2011 BMW
M3
vs. 2011 Mercedes-Benz
E350

2011 Mercedes-Benz E350

10.0

starting from

$50,275
"Controls are well placed and intuitive to operate."
edmunds.com | talking about the E-Class's stereo
"The buttons for the heated/cooled seats and Airscarf neck warmers are logically located."
edmunds.com | talking about the E-Class's seating

Reasons to buy the Mercedes-Benz E350

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More airbags
7
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Good range on the highway
506 miles
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Good range in the city
359 miles
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Average-sized back seats
45.0 ft3
2011 BMW M3

8.9

Runner-up

BMW M3

starting from

$70,125
"The car was fine in the Comfort setting -- I felt bumps in the road and large potholes, but overall the ride was very good given the rough conditions of Chicago's roads. The stiffer Normal setting was just too firm, both on city streets and on the highway."
chicagotribune.com | talking about the M3's ride quality
"One of the few truly awesome cars I've driven, the M3 nails both the sport and the comfort ends of the spectrum."
chicagotribune.com | talking about the M3's overall satisfaction

Reasons to buy the BMW M3

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Good braking distance from 60mph
107 ft
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Great cornering ability
1 g
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Zippy 1/4 mile time
12.6 s @ 113 mph
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Quite powerful
414 HP @ 8,300 RPM
Safety Features 10.0 vs 7.5
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Winner: E350
[details]
  • The E350 has 4 more airbags (including Rear Curtain, Knee, Head / Curtain, Rear Side), 7 vs 3
  • Keep kids safe in the rear seat with standard child door locks on the E350; optional upgrade on the M3
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 9.2
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Winner: E350
[details]
  • Enjoy additional natural light with the E350's standard sun roof
Entertainment System 10.0 vs 9.2
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Winner: E350
[details]
  • If you want to keep the kids occupied with an entertainment system, it comes standard in the E350; no amount of money can buy it on the M3
  • The E350's stereo compensates for road noise as you speed up
Cost 10.0 vs 9.4
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Winner: E350
[details]
  • The best price we've seen is $19,850 cheaper (around 30% less), $50,275 vs $70,125
  • Gets more than 30% more miles per gallon in the city, 17 mpg vs 13 mpg
Performance 10.0 vs 9.4
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Winner: E350
[details]
  • The E350 comes standard with paddle shifters for ultimate driving control; not available on the M3
  • The E350's Semi-automatic transmission offers the best driving experience, Semi-automatic transmission vs Manual transmission
  • The E350 has 1 more gear, which can improve performance, 7 vs 6
Crash Test Ratings - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Practicality 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • A standard folding rear seat on the M3 is a great way to free up space for road trips; requires optional upgrade on the E350
Road Tests - vs 10.0
Missing information
[details]
Overall 10.0 vs 8.9

Safety Features

Mercedes-Benz
E350
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350
2011 BMW M3 BMW
M3
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Yes Both have electronic stability control
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Airbags 7 vs 3 The E350 has great airbag coverage, but the M3 does not (missing Rear Curtain, Knee, Head / Curtain, Rear Side)
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Standard vs Not Available Keep kids safe in the rear seat with standard child door locks on the E350; optional upgrade on the M3
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Roadside assistance system mbrace vs BMW Assist

Luxury Features

Mercedes-Benz
E350
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350
2011 BMW M3 BMW
M3
Help
moon roof Standard vs Not Available Enjoy additional natural light with the E350's standard sun roof
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power seats Standard vs Standard Both have power seats
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Optional vs Standard Leather-appointed interiors are available on both; but it comes standard with the M3

Entertainment System

Mercedes-Benz
E350
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350
2011 BMW M3 BMW
M3
Help
Number of speakers 8 vs 10 The M3 has an OK number of speakers, while the E350 has very few
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Has speed sensitive volume Yes vs No The E350's stereo cranks the volume to compensate for road noise, but the M3 does not
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Optional vs Optional Both can be upgraded to include satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Yes Both have an audio-in jack so you can plug in your own MP3 player to the stereo
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Has subwoofer No vs No Neither has a subwoofer; audio won't have that deep thumping bass sound
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entertainment system Standard vs Not Available If you want to keep the kids occupied with an entertainment system, it comes standard in the E350; no amount of money can buy it on the M3

Cost

Mercedes-Benz
E350
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350
2011 BMW M3 BMW
M3
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MSRP $50,275 vs $70,125 The E350 has a great price and the M3 is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 17 mpg vs 13 mpg The E350 has OK city mileage, while the M3 is very inefficient
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basic warranty miles 50,000 mile vs 50,000 mile Average basic warranty
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basic warranty years 4 year vs 4 year Average lasting basic warranty

Performance

Mercedes-Benz
E350
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350
2011 BMW M3 BMW
M3
Help
Horsepower 268 HP @ 6,000 RPM vs 414 HP @ 8,300 RPM The M3 is fairly powerful, but the E350 is underpowered
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Number of gears 7 vs 6 The E350 has more gears and the M3 is OK, too
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Transmission Semi-automatic transmission vs Manual transmission Both the E350's semi-automatic transmission and the M3 's Manual transmission are unusual transmissions for this class of vehicle
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paddle shifters Standard vs Not Available The E350 comes standard with paddle shifters for ultimate driving control; not available on the M3
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Air compressor None vs None Neither has an air compressor to maximize power output
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Power-to-weight ratio 14.3 lb/hp vs 10.0 lb/hp The M3 is a sporty car, while the E350 is just average
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Drivetrain type rear-wheel drive vs rear-wheel drive Both have the usual drivetrain for this class of vehicle
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 36.9 ft vs 38.4 ft Both cars corner comparably to other vehicles in their class

Crash Test Ratings

Mercedes-Benz
E350
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350
2011 BMW M3 BMW
M3
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Rollover resistance 5 stars vs Unknown
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Front driver crash test Unknown vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test Unknown vs Unknown

Practicality

Mercedes-Benz
E350
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350
2011 BMW M3 BMW
M3
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Passengers 5 vs 4 The E350 has lots of passenger seats, but the M3 has very few
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Highway driving range 506 miles vs 332 miles The E350 has great highway range, but the M3 is very limited
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Cargo space 15.9 ft3 vs 9.0 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 52.4 ft3 vs 51.1 ft3 The E350 has average-sized front seats, while the M3 is very cramped
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folding rear seats Optional vs Standard A standard folding rear seat on the M3 is a great way to free up space for road trips; requires optional upgrade on the E350
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power outlets Standard vs Not Available The E350's standard power outlets will keep your gadgets charged; not available on the M3
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roof rails Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers roof rails
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navigation system Optional vs Optional Both offer an upgrade to a navigation system
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Cupholders 4 vs Unknown
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Road Tests

Mercedes-Benz
E350
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350
2011 BMW M3 BMW
M3
Help
0-60 mph 6.8 seconds vs 4.2 seconds The M3 has a good 0-60 time, but the E350 is just average
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Braking distance at 60mph 139 ft vs 107 ft The M3 has above average braking ability, but the E350 is quite bad
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1/4 mile 15.2 s @ 94 mph vs 12.6 s @ 113 mph The M3 's 1/4 mile time is zippy, but the E350's is just OK
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Lateral acceleration 0.86 g vs 1 g The M3 has phenomenal cornering abilities, but the E350 is just OK
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Top speed Unknown vs 155 mph

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 BMW M3 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI M3 vs Impreza WRX STI
2011 BMW M3 2011 Porsche Cayman M3 vs Cayman
2011 BMW M3 2010 BMW M6 M3 vs M6
2011 BMW M3 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS M3 vs Camaro SS
2011 BMW M3 2010 BMW M5 M3 vs M5
2011 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 2011 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG E63 AMG vs C63 AMG
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 2011 Lexus ES 350 E350 vs ES 350
2011 Mercedes-Benz E550 2011 BMW 550i E550 vs 550i
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550 E350 vs CLS550
2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 2012 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec E350 vs Genesis 5.0 R-Spec

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

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