Which is the best 4-door sedan: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or the Mercedes C Class?

In this article, we compare the top 3 sedans sold by Audi, BMW, and Mercedes Benz and answer the question: which one should you buy?

Which is the best 4-door sedan out of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or the Mercedes C Class?

The best 4-door sedan is the Mercedes Benz C. The following table shows the key specifications of all three models:

SpecificationsMercedes Benz C ClassBMW 3 seriesAudi A4
Starting price43,000 USD41,450 USD39,100 USD
EngineInline 4 CylinderInline 4, 6 cylinderInline 4, V6 cylinder
Transmission9- speed6-speed manual8 speed automatic5/6 – speed manual4/5 – speed automatic
Curb weight1630 kg1,450–1,965 kg 1,555 kg
Luggage capacity455 L480460 L
Number of passengers544

Let’s take a closer look at all the three models

Detailed specifications of Audi A4

The Audi A4 is a front-wheel-drive compact sedan. It can carry 4 Adults easily along with 480 litres of luggage space. The fifth generation of the Audi A4 was launched in 2015 with the model series B9. Audi A4 is also available in an Estate body style called A4 Avant and a slightly longer wheelbase version A4L.

Audi A4 gets  7 engine options out of which three are petrol and four are diesel engines. The petrol engines are mostly inline 4 cylinders apart from the 3.0 litre V 6 in the S and RS high-performance version. The power is available from 150 horsepower and the high-performance versions get more than 400 horsepower.

Diesel engines have superior torque and Audi A4 gets 2.0 – 3.0 turbo diesel engines. The horsepower produced by the diesel engines is from 140 bhp in the 4-cylinder model to 350 bhp in the RS high-performance model.

Audi & BMW are the only companies that offer a high-performance model with a diesel engine. The transmission options include w 6-speed manual gearbox and a 6 and 8-speed automatic transmission.

Detailed specifications of BMW 3 Series 

The BMW 3 Series is a compact executive sedan from the Bavarian motor works or BMW for short. Initially, the 3 series was only available in a 2-door sports coupe but due to the popularity of the cars, the 3 series later became available in 4-door sedan, convertible and estate body styles.

The latest generation of the BMW 3 series went on sale in March 2019 and currently, the 3 series is in its seventh generation with the start of model series G20/G21 and G 28. 

The BMW 3 series also has many different engine options in petrol and diesel engines. In a petrol engine, the BMW 3 Series comes with an inline 1.6 and 2.0 litre  B47 4-cylinder engine. 

The power output ranges from 150 to 200 horsepower and 250 to 350 NM of torque.  an inline 3.0litre 6 cylinder B58 petrol engine with a massive power output of 382 horsepower and 500 NM of torque.

In diesel, the BMW 3 series uses B47 and B 57 engines. B47 is a 2.0 litres turbocharged inline 4 cylinder engine producing approx 200 bhp and 400 NM of torque. B57 on the other hand is a larger 3.0-litre turbocharged engine with 285bhp and 580NM of torque. 

The B57 engine also comes with a twin turbocharger in the M340 D version with a power output of 340 hp and 700NM.

Detailed specifications of Mercedes Benz C Class

It is the entry-level model in the sedan segment of Mercedes Benz, it can easily accommodate 5 passengers and more than 400 litres of boot space. Mercedes Benz launched the fifth generation of the C class in 2021 which will be replacing the ongoing W205 facelift model. The Mercedes Benz C class has a wide variety of drivetrain options available.

It comes with inline 4, V6 and V8 engine configurations. Engines in petrol variants are M274, M264, M276 and AMG M177.  The petrol engine produces power between 115kW till 225kW and AMG produces up to 375kW.

Diesel variants of C  Class OM654 2.0 litre engine in a different state of tune with AdBlue injection system for exhaust after-treatment producing a maximum power output of 140kW and 400NM torque.

 Diesel engines are equipped with low and high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation to reduce NOX emissions. AdBlue injection with selective catalytic reduction can be also found in the latest models. These exhaust gases after treatments are present to fulfil emission regulations.

Which one should you buy?

If you are looking for a high-performance diesel engine, Audi and BMW are the only manufacturers of high-performance diesel engines. Mercedes Benz C class no longer has a high-performance diesel engine option but the C 300 d makes 261 horsepower and 560 Nm of torque and additional 20-hour piers so available in EQ boost technology.

The C300d comes in the AMG trim and competes against the RS A3 and BMW M3. 

Other articles about  Audi you may be interested in

Is Audi better than Mercedes Benz?

Which is the best SUV: Audi Q7 or Mercedes Benz GL?

How to manually move a power seat in an Audi ?


Mercedes Benz C class has great handling and comfort followed by the BMW and lastly Audi. However, Audi A4 does offer some good features at a lower price. Therefore if you want a less expensive car with good features then A4 is a good choice. If budget is not an issue then the Mercedes Benz C class is the best.

FAQs: Audi a4 vs BMW 3 Series vs Mercedes c-class

Which is better: Audi A4 or BMW 3 series?

The Audi A 4 and BMW are evenly matched inbuilt quality and comfort levels. They are entry-level sedans from German car companies, the BMW is front-engine, rear-wheel-drive. It has better handling although the space in the rear is less. AUDI A4 has a front-engine front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive in top-end models. The all-wheel-drive variant is good but there are many reliability issues in the A4. Hence, the BMW 3 series is a better option.

Which brand is better: Audi, BMW or Mercedes Benz?

Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz are famous German automotive companies. They are always competing for the top spot in the luxury car segment. Mercedes Benz is the best brand out of the three, all the models sold by the company are well-engineered and they have fewer reliability issues. Mercedes Benz also has a very large network of after-service stations in European markets as well as international markets. BMW is the second followed by Audi.

Which is better: C class or 3 series?

The Mercedes Benz C class is better than the 3 series. Mercedes Benz recently launched a new model of the C class, it gets a new interior design similar to the recently launched S class and a large panoramic sunroof. The BMW 3 series looks outdated and does not get many features as the Mercedes ME to connect, multiple zone Climate control and pre-entry climate control. The BMW digital assistance and Hey BMW commands are not as good as Hey Mercedes.

What is Mercedes Benz equivalent to Audi A4?

The Mercedes Benz equivalent to the AUDI A4 used to be the C class until Mercedes Benz launched the second generation of the CLA in 2019. The CLA is almost as big as a C class but the drivetrain is a front-engine front-wheel-drive which is similar to the Audi A4. Also, both Audi A4 and CLA get an all-wheel-drive model.