If you’re shopping for a German luxury sport sedan on a relatively tight budget, and you prefer new cars to used, chances are very good that you’ll be cross-shopping the BMW 328i against the Mercedes-Benz C250. Both are comparable in size and price, and both now derive power from turbocharged four cylinder engines.
The BMW gets a 2.0-liter four, rated at 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. This helps the car sprint from 0-60 mph in just 5.6 seconds, yet it still manages to return 36 mpg on the highway. The Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, makes due with a 1.8-liter four, good for 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. That’s still enough to propel it from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds, while returning up to 31 mpg on the highway.
While these numbers serve as reference points, the real value of a sport sedan comes from feel. How it communicates to the driver in a corner is, to some degree, even more important than how fast it accelerates off a stop light. Factor in the luxury aspect, and driver comfort becomes equally important.
There’s a clear winner in this comparison, and there’s really no surprise which car comes out on top. It’s worth pointing out that the BMW 328i is all new, while the Mercedes-Benz was last updated in 2007. A new C-Class model is under development, so a comparison between the new 3 Series and the new C-Class may be a closer dogfight.