Comfortdriver

BMW 325i vs. Mercedes C 200K

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I had a chance to drive the Mercedes C200k and the BMW 325i and while both are excellent cars to drive and own, here is my limited feedback about these cars. You will find that most of my feedback is similar to a review that I had written earlier about the BMW 525d and the Mercedes E280d and may be generically applicable to BMW and Mercedes cars in India.

 

BMW 325i

========

 

1.       The ride quality seems quite harsh in this car. It is probably due to the run flat tires that come in this car apart from the low profile 45 tires. I feel that the ride would have been much better if they had used a 55 or greater profile tire. I have also driven the BMW 525d which had a 50 profile tire and found that ride harsh, but not as harsh as the BMW 325i.

2.       The interiors are good  with a lot of electronics, however it lacks the practicality of the Mercedes. For example, the gear shift in the BMW 325i needs three levers to be activated (breaks, gear switch and gear) compared to the Mercedes which needs just two levers (breaks and gear) to be activated. One other example is that the BMW has three levers near the steering while the Mercedes has two.

 

Overall the car is excellent and has huge number of pluses to make up for the above in particular the engine which is V6 engine with about 215BHP compared to the Mercedes 180BHP V4 engine on the C200K... but you only wish that BMW took some of these aspects into consideration. Personally, I would not consider the 325i as the ride quality is too harsh for my comfort though this may not be the case for many others.

 

Mercedes C 200K

=============

 

1.       The engine needs to be upgraded to a V6 with adequate power to compete with the engine in the BMW 325i.

2.       Like in the E Class, the features of the car compared to the cost leave much to be desired. I think that Mercedes has now got their first true competitor in India and unless they improve on the features that they present in the cars I doubt if their market share is going to sustain. An example is that Mercedes does not provide memory seats in a car that cost 30 lakhs while the BMW is fully loaded with all the gizmos that you can imagine including electronically adjustable seats with memory, parking sensors, LCD screens etc.

3.       The interiors are decent, but not as good as the BMW 325i. This is due to another cost cutting measure by Mercedes in India where they upgrade the classic model with minimal trims as the higher end model. This includes partial leather for their seats compared to the BMW which is full leather seats. They will need to bring down the fully loaded Elegance model in future if they plan to compete with the BMW 325i.

4.       Personally, I like the shape of the existing C Class, compared to the BMW 3 series or even the new C which has just been launched outside of India. The ride quality is excellent and this could make me consider this car to the 325i inspite of all its short comings.

 

Overall the car is good, but you feel shortchanged when you compare they type of features that are available in less expensive cars such as the Toyota CamryJ and when you know that you are paying more for the Mercedes compared to any other car. I also feel that the new Mercedes C Class is not doing too well in the world market at the moment and unless Mercedes India get their act straight when they launch the new C Class, they are going to loose a lot of market share to new comers such as BMW, Audi and Volvo.

 

However, one thing that I can vouch for is the service of Mercedes in India which has been very good. BMW is yet to setup their sales and service network in India and have been very slow in attending to sales calls and I would only shudder to think how they would manage their serviceL.

 

As I mentioned in my earlier review, I am concerned about the low ground clearance of these cars as they tend to get their bottoms hit on bad roads.

 

Another point that I would like to highlight is that recently when I was in Europe, I noticed that most private cars in this segment were either BMWs or AUDIs and very few Mercedes in spite of the recent launch of the C Class. To add to this, the new AUDI A4 looks excellent and seems to be a great mix between the BMW and the Mercedes.

 

It would be great if someone can provide feedback on the AUDI A4.

 

Thanks

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Well you are right the C-class has not been a success in the other markets .The merc may give good or say early services to its customers but BMW is catching up very fast.

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All I like in the C is the ride quality. The 325i beats it hollow otherwise.

Yes, the 525d rides better than the 325i. And yes the runflats are partly responsible for it.

 

Nice review.

 

FRG
FuelRunGod2007-10-17 10:24:15

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Excellent review comfortdriver. You should ask Autocar to put you on their test drive team! One thing I am not agreeing with you is on the service issue. Mercedes service is quite poor and the cost of service is very expensive

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Excellent review comfortdriver. You should ask Autocar to put you on their test drive team! One thing I am not agreeing with you is on the service issue. Mercedes service is quite poor and the cost of service is very expensive

 

:-)

 

I own a Merc and have been very pleased with their service during the past five years and hence my comment on their service. I have had a very difficult time getting a test drive organized from BMW. Similarly, I have requested for a test drive from Audi and have not even heard from them for the past three month. From this perspective, I am slighly worried about BMWs and AUDIs ability to provide good after sales service.

 

One point that I need to mention here is that Volvo in India has been very responsive.

 

 

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Well you are right the C-class has not been a success in the other markets .The merc may give good or say early services to its customers but BMW is catching up very fast.

 

I was reviewing the recent car sales for these cars worldwide and the numbers for September, 2007 was something like

 

BMW 143k cars including the Mini cooper, rolls. About 120k cars only for the BMW brand

Mercedes 124k cars including Mayback.

Audi about 83k cars.

 

Considering that the Mercedes has a new release in the C Class, these numbers seem quite low and BMW clearly seems to be the market leader at the moment in spite of all their flaws from a drive quality perspective. I wonder how these numbers will change once the new AUDI A4 hits the market as that car looks outstanding and seems to be a great mix between the BMW 3 series and the Mercedes C Class.

 

It will be great if someone can post their experience on the existing Audi A4.

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All I like in the C is the ride quality. The 325i beats it hollow otherwise.

Yes' date=' the 525d rides better than the 325i. And yes the runflats are partly responsible for it.

 

Nice review.

 

FRG
[/quote']

 

One point that I would like to add about the Mercs is the attention to detail in terms of practicality irrespective of the model. One example is the number of switch controls in the Merc to manage turn indicators, windsheet wipers, cruise control is limited to two compared to three in the BMW. The switches are also placed in such a way that you do not make too many mistakes in usage compared to the BMW. These are small things, you tend to apreciate them as you use the car. The sad part in India, is that Mercedes strips down all extras and brings in a vanilla car which is just not comparable to the BMW or other cars in this class. Hopefully Mercedes India will realize this and bring in the fully loaded Elegance model for the new C Class. I also hope that they introduce a V6 engine for the C Class as the BMW V6 engine is much superior to the C200k which is a 4 cylinder 180 bhp engine.

 

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good report. congrats. both these cars are playing in luxury segment.
luxury cars means good comfort and ride quality.....right?
then wat BMW is doing here....run flat tyres are not a good choice

 

They may be able to get a better ride quality by increasing the profile of tires to something like 55, instead of the low profile 45 that they use. But given that our roads are bad, the ride quality is terrible.

 

Based on the same logic of luxury cars, the Merc in India should also wake up and provide better value for money. They have been getting low end models stripped of all features into India in the past and unless they change that attitude, they are going to loose out as well.

 

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Thats right' date=' the lack of features that are absolutely essential in this price range is appalling. But with competition here, they will have to change.

 

FRG
[/quote']

 

FRG,

 

Request Autocar to provide a formal comparison of the BMW 3 series, Mercedes C Class and the Audi A4 in Petrol and Diesel.

 

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We've done it for the diesels in the anniversary issue.

 

FRG

 

Yes, and if I recall correctly, you had rated the BMW 3 series a better car inspite of the bad ride quality :-). I have not driven the diesel 3 series, but the 325i which is the petrol version and feel that the ride quality is really bad, but then this had a 45 profile tyre with run flat capabilities.

 

It would be great to have a comparison from Autocar between the Petrol BMW 325i, Mercedes C200K and the Audi A4.
Comfortdriver2007-11-11 23:07:25

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Lets see what we can do.

 

FRG

 

I would be particularly interested in how Autocar perceives the ride quality in the 325i as it has the 45 profile tyres and the ride quality is really bad. The 320d which Autocar reviewed earlier must have had 55 profile tyres.

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Hi,

 

Does anyone have feedback on the new C Class that has been released last month? From what I have read, Mercedes does not seem to have learnt from its past mistakes and I am curious to get the market feedback for this car.

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well i checked on with the dealers here in delhi...... car is booked till march end.... though i checked for MT white only..... according to the sales guys (real dumb actually... didn't even know the engine size (cc))..... they were like the sales are pretty good......

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i was wondering why did you write a review on 325i and 200k..... and not 320i and 200k?

or is it like

320i vs 180k?

325i vs 200k?

 

though 180k is not available in market now.........

but even 200k is cheaper than 320i.........

 

and wasn't the engine of 180 and 200 same?... or were they different?

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the engines are modifeid too...

with new short shift throw manual transsmission with modified ratio specially tuned to a high torqueand the petrol engine... 200k

now has a output of 176bhp (131kw) thats 20 bhp more.... and 240Nm of torque... thats 19Nm more....

 

220 cdi gives out 170Bhp(125Kw)

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i was wondering why did you write a review on 325i and 200k..... and not 320i and 200k?

or is it like

320i vs 180k?

325i vs 200k?

 

though 180k is not available in market now.........

but even 200k is cheaper than 320i.........

 

and wasn't the engine of 180 and 200 same?... or were they different?

 

The reason I choose 200K and the 325i was due to the cost which was almost the same. The new 200k Elegance is about 31 lakhs on road while the 325i is about 33 lakhs on road. Both models being fully loaded as sold in India.
Comfortdriver2008-03-24 05:48:26

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Hi,

I drove the new C Class Elegance today and here is what was visible to me.

1. The steering wheel was easier, making the car feel much lighter.

2. The ride quality is almost the same as the previous car and I could not perceive the difference in ride quality from the earlier car.

3. The engine is much more peppy and accelerates quickly.

4. Interiors are much better than the previous car, though not as good and luxurious as the 325i.

Overall the car is better, though I still prefer the design and looks of the previous car. The flaws of the previous car atleast in India continue with Mercedes in India insisting on manual controls for seat adjustment and does not have parktronics built into it.

I believe that the 325i has been given an upgrade from a suspension perspective and it might be good to cosider the 325i if the suspension issues have been resolved, as it is definitely a superior car except for the suspension.

My own take is that Mercedes will find it very difficult to compete with BMW in this segment. Only time will tell if this is the right prediction.

Comfortdriver2008-03-24 06:26:03

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Yeah the C-Class has improved, but it hasn't lived up to my expectations atleast. They still seem to be making do with semi-powered seats.

 

The upgrade to the 325i has been a softer suspension setup. I drove the new 320d, it does ride better than the older car, but still has a stiff edge to it.

 

FRG

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