Thinking about buying a Mercedes-Benz C300? Compare it to a BMW 128i first!


The BMW 128i Overview

The 1 Series positions BMW's product offerings into a market segment where BMW has not had a presence in recent years. The 1 Series puts BMW squarely into competition with some models that haven't been considered BMW competitors before, and gives BMW a more favorable price point against some that were. Here's a field of key competitors for the two 1 Series Coupe models; click on the model for a brief analysis of how BMW's new compact Coupes stack up against each of their key rivals.

The Mercedes-Benz C300 Overview

A new-generation C-Class made its debut for '08. The C 300 Sedan, with a 3.0-liter, 228-hp V-6, is its entry model; Sport and Luxury versions are offered, with differences in front-end design and other details. The C 300 Sport, with standard 6-speed manual transmission and optional 7-speed automatic, is the series' - indeed, Mercedes' - entry model in the U.S. Though more like the 3 Series in size and market position, the C 300 Sport's $31,975 base price, $2,600 north of the 128i Coupe, makes it the closest U.S. Mercedes to that BMW. A new CLC compact hatchback coupe recently introduced in Europe is closer to the 1 Series, but it's not yet available in the U.S. - and may never be be, as the previous C Class hatchback (Sport Coupe) didn't have great success in America.

BMW vs. Mercedes-Benz

What BMW offers…

  • Classic BMW Coupe sportiness and style
  • 3.0-liter inline-6 engine, 230 hp/200 lb-ft.; 0-60 mph 6.1 sec., 18/28 mpg MT; 6.7 sec., 19/28 mpg AT
  • Available automatic transmission is 6-speed, in combination with Sport Package has shift paddles
  • Optimal weight balance, approx. 51% F/49% R
  • 4-year/50,000-mile maintenance included
  • 12-year/unlimited-miles corrosion warranty

What Mercedes-Benz doesn’t…

  • Mercedes doesn't offer a direct competitor to the compact 1 Coupe; this is a 3-Series-size sedan
  • V-6 engine, 228 hp; 0-60 mph 7.1 sec. MT or AT; 18/26 mpg MT, 18/25 mpg AT. Less performance, more fuel consumption, and lacks distinctive sound of BMW's inline 6-cylinder engine.
  • 7-speed automatic, but shift paddles not available
  • Less balanced 53% F/47% R weight distribution
  • No included maintenance
  • 4-year/50,000-mile corrosion warranty


 "We don't think it's going too far out on a limb to suggest that the 1 Series Coupe is the most complete car

in its class as far as performance and dynamics are concerned." - AutoWeek

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