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2017 C 300 vs BMW 3

When you're shopping for unassailable craftsmanship and on-road refinement, the 2017 Mercedes C 300 and the BMW 3 Series immediately come to mind.

These models take luxury to the next level, thanks in part to their generous power, smooth performance, and stylish cabins. But which impressive luxury automaker will win you over? We'll compare them, side by side.

2017 Mercedes-Benz C 300 driving on a cloudy day

Style & Luxury

No one does interior luxury quite like Mercedes-Benz, and that impressive track record shows inside the 2017 C 300. All C come with a panoramic sunroof that leaves the cabin feeling light and open. Seating is comfortable, with enough space for even very tall passengers in both rows. The BMW 3 Series leaves a little to be desired in the rear elbowroom department, which might be a problem for those who frequently have multiple passengers like those who squire clients or family members around town. However, as you might expect from BMW, you can expect soft, supportive seating in both rows. From the driver seat, you'll enjoy excellent visibility and easy access to important controls.

2017 Mercedes-Benz C 300 driving downtown

Safety

Hitch your wagon to the 3 Series for incredible passenger safety. The Driver Assistance package bundles all the latest driver aids - think forward collision warning - to help you spot danger in advance. Use the rearview camera to back out of parking spaces without a hitch. The C 300 is also known for its premium passenger protection. An assortment of airbags - including front and rear side curtain airbags - mitigates passenger injury during a collision. The automatic high beams sense whether you require extra light and automatically turn off when traffic approaches. But the BMW Driver Assistance package is tough to beat, giving it an edge in this category.

2017 Mercedes-Benz C 300 driving fast on the highway

Modern Convenience

The C-Class COMAND® infotainment system is among the best available. Its innovative touchpad recognizes smartphone-like gestures, including pinch and swipe, so you won't have to learn a new system. Instinctive and well placed, it sits atop the center stack, right in your line of sight, so there's no need to glance down and away from traffic. The BMW iDrive infotainment system come in a close second to the Mercedes-Benz COMAND® interface. Its crisp graphics are easy to take in at a glance and the touchscreen responds easily to user inputs. As in the C-Class, Bluetooth® connectivity makes it easy to access smartphone options - think hands-free texting and music streaming - via the central system. The small thoughtful elements of the C-Class system just barely edge ahead of the BMW's iDrive.

2017 Mercedes-Benz C 300 driving at sunrise

Performance

The C-Class can really fly, and the powertrain responds to driver input with impressive speed. The seven-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels for a true sports car performance. The C-Class is adaptable, though, so if you prefer traction to speed, you can opt for the Mercedes 4MATIC® all-wheel-drive system into the mix to increase control over slick roads. In terms of performance, the BMW 3 Series offers luxury-level acceleration on all but the entry-level 3 Series 320i model. The BMW xDrive technology powers all four wheels, which comes in handy if you live in a wet or snowy climate. Some users find performance to be less consistent than the C-class, so we are opting for the power and performance of the C-Class here.

Both models can't help but impress, but, if you want the most in luxury features and high-end performance, go with the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C 300. Upscale materials and impeccable fit and finish give the cabin that certain Mercedes-Benz charm. Innovative safety features, like the driver drowsy monitor, maintain high levels of protection while you sail on the road to your destination.

Learn More About the Mercedes-Benz Lineup:

2016 Mercedes-Benz GL

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class