Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine

Comparison: Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine

An age-old rivalry between two cars that have been responsible for a bulk of business for their respective makers. For the longest time, the two were entry-level luxury sedans and had clearly defined roles. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was a comfortable sophisticated sedan and the BMW 3-Series was the enthusiasts’ favourite. Nevertheless, this iconic battle has seen some huge changes in the recent past. The 3 Series has spawned a longer-wheelbase comfort-oriented version in the form of the 3 Series Gran Limousine, whereas the C-Class has been given some styling and mechanical upgrades, inspired by the brand’s AMG line-up. Another interesting point to note is that these two no longer belong to the entry-level category and have moved a segment higher. So, how well do the evolved versions of the 3 Series and C-Class fare against each other, let’s find out.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine: Dimensions

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine


4,751- 4,793 mm

4,819 mm


1,820 mm

1,827 mm


1,437 – 1,446 mm

1,441 mm


2,865 mm

2,961 mm

Boot Space

455 litres

480 litres

There is a popular opinion in India – the bigger the asking price, the bigger the car should be. On this ground, the 3 Series GL is a clear winner. It is longer and wider than the C-Class but what gives it a real advantage, is the 96 mm longer wheelbase. This longer wheelbase, which is one of the key facets of the 3 Series GL, translates into considerably better space inside the cabin, especially for rear passengers. With that said, the Mercedes C-Class will also feel spacious in the front and rear, but it is the BMW 3 Series that edges ahead here. Even the boot space of the 3 Series GL is larger than that of the C-Class, however, it is important to note that the spare tyres in both these sedans eat up large parts of the respective boot spaces.

Due to the larger dimensions, the 3 Series GL has a bigger road presence while the regal appeal is just as expected of a BMW. With a low-slung profile, neat panels all around with some creases on a bonnet, and a longer wheelbase, the 3-Series GL leans towards sophistication while maintaining the sporty aesthetics of the standard 3 Series. On the other hand, the AMG styling of the C-Class makes it look sportier among the two. With a relatively sharper silhouette, an AMG grille that is wider at the base, and power bulges on the bonnet largely convey the German carmaker’s intentions for the latest-generation C-Class.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine: Engine & Transmission

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine


1.5 litre turbo petrol engine 2 litre diesel engine

2 litre turbo petrol engine 2 litre diesel engine


204 PS

200 PS / 265 PS

258 PS

190 PS


300 Nm

440 Nm / 550 Nm

400 Nm

400 Nm


9-speed torque converter automatic

8-speed torque converter automatic

0-100 km/hr & Top Speed

7.3 seconds & 246 km/hr

7.3 seconds & 245 km/hr

5.7 seconds & 250 km/hr

6.2 seconds & 250 km/hr

7.6 seconds & 235 km/hr


16.9 km/l (petrol)

23.0 km/l (diesel)

15.30 km/l (petrol)

19.62 km/l (diesel)

Both these sedans have something special to offer as far as performance is concerned. The 2-litre turbo petrol engine of the 3-Series packs substantially more power than the 1.5 litre turbo petrol engine of the C-Class.

At the same time, the entire C-Class range benefits from the 48V mild-hybrid system that adds 20 PS power and 200 Nm torque. Not only does this make the powertrain punchier, but also helps them deliver better mileage. 

The lower-tuned diesel engine of the C-Class is more powerful than that of the 3 Series GL and delivers a slightly quicker acceleration. Moreover, the higher-tuned diesel engine that can accelerate the diesel C-Class from 0 to 100 km/hr in 5.7 seconds, is in a different league altogether.

In terms of driving, the 3 Series has always been the benchmark, and the 3 Series GL is not so different. Though the suspension is softened for more ride comfort, it does an apt job of keeping the 3 Series planted at high speeds, while the BMW’s legendary driving dynamics do the rest in making it a real entertainer through the corners.

Nonetheless, the AMG-inspired mechanical upgrades in the C-Class have infused it with commendable sportiness. The performance is nothing short of exhilarating and while the driving dynamics do not match those of the 3-Series GL, the C-Class drives amply pliant and supple.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine: Features & Comfort

C-Class interior
Mercedes-Benz C-Class interior

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine

Infotainment system

10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system

14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system

Music system

15-speaker Burmester sound system

16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system

Climate control

Automatic (two-zone)

Automatic (three-zone)

Ventilated seats

Not available

Not available

Adjustable steering

Tilt & telescopic adjust

Tilt and telescopic adjust

Drive modes

Eco, Comfort, Sport, & Individual

Eco Pro, Comfort, & Sport

Instrument cluster

12.3-inch digital instrument cluster

12-inch digital instrument cluster


Panoramic sunroof

Panoramic sunroof

Adjustable seats (manual or electric)

Powered front seats

Powered front seats

Rear AC vents



60:40 rear seat split


Not Available

Cruise control



Neither of these German sedans is short of the luxury you expect from cars of this status. However, when it comes to making you feel prestigious, Mercedes always does a better job. Step into the cabin of the C-Class, and you instantly feel the grandeur that earned it the name ‘baby S-Class’. For example, like the S-Class, the 11.9-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen infotainment is integrated into the upper end of the piano-black finished centre console. With plush seats and high quality soft touch material, the overall ambience of the lower two trims is rich and sophisticated, whereas in the top trim (C300d) everything looks sporty. Furthermore, the availability of a 60:40 rear seat split gives the C-Class a slight edge above the 3 Series GL.

3 Series Gran Limousine interior
BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine interior

Though not exactly C-Class level, the interiors of the 3 Series GL feel sufficiently plush and do justice to a car of this stature. All the same, where the 3 Series GL beats the C-Class is practicality. For starters, at the front, there is a massive curved screen that integrates a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and a 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment. Its curved design is focused on the driver’s position and does not let any reflection hamper the view. Moreover, the cabin will feel more spacious than that of the C-Class, which adds a great deal of overall comfort, especially for those who prefer to be chauffeured around.

In terms of the ride quality, neither of these luxury sedans disappoints. In addition to driving comfortably across rough patches, both these sedans keep you isolated from the world around you.  

Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine: Safety Features

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine

NCAP Safety Rating

5-star Euro NCAP

5-star Euro NCAP




ABS with EBD






Traction Control



Automatic headlamps



Rain-sensing Wipers



Hill hold assist



Hill descent control



Rear sensors



Rear parking camera



ISOFIX Child seat anchor points




Active brake assist and Active parking assist


Both these German carmakers are acclaimed across the world for the solid build quality of their cars, and these two sedans are no exception. Both have scored a 5-star rating in the Euro-NCAP safety test and are equipped with all the essential safety features. However, the C-Class is a few steps ahead of the 3 Series GL due to the availability of the Active brake assist, Active parking assist, and 360-degree camera. Nevertheless, while the 3 Series GL misses the 360-degree camera, it has a special trick up its sleeve with its ‘Reverse parking assistant’. This feature remembers the route the car took to get parked and through the same route, it automatically takes the car back without any driver’s input.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine: Price comparison

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine

Base variants (Ex-Showroom)

Rs 60 - 61 lakh

Mid variants (Ex-Showroom)

Top Variant (Ex-Showroom)

Rs 66 lakh

Rs 58.90 - 60.50 lakh

The comparison seemed tight up until this point, as the price comparison does put things into better perspective. The practicality of the 3 Series GL and the flamboyance of the C-Class continue to their prices. All in all, the 3 Series GL comes across as a better value-for-money proposition for the extra space and the entertaining drivability that come at a slightly lower price than that of the C-Class. But this in no way hurts the credibility of the C-Class which packs plusher interiors that mirror those of the S-Class.  

Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine: Summary

With superior practicality and driving dynamics, the BMW 3 Series is a splendid package for its asking price. It is a perfect mix of driving fun and luxurious chauffeur-driven experience and should well-suffice the needs of enthusiasts and luxury-seekers. All the same, if you seek even more luxury coupled with the flamboyance of a segment above, the C-Class is the one to go for.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class vs BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine: FAQs

Among the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine, which one has adaptive suspension?

Neither the Mercedes C-Class nor BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine has adaptive suspension.

Among the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine, which one is more powerful?

The Mercedes C-Class produces 204 PS and 200 PS/265 PS from its 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine and 2-litre diesel engine respectively. The BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine produces 258 PS and 190 PS from its 2-litre turbo petrol engine and 2-litre diesel engine. Clearly, the higher-spec diesel engine of the Mercedes is the most powerful of them all, while the turbo petrol of the 3-Series is the second-most powerful.

Does the Mercedes C-Class have ventilated seats?

None of the 3 variants of the Mercedes C-Class offer ventilated seats.

What safety features are available in the base variant of the BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine?

The safety features available in the base variant of the BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine are 6 Airbags, all-wheel-disc brakes, hill hold assist, hill descent control, ABS with EBD, rear sensors, ISOFIX child anchors, ESC, TPMS, Overspeed Warning, Anti-theft Engine immobiliser, Middle rear three-point seatbelt, Flashing Emergency Brake Light, and Central Locking.

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