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The BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class sport sedans make up one of the auto world’s great rivalries. And the results of this latest face-off couldn’t be closer. Redesigned for 2012, the BMW 328i (far right) beat out the updated Mercedes C250 by only one point in our road-test scores: 86 vs. 85. Both are improved over the previous models we tested, but they still score below the Infiniti G37 in this category.
The 328i is quicker, handles better, and is more fun to drive than the Mercedes. And we recorded an impressive 28 mpg overall, easily the best fuel economy in the class. But the C250 is quieter and provides a more refined powertrain and simpler controls. Prices are $43,195 for the 328i and $40,705 for the C250. Since we don’t yet have reliability data on this redesigned BMW or the Mercedes’ new engine, we can’t recommend either car.