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Mercedes vs BMW – Which is Better?

As top car brands, Mercedes and BMW have many similarities which can make it tough to choose between the two. Both Mercedes and BMW have a reputation as premium German powerhouses, offering a luxurious driving experience and a range of models. While Mercedes place the most value on comfort and accessibility, BMW is known for the practicalities of its engineering and driving experience.

Each with a respective loyal following, BMW and Mercedes both have their pros and cons. In recent years, BMW have focused on improving comfort while Mercedes has made a renewed push toward performance. To help you choose between the two premium brands, we put deciding factors such as design, comfort and performance to the test.

Brand history

The beginning of Mercedes-Benz stretches back to 1886 and traces its origins to Karl Benz's creation of the first petrol-powered car. Known for combining luxury with performance, the German brand offers a range of vehicles including the A Class and G Class. 

Branded as the “ultimate driving machine,” BMW Group encompasses three key brands: BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Originally founded as an aircraft manufacturer in 1916, it has a varied production history, manufacturing everything from planes to motorbikes. This heritage is reflected in the company’s logo, which reflects both the blue and white of the Bavarian flag (BMW is an acronym of Bayerische Motoren Werke, or Bavarian Motor Works) and a spinning propeller.

Performance 

In terms of performance, BMW is particularly strong for their compact cars and SUVs, while Mercedes-Benz really shines with their full-size sedans and coupes. 

The AMG GT Coupe from Mercedes has a reputation as its ultimate performance car, known to go from 0-60 in under 4 seconds and reach speeds of 198mph. 

Taking inspiration from motorsport (particularly Nürburgring: drivers can even choose to have the colour Green Hell Magno, a nod to its famous nickname), BMW have a range of M Performance models, such as the M2 and M5, with sportier styling and emphasis on impressive performance. 

Design 

Both Mercedes and BMW have their own recognisable design. While BMW emphasise a practical look, Mercedes prioritise a premium cabin feel with its interiors, loaded with all the latest technology. The mbrace system technology is a standout feature on Mercedes models. The intuitive system is responsible for most of the car features like connectivity, security and safety. However, BMW has a similar service in the form of Connected Drive which uses voice-controlled commands.  

In terms of design, BMW’s emphasis has always been on the driving experience, with sporty designs and the sturdy practicality of the 1 Series and 3 Series. Mercedes, however, offer a more premium and refined design as it focuses on the ride quality and comfort rather than the dynamics of driving. 

Practicality 

Depending on your needs as a motorist, you may find either a BMW or Mercedes more practical. BMW has recently revamped their 1 Series with a focus on practicality – the new generation has switched to front-wheel-drive to improve the car’s traction, for instance. On the other hand, the 3 Series has a reputation for its spacious interior, which is only matched by Mercedes C-Class saloon, complete with the same boot space of 480 litres.

Reliability 

If you’re investing in a luxury lease, you want to make sure that any model you choose is going to perform reliably. Thankfully, premium cars no longer need to compromise on dependability to focus on performance. As high-end brands, you can expect both Mercedes and BMW to cost a bit more when it comes to maintenance or replacing parts. However, both brands are known for their durability and will last longer than most economy models.

Green Credentials 

The BMW i3 generates zero emissions, making it one of the greenest cars on the road today. Building its first electric vehicle in 1972, the brand has always been at the forefront of electric vehicle design. Over the last decade, it has offered more electrified models than Mercedes, including plug-in hybrid versions like the i3 and i8. 

These eHybrids come with futuristic design and offer great fuel efficiency. The EQC is Mercedes’ first-ever electric-only model, combining the benefits of electric driving with an SUV style. The manufacturer is looking to launch more models under the EQ brand, but for now, BMW have a more diverse green offering. 

Availability 

Whether you value performance or comfort, both Mercedes and BMW have a wide variety of car models. Mercedes have the A-Class, which is the smallest car available in the range, while BMW have the compact 1 Series on offer. For large families or dog owners, the E-Class Estate is ideal with its spacious interior, while the BMW 1 Series hatchback is designed with families in mind.

The Mercedes AMG GT Coupe is the ultimate performance car for thrill-seekers looking for a lease. Though if you want that bit more power at your disposal, the BMW M8 certainly comes out on top.

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