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Mercedes-Benz C Class vs E Class

Dustin
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Mercedes-Benz C Class vs E Class

Mercedes-Benz and luxury have been synonymous for years, and this remains true in 2015. The compact C Class and larger E Class are both intriguing choices, but which one will best fit your needs? Today Carsforsale.com is comparing specs, design, performance, safety, and features of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class vs E Class to see which luxury vehicle comes out on top.

Mercedes-Benz C Class (base)

Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder

Horsepower: 241

Fuel Economy: 25 City / 34 Hwy

MSRP: From $38,400

2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class

Design:

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class is now slightly larger and completely redesigned. Available as a coupe or sedan, the new design of the C Class features a more upright grille, more intricate headlights, and large air inlets up front. The side of this Mercedes-Benz is sculpted with two aggressive horizontal lines. The rear end is now more rounded, balancing out the sharper-looking front design.

Mercedes-Benz C Class exterior

The inside of the Mercedes-Benz C Class is progressive and luxurious. This vehicle is characterized by a free-standing screen above the center stack, circular vents, and the unique COMAND controller. Thanks to the COMAND infotainment system, buttons are sparse. Between the speedometer and tachometer gauges is a full-color LCD screen.

Mercedes-Benz C Class interior

This compact luxury car excels in interior comfort. The extremely quiet cabin features spacious front seats with extendable lower-cushion bolsters. Rear seats, however, may not have enough leg room for taller adults. For a compact car, the Mercedes-Benz C Class has impressive trunk space.

Performance:

Even though the C Class is bigger this year, it drops around 200 pounds from last year. The capable base engine, the 2.0L 4-cylinder, will be plenty fast for the majority of drivers. The optional turbocharged V6 produces 329 hp and 354 pound-feet of torque. In standard driving situations, both engines will feel very similar in both speed and acceleration. However, the V6 will flex its larger muscles when you pin the pedal to the floor.

The fuel economy of this Mercedes-Benz is respectable, as the C300 will achieve up to 25 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. These numbers are lower than those in entry level compact cars like the Chevrolet Cruze or Honda Civic, but are competitive in comparison to other luxury compact cars like the Audi A4 or Lexus IS. The optional V6 engine achieves 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

Safety:

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class received a 4 star overall rating from the NHTSA, and has not yet completed all IIHS crash tests. Despite this, the C-Class has a reputation for safety and an advanced suite of safety equipment. Advanced available features include attention assist, pre-safe braking, cross-traffic assist, lane-keeping assist, collision prevention assist, active curve illumination, crosswind assist, advanced adaptive cruise control, 360 degree camera, and much more.

Features:

This compact luxury sedan has a list of features far more extensive than expected at this price. Every C-Class receives a capacitive touch pad, power folding mirrors, driver seat memory settings, USB, keyless start, 7-inch display screen with COMAND, and much more. Upgrade features include panorama roof, head up display, upgraded lighting, sport suspension, Mercedes-Benz Mbrace app that connects your smart phone to your car, 8.4-inch screen, 10GB music register, Burmester Premium audio, and much more.

COMAND Mercedes-Benz C Class

Mercedes-Benz COMAND Controller

Popular Competitors:

2015 BMW 3-Series

2015 Cadillac ATS

2015 Lexus IS

2015 Audi A4

Mercedes-Benz E Class (base)

Engine: 3.5L V6

Horsepower: 302

Fuel Economy: 20 City / 29 Hwy

MSRP: From $52,300

2015 Mercedes-Benz E Class

Design:

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz E Class seems like many cars in one, with 4 body styles and multiple trims in each body style. The styles include coupe, cabriolet, sedan, and wagon. The major visual choice is between a Mercedes hood ornament and more traditional grille or larger Benz logo located within the updated grille.

Mercedes-Benz E Class exterior

Inside the E Class is a traditional layout of gauges, buttons, and screens. Despite the traditional layout, materials in all trims are extremely high-quality and maintain a luxurious standard. The E Class has a myriad of buttons and controls. Although they are mostly self-explanatory, the design may seem busy to a driver seeking a simple, clean layout.

Mercedes-Benz E Class Interior

Sedan and wagon models both have plenty of seating space. The rear seat has room for 3 adults to travel comfortably. The coupe and convertible Mercedes-Benz E Class options are less spacious, but still quite comfortable for average and small sized adults. Maximum storage space is found in the hatchback trim, while the sedan still has impressive trunk volume. Coupe and convertible models are decent for their class, but only have space for standard luggage loads.

Performance:

Starting out, the E Class has a 3.5L V6 engine that is a solid performer and will provide more than enough power for most drivers. For more performance, the Mercedes-Benz E550 has a fast and powerful 4.6L V8 with twin turbochargers, achieving 402 hp. For maximum performance, the E63 AMG 4MATIC sedan has a 5.5L V8 engine that achieves 660 hp. The optional 2.1L 4-cylinder clean diesel engine comes on the E250 BlueTEC, and an E400 hybrid sedan is also available.

The base V6 achieves an estimated 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. The E250 BlueTEC clean diesel achieves an impressive 28 city mph and 42 highway mpg. The top performing 5.5L V8 is the thirstiest, achieving 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.

Safety:

The E Class sedan and coupe achieved an IIHS Top Safety Pick + rating, while the NHTSA gave the sedan and wagon a 4-star overall crash test rating. Although safety ratings aren’t quite perfect, available safety technology is impressive. Optional safety features include rearview camera, surround-view camera, parking sensors, attention assist (which can even find a coffee shop nearby if it believes you are drowsy), blind spot monitors, lane keeping assist, and more.

Features:

Standard on all E Class models are power front seats, sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, SD slot, Bluetooth, Mbrace smartphone connectivity, dual-zone climate control, and more. Upgraded features include navigation, pushbutton start, advanced adaptive cruise control, foot activated trunk, and much more.

Mercedes-Benz E Class mbrace app

Mercedes-Benz mbrace app

Popular Competitors:

2015 BMW 5-Series

2015 Cadillac CTS

2015 Jaguar XF

2015 Audi A6

Mercedes-Benz C Class vs E Class Winner:

Base model: Mercedes-Benz C Class

In the base model C Class sedan, you receive an incredible amount of luxury for the price. The capable V6 engine and suite of standard tech features will please the majority of drivers.

Upgrades: Mercedes-Benz E Class

If you want maximum performance, the Mercedes-Benz E Class can provide it with a 5.8L V8 engine. Combine that with comfort, space, and safety features that make the vehicle feel autonomous at times. The E Class defines luxury.

Overall Winner: 2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class

Luxury meets value in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class. When comparing the Mercedes-Benz C Class vs E Class, the C Class is a step ahead of its competition thanks to slick new exterior looks, innovative interior design, and an exhaustive list of tech and safety features.

Mercedes-Benz C Class exterior 2

Which Mercedes would you rather have in your garage? Let us know in the comments below!

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Dustin
Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes

A fan of nice round numbers and working on tiny European cars, Dusty is the proud owner of a '58 Lloyd 600, a '50 FIAT 500, and is currently on the hunt for a Vespa 400. And, despite all that repair work, he still finds time to write about cars. 

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