It is, without a doubt, that when someone talks about continental cars, the BMW and Mercedes-Benz’s brands are brought up in the conversation. Their rivalry has been going on for as long as anyone can remember, in which the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class play a big role. As a matter of fact, the best-selling BMW model in Malaysia of 2021 happens to be the BMW 3 Series. This ranks BMW Malaysia the no.1 car brand in the premium segment in Malaysia for two consecutive years whereas Mercedes-Benz Malaysia was dominant in 2019.
Nonetheless, comparing the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is like comparing 100 Plus and Revive Isotonic or Coca-Cola and Pepsi. One isn’t necessarily better than the other because it all comes down to personal preference. Thus, it is best to look at what each car brings to the table and whether it suits your needs.
F30 BMW 3 Series (2012 – 2019)
The F30 BMW 3 Series was launched in 2012 and received a facelift in 2015. Take a look at the face-lifted (or BMW’s own term, the LCI) models as they came with a new engine (codenamed B48), which has been more reliable than the old engine (codenamed N20). The face-lifted BMW 3 Series came with many trim levels and here are the prices when new.
- BMW 318i Luxury Line: RM208,800
- BMW 320i Sport Line: RM238,800
- BMW 330e iPerformance Sport Line: RM248,800
- BMW 330e M Sport: RM258,800
- BMW 320i M Sport: RM258,800
- BMW 320d M Sport: RM268,800
- BMW 330i M Sport: RM308,800
Do note that the BMW 320i M Sport and 330i M Sport were only sold for a short period before being replaced by the BMW 318i and 330e respectively.
W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2014 – 2021)
On the other hand, the W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class was launched in 2014 and was revised in 2017 before it was face-lifted in late 2018. Take a look at the revised models as they came with an updated transmission (9G-Tronic gearbox) as the old transmission (7G-Tronic Plus gearbox) was always hesitant to shift gears, which caused the car to have jerky gear change. The revised W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class came with many trim levels and here are the prices when new.
- Mercedes-Benz C 180 Avantgarde: RM228,888
- Mercedes-Benz C 200 Avantgarde: RM253,888
- Mercedes-Benz C 200 AMG Line: RM254,888
- Mercedes-Benz C 200 Exclusive: RM257,888
- Mercedes-Benz C 250 AMG Line: RM287,888
- Mercedes-Benz C 350e Avantgarde: RM289,888
- Mercedes-Benz C 350e Avantgarde (with AMG Line interior): RM294,888
- Mercedes-Benz C 350e AMG Line: RM299,888
Do note that the Mercedes-Benz C 180 and C 350e did not get the updated transmission.
Pros & Cons of BMW 3 Series
|Driving dynamics ✔||Outdated interior layout|
|Ride comfort ✔||Lack of advanced driving aids|
|Modern-day 8.8-inch media unit ✔||Mediocre sound insulation|
|Heads-up Display ✔||Exhaust pipes are not split, not even on the M Sport trim|
|Interior layout is user-friendly ✔||Lack of folding rear seats|
Lack of panoramic sunroof
|Proper footrest for the driver ✔||
Lack of electric power boot
|Near perfect 50:50 weight distribution from front to rear ✔|
Pros & Cons of Mercedes-Benz C-Class
|Advanced driving aids ✔||Not as engaging to drive on pre-facelift models|
|Sophisticated headlights ✔||Not the most comfortable in its segment|
|Modern-day interior layout ✔||Outdated 7.0-inch media unit on pre-facelift|
|Good sound insulation ✔||Lack of heads-up display|
|Exterior looks classy ✔||Interior layout is unintuitive and poorly thought out|
|Exhaust pipes are split ✔||The least practical in its segment|
|Folding rear seats for extra boot space ✔||
No proper footrest for the driver
|Panoramic sunroof ✔|
|Electric power boot ✔||
Updated transmission (9G-Tronic) is still hesitant in first and second gear
Fair Market Price
From our website, the prices for a used F30 BMW 3 Series LCI ranges from RM109,000 to RM160,000 depending on the year, the model, the trim, the condition, and the mileage of the car. In comparison, the prices for a used W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class that has been revised with the updated transmission (9G-Tronic gearbox) ranges from RM190,000 to RM228,000 on our website.
Which Variant to Pick
For the F30 BMW 3 Series, we recommend the BMW 330e Sport Line or 330e M Sport as it gets the 8.8-inch media unit with nine speakers, the equivalent performance of the BMW 330i on paper, and better petrol consumption as it is a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).
For the W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, we recommend the Mercedes-Benz C 200 AMG Line as it gets advanced driving aids (such as the autonomous emergency braking), Burmester surround sound system with thirteen speakers, panoramic sunroof, and the full AMG Line makeover without the hefty price of the Mercedes-Benz C 250 AMG Line.
Flamboyance Lifestyle or Driving Pleasure?
Mercedes-Benz has always focused on building cars that are more comfortable than sporty while BMW has always focused on building cars that are more sporty than comfortable. However, in this generation of 3 Series and C-Class, the roles have changed between the two German rivals. The F30 BMW 3 Series was one of the comfiest cars among its competitors without sacrificing sporty driving whereas the W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has lost its focus. In my humble opinion, this generation of C-Class tried to include both comfort and sporty but it was averagely executed when compared to the F30 BMW 3 Series (at least in the pre-facelift C-Class models).
In terms of styling, Mercedes-Benz C-Class definitely looks more luxurious than the BMW 3 Series with more elegant styling throughout the interior and exterior with a hint of flamboyance. Be that as it may, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some might prefer more luxurious and elegant styling while others might prefer a user-friendly interior with sporty looking exterior.
The best way to know which model suits your needs is by giving it a test drive. Here at Carsome, you can book a test drive at your nearest Carsome Experience Center seamlessly. With BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class being part of our Carsome Certified inventory, you can drive away with peace of mind.
Buy Carsome Certified for Peace of Mind
Here at Carsome, we believe in creating an end-to-end buying journey to eliminate the concerns of traditional used car buying experience. Carsome Certified is the new standard of buying pre-owned cars backed up by our 175-point Inspection together with our Carsome Certified Refurbishment Process. By creating a trusted used car ecosystem, Carsome Certified guarantees trust, transparency, and choice.
Check out our Carsome Certified BMWs inventory here.
Check out our Carsome Certified Mercedes-Benz inventory here.
Louis is a motoring journalist whose background was in the legal industry. Jumping from law firms to car dealerships, he finally found a career he loves and will never have to work a day in his life. He enjoys detailing his car and going to the gym during his free time.