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Test: this is how the Mercedes C-class takes revenge on the Audi A4 and BMW 3 series

That took some getting used to: the new Mercedes C-class is less spacious than hoped and the finish and choice of materials are not quite what you expect from the brand. But we give the C-class a second chance and now see if it is more comfortable than the Audi A4 and BMW 330i.

First about the engine power. It seemed as if Mercedes, Audi and BW had come to an agreement with the engine choice. All three cars have a four-cylinder petrol engine with a turbo and about 260 hp. The Audi and the Mercedes are also mild hybrids, but only in the C-class does the petrol engine get a boost from a small electric motor. This brings the system power to 278 hp. The A4 45 TFSI is 265 hp strong and the BMW comes to 258 hp.

no air suspension

We start with a minus: Mercedes only offers the petrol versions of the C-class with steel springs, while you could conquer princely thresholds with chic air suspension with its predecessor. However, a chassis with adjustable dampers is standard in the C 300. Do you still want air suspension on the rear axle? Then you have to order either the station wagon or the plug-in hybrid.

Mercedes C-class plays its trump card

That does not mean that you have to suffer in the C 300, because the adaptive chassis of the Mercedes C-class does its job more than well. It stays smooth like a ballerina wearing it swan lake dances. Even large irregularities are neatly smoothed out, giving you the feeling of driving a comfortably heaving car of a higher class.

“The Mercedes is smooth as a ballerina. ”

The BMW 3 Series has a very different character. It also has adaptive shock absorbers, but the basic tuning is much firmer. Thanks to its rigid body, it lies like a plank on the road. That’s nice if you like sporty driving, but it also means that the BMW has fewer comfort reserves. You notice that even on smooth highway asphalt.

Audi A4 is an ideal family car

The comfort suspension of the Audi with adaptive shock absorbers (optional) is also more firmly tuned than that of the Mercedes. Still like the A4 best, because it is not as hard as the BMW and at the same time has the most reserves when fully loaded. The Mercedes is more likely to pay its tax, the flexible ballerina needs crutches. At those moments you miss that fine air suspension of its predecessor.

Whisper-quiet ‘Merc’

There is nothing to complain about the Mercedes C 300 about the sound and rolling comfort. If every row house had the insulating material of the Mercedes, The driving judge no longer have a job due to lack of neighbor disputes. Even at speeds that cost you your driver’s license in the Netherlands, the C 300 hardly makes any noise.

Yet the Audi always surprisingly comes into play, because not the C-class, but the A4 offers the most comfort. The sports seats in the front are excellent, but you’re also best off in the back, because the seats comfortably support every derrière.


Does the Audi A4, the BMW series or the Mercedes C-class offer the most comfort if you add up all the points? The Audi is the most spacious, the Mercedes the quietest. It is a neck-and-neck race for the win, which is ultimately decided by the Mercedes. If you are alone in the car, the suspension comfort of the C 300 is most popular. The Audi impresses above all with its good seats and the comfort in the back seat. The character of the BMW 3 Series is sportier. It can’t be beat with its driving characteristics, but that comes at the expense of comfort.

The full test is in the latest issue of Auto Review, which is in stores now. In it we also go on the track with the three cars and in an extensive points table you can read exactly on which parts the Audi A4, the BMW 3-series or the Mercedes C-class excels.

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