There are lots of differences between the E-class and the C-class, the most prominent ones being the price, size, segment, and engine options. The C-class represents an entry-level Mercedes sedan that is set to compete with the likes of the Audi A4 or the BMW 3-series.
The E-class is the mid-size luxury sedan, and it represents a step above the entry-level C-class. The E-class is the most popular Mercedes sedan, and the E-class competition consists out of the Audi A6 and the BMW 5-series.
Both of these models offer everything you’d expect from a 2021 Mercedes model. The E-class was refreshed in 2020, and the C-class got a complete redesign, especially to the interior. No matter which one of these two you might end up choosing, both offer exceptionally crafted exteriors and interiors.
The cheapest entry into Mercedes C-class ownership goes through the C300 model which retails at $41k and offers a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to a 9G TRONIC 9-speed transmission with around 255 horsepower. If you pay 2 grand more, you can opt for the C300 4MATIC which represents the top-of-the-line non-AMG C-class.
The cheapest entry into Mercedes E-class ownership goes through the E350 sedan which retails at $54k, and also offers a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo with the same transmission and power outputs. If you pay 2 grand more you can opt for the E350 4MATIC, but the E-class lineup does not stop here.
The C-class lineup does not consist out of any 400 models, but you can spend $62k and buy the Mercedes E450 4MATIC. This sedan is powered by a 3.0-litre inline 6 cylinder engine not available in the C-class lineup. This engine produces 362 horsepower and represents the top-of-the-line non-AMG E-class model.
Size and segment difference
The obvious difference between these two models is the size. The C-class is also designed as a sedan primarily, and it offers seating for up to 5 people, but it can not match the E-class when it comes to interior or exterior dimensions.
The E-class wheelbase measures 115.7 inches, and the C-class wheelbase measures 111.8 inches. Furthermore, the E-class is 193.8 inches long, and the C-class is 184.6 inches longs. The E-class is also a few inches wider and taller. These exterior dimension differences translate into the E-class being a larger car by a considerable margin.
The interior dimensions are also fairly different with the E-class measuring more inches in headroom or legroom dimensions respectively. The E-class also offers a bigger trunk at 13.1 cubic feet as compared to the 12.6 cubic feet of the C-class sedan. The E-class feels bigger, looks bigger, and drives bigger.
Mercedes E-class vs Mercedes C-class
If you put these two legendary Mercedes sedans head-to-head, you’d be hard-pressed to choose the winner. Usually, the E-class would always come out on top, but the newly released 2022 Mercedes C-class offers more than the E-class does in many different areas, such as the interior design and layout or engine efficiency.
The E-class is a better automobile if you plan on chauffeuring, the E-class is also a bit more comfortable, larger, and more powerful. The C-class on the other hand offers an incredibly high-tech interior, advanced LED headlights, advanced AI functionality, and a more modern design.
You can not buy a 6-cylinder Mercedes C-class as of right now, but you can choose the E450 as the 6-cylinder Mercedes E-class. Choosing any of these two ensures you are getting a full-on Mercedes Benz experience.
But, if you are not in a hurry, you should wait a few years for when Mercedes releases the new E-class, as the new E-class will certainly be a huge step up from the current C-class.
What are the most expensive E and C-class versions?
The most expensive E-class variant is the E63 AMG S model which retails for $107k. The E63 comes equipped with a 4.0-litre BiTurbo V8 engine producing 600 horsepower mated to a 9-speed AMG Speedshift transmission. The E63 manages a sub 3 second 0-60 time, but it does lack in the fuel efficiency department.
The most expensive variant of the C-class is the C63 S AMG Coupe. The C63 coupe retails for $78k and it also packs a 4.0-litre V8 BiTurbo engine mated to an AMG 9-speed Speedshift transmission. The C63 offers 503 horsepower, a 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds, and it also suffers from low fuel efficiency ratings.
Does the C-class offer a better value compared to Audi A4 or a BMW 3-series?
The Mercedes Benz C-class sedan retails for about $41k for the entry-level model, the A4 starts at around $39k. The BMW 3-series is the priciest one, starting at $42k. It’s safe to say that all three of these are comparably priced, and many dealers are keen on offering discounts and special prices and packages.
The Audi also comes with a manual transmission option which is not available on the other 2 models. The C-class is the most comfortable car to drive out of the three, and the 3-series is the sportiest one with the smoothest transmission.
The A4 sits somewhere in the middle. It does offer a slightly sportier drive compared to the Mercedes and is also is a bit more comfortable compared to the 3-series, but is due for a full refresh in a few years. Before the new C-class hits the road, the best value out of these three is the new BMW 3-series.
Does the E-class offer a better value compared to Audi A6 or a BMW 5-series?
In the mid-size luxury car segment, Mercedes offers the entry-level E-class for $54k. This version does not offer a 4MATIC system and you can get the 4MATIC system for 2 grand more.
The entry-level Audi A6 retails for around $55k, and the benefit of the A6 is the fact that even the entry-level A6 comes with a Quattro AWD system as standard.
The BMW 5-series starts at around $54k for the rear-wheel-drive version, if you want AWD you will also have to pay a few grand on top of the asking price. All three of these offer exceptional comfort and luxury levels with the E-class being the leader in suspension softness, the BMW being the leader in driving dynamics.
But the best value out of these three is the Audi A6 with a perfect blend of comfort and sportiness. Without feeling dull nor lacking any character the A6 is the all-around best German midsize sedan.