Power, performance and fuel economy 1:1Even though the C-Class T-Modell S205 won't arrive in showrooms until September and it won't be available with the entire engine range from the beginning, most of the powerplants and specifications are already available.
Despite BMW being known for making slightly more powerful and faster models than their equivalents from Mercedes-Benz, the extensive usage of aluminium in the new MRA (Modular Rear Architecture) platform has made the C-Class quite a fearsome competitor from the performance point of view as well. In other words, they are pretty much neck and neck in this area.
Still, even if the top speed and acceleration numbers incline the balance for either the 3 Series or the C-Class, the three-pointed star model is quite a bit ahead when it comes to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, something which will probably be rectified with the upcoming 3 Series facelift. Overall, we would say that the Power, Performance and Fuel Economy chapter is a tie.
Practicality and space 1:2Most customers will put the interior volume and the practicality of their station wagons above stuff like naught to 100 km/h (62 mph) numbers or number of Gs supported in the figure eight test, so it should be interesting to find out that the new C-Class T-Modell and the 3 Series Touring are almost dead even from this point of view as well.
With a slightly longer wheelbase and a different interior arrangement, the Mercedes-Benz has better legroom for the rear passengers, but the luggage compartment with the seats up is a bit smaller. Only 490 liters (17.3 cu ft) of storage for the C-Class, while the 3 Series has 495 liters (17.5 cu ft).
On the other hand, with the rear seats folded almost flat, the newest and smallest Mercedes-Benz station wagon offers 1510 liters (53.3 cu ft), while the 3 Series Touring gives you 1500 liters (53 cu ft).
Both the BMW and the Mercedes-Benz offer an electric tailgate opening, with an optional feature that can give you the option to open the hatch without touching it, with just a wave of a foot beneath the rear bumper. The 3 Series scores an extra point for the separate opening of the rear window, which makes sense when you don't need to open the entire tailgate. Putting everything together, the BMW probably wins the “Practicality and Space” chapter, but only by a cat hair.
Technology features 2:2When it comes to the available toys, both from a comfort or from a safety point of view, the Bavarian from Munich has almost nothing against the Swabian from Stuttgart, with the younger age of the Mercedes-Benz being shown quite drastically from some points of view.
The Intelligent Drive array of safety systems, if all options are ticked, can pretty much make the C-Class T-Modell S205 drive by itself in city traffic, while the color head up display and the gadgety touchpad controller are miles ahead in terms of look and feel compared with the older BMW head-up display and the iDrive controller with an integrated touchpad.
By far the biggest advantages of the C-Class T-Modell against the 3 Series Touring will probably be the optional Airmatic air suspension and the “Mercedes connect me” services package, which gives the customer almost full control of most the car's onboard features via their smartphone.
All in all, this fanboy comparison sees the three-pointed star somewhat inch ahead of the blue propeller in the entry-level station wagon battle, but it all depends on the point of view and we will also have to wait and check out the sales in order to see if it will also translate in better business for Stuttgart. Which one would you choose between the two?