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Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupe vs BMW 420i Coupe

BMW 420i Coupe vs Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupe

German two-door style-meisters are about as close as you can get on drivetrain, features, safety equipment ... even cramped rear seats. Then Peter Barnwell checks the pricetags.

value

Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupe

$65,900

The new kid on the block is sharply priced when you look at what you get. Matches or betters the BMW for luxury, safety and driver assist tech. Service costs are greater over five years at $1980 while the warranty is the same at three years/unlimited km.

BMW 420i coupe

$68,990

BMW lopped $2200 off the 420i in June but it's still over the odds compared to the newer Benz. The 420i gained Sport Line or Luxury Line packages at no extra cost. Servicing is condition based or pay $1340 upfront to cover the cost for five years/80,000km. Generous features include leather, premium audio and satnav, advanced infotainment, ample driver assistance and head-up display.

design

Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupe

Gorgeous from any angle, especially the rear. Standard AMG style package endows a sportier presence. There are the cool-looking diamond style grille and the aggressive Benz family frontal look. Inside, the fascia has real wood inlays, five prominent metal air vents, large tablet style touchscreen and stitched dash. All are straight out of the current Benz styling book.

BMW 420i coupe

The 420i looks big, if innocuous, on the outside. Cabin is first-class in terms of style and function in generic BMW fashion. It gets a generous helping of the latest BMW technology, including uprated connectivity and extended phone functions.

technology

Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupe

Engine

The 2.0-litre turbo (135kW/300Nm) comfortably out-torques the BMW and propels the Coupe from 0-100kmh in 7.3 secs while averaging 6.0L/100km. Transmission is "only" a seven-speed automatic. Drive is to the rear wheels via various stability and comfort modulations.

BMW 420i coupe

Engine

The focus of the 2.0-litre twin scroll turbo four-cylinder is on smoothness and efficiency rather than outright sportiness, underlined by the modest outputs (135kW/270Nm) that are still good for a 7.5-second 0-100km/h sprint and 5.8L/100km on 98 RON. Drive is to the rear axle through an eight-speed auto — six-speed manual is a no-cost option.

safety

Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupe

It's a five-star car with nine airbags and takes matters way further with the latest driver assist features from the Benz safety catalogue including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, attention assist, parallel parking assist, rear parking sensors, 360-degree camera, Presafe crash preparation, collision prevention assist, blind spot warning and lane change assist, to name a few.

BMW 420i coupe

Lacks little in terms of active and passive safety, has six airbags and earns a five-star crash rating. The entry level 420i gains the latest driver assist features, including pedestrian warning, light city braking, park distance control, head-up display, reverse camera with surround view, approach control ... and plenty more.

driving

Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupe

The C200 Coupe is quite a sporty tool when you want it to be. This is aided by four-mode Dynamic Select, which varies powertrain and chassis calibrations. Of note is the steering, combining sports car feel with a city runabout turning circle. Ride quality is good despite the low-profile rubber and the car feels well-balanced all the time in a range of driving scenarios. The engine has a muted growl when you floor it and the paddle-shifting is sharp.

BMW 420i coupe

The feel is positive — the 420i acquits itself admirably when pushed. Engine delivers acceptable performance and excellent fuel economy. The eight-speed auto is silky-smooth, aided by slick paddle-shifters and four-mode driving, from Eco to Sport+. The steering is sharp and well weighted, the suspension is supple and controlled making the 420i a fun car to drive. But there's not much sizzle.

Verdict

Mercedes-Benz C200 Coupe

BMW 420i coupe

These are evenly matched but for the Benz's decided edge on price and superior street presence. As a newer model, it adds tech benefits and is clearly the winner.

Do you prefer the C200 or 420i? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.