Class is not that strictly systematized , but it offers more options, which is also due to the fact that BMW has been split into 3 and 4 series since the F30 and the M models lead an independent life anyway. C-Class customers can choose the right drive from petrol engines between 129 and 510 hp and diesels between 116 and 204 hp.

There are also the hybrid models C 350 e (petrol) and C 300 h (Diesel), these options are still missing in the BMW 3 Series Touring. However, that will soon change, hybrid and electric drives are by no means new territory for BMW. The plug-in hybrid 330e with 252 HP system output has been announced for 2016. The question remains about the money.

The new 3 Series are a little more expensive, but this is also due to the more extensive standard equipment: The Advantage version already has cruise control with brake intervention and Park Distance Control as standard. The BMW 3 Series Touring costs from 31,900 euros as a 318i, the 316d is available from 34,300 euros. There is still some room for the cheapest C-Class T-model, which is not available for less than 33,350 euros. But that wasn't any different in the past.


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