BMW 316d vs Mercedes-Benz C180 CDI: Test Drive by ams

The duel between the 2 models is as old as the cars themselves. Over the years the 2 models had their ups and downs but most tests involved high end versions and not the entry-level ones we're talking about today.
BMW 316d vs Mercedes-Benz C180 CDI 7 photos
Photo: Auto Motor und Sport
BMW 316d vs Mercedes-Benz C180 CDIBMW 316d vs Mercedes-Benz C180 CDIBMW 316d vs Mercedes-Benz C180 CDIBMW 316d vs Mercedes-Benz C180 CDIBMW 316d vs Mercedes-Benz C180 CDIBMW 316d vs Mercedes-Benz C180 CDI
The guys from Auto Motor und Sport decided to take a look at the cheapest diesel 3 Series and it's Mercedes rival, the C-Class. The tested cars were the F30 3 Series 316d and the Mercedes-Benz 180 CDI C-Class.

The BMW has a 2-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine with 116 HP and 192 lb-ft (260 Nm) of torque whilst the C-Class has a 2.1-liter diesel engine that delivers 120 HP and 221 lb-ft (300 Nm) of torque.

Comparing acceleration times, the C-Class is faster by 0.4 seconds and finishes the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 9.9 seconds compared to the 1er's 10.3. The same applies for top speeds too, the C-Class being a bit faster with a top speed of 208 km/h whilst the Bimmer taps out at 202 km/h.

However, the BMW wins important points in other categories. The fuel consumption of the Bimmer is better, averaging a 6.5 l/100 km (36 mpg) during the test drive, while the C-Class had an average of almost 7 l/100 (33 mpg). Also, the BMW Common Rail diesel is a bit more silent than the Merc's, especially at high revs.

Overall the BMW wins again. The legendary sporty feel of the 3er, even in this configuration, made the difference. The accurate steering, the six-speed transmission and the feeling of space inside the 3 Series makes it a better car than the Mercedes. The terribly hard to read speedometer of the C-Class and the switches and lever systems in the Mercedes were confusing making the Benz experience even worse.
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