BMW M3 vs Mercedes-AMG C 63 
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Sports Sedan Comparison: BMW M3 vs Mercedes-AMG C 63 

We are slowly but surely leaving the internal combustion engine behind. While petrol-power won’t be missed as hybrid and EV alternatives are already churning out more of it, its absence will be audibly noticed. The reality is that BMW M and Mercedes-AMG vehicles will never be the same.

Many continue to associate ICE noises with speed and performance, and we must agree. The good news is that, although electrification is inevitable, there’s still some time left to celebrate cars like the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C 63.

Specs: 2021 BMW M3 vs 2021 Mercedes-AMG C 63

Before we get into it and determine the best interior, exterior styling, and performance, here’s a quick side-by-side comparison between the two high-performance sedans: 


2021 BMW M3

2021 Mercedes-AMG C 63

Base Price




3.0L turbocharged I6

4.0L turbocharged V8


6-speed manual

9-speed automatic

Optional Transmission

8-speed automatic





Maximum Horsepower



Maximum Torque



0-100 km/h (fastest)

3.9 seconds

4.0 seconds

Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined L/100km)

Competition xDrive combined: 12.7


Seating Capacity 



Basic Warranty

4 years or 80,000 km

4 years or 80,000 km

A long-standing rivalry between Germany’s best

The rivalry between these two premium performance cars dates to the late 1980s and roughly 35 years later, it’s still going strong. Over the years, both automakers have taken slightly different paths to differentiate their products but today, it’s all about brute strength and luxury.

Photo: BMW 

The G80 BMW M3 marks a return in many ways to the most famous M car’s roots. The new car is not without controversy, but it is without a doubt the fastest ever of its kind. For the first time ever, it is offered with AWD which further increases the M3’s all-out performance potential. 

The W205 Mercedes-AMG C 63, soon to be replaced by the next-generation W206, will be the last ultra-high-performance C-Class sedan to be V8-powered. For this reason alone, we are and forever will be grateful for its existence. This AMG car is an absolute beast and requires an immense amount of respect. 

Photo: Mercedes-AMG 

We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s objectively, at least try, to compare both of these exceptional automobiles. 

Best styling: It’s a tie

Both are immediately recognizable as automotive icons

It’s true. The BMW M3’s (and M4) oversized, and very controversial Kidney grille remains a sore spot visually for most, however, and hear us out, it works on this car. This is an M3, not a “regular” 4 Series and so it needs to be over-the-top and unique. 

As nearly all body panels are themselves flared and swollen, the grille fits. An M3 will never be mistaken for being anything else than what it is. And, as though the car’s extra-muscular appearance was insufficient, BMW will happily paint it Isle of Man Green, Sao Paulo Yellow, or Frozen Orange, if you like. 

On the other hand, the AMG C 63 flies under the radar, to a certain extent. One reason could be that most of them are black but no matter the paint scheme, the C 63 is subdued, practically visually tame in contrast to the M3. 

This can be quite appealing to owners who desire a Q-Ship lifestyle over a flamboyant one, but, as an onlooker, if you know, you know. The moment the V8 roars to life though, the illusion immediately disappears. 

Best interior: BMW M3

The BMW’s cabin is snazzier and more modern 

Photo: BMW 

The Mercedes-AMG C 63 is mildly penalized by its relative age. Elements of the dashboard, specifically the display screen, look as though it was fitted as an afterthought. Beyond this point, the C 63’s cabin is supremely luxurious and comfortable. 

The BMW M3 takes it based on how eventful and energy-packed the dashboard’s various sections come together. There’s a sense that this is a special place to be, and that BMW is proud of its car. Like the outer shell, the M3’s seats, door cards, and portions of the dashboard can be specified in several colours without spending indecent amounts of money. You can if you want to though. 

Photo: Mercedes-AMG 

Both premium sedans are fitted with the finest materials and carefully crafted. They offer excellent and supportive seats, and plenty of technology. 

Best performance: BMW M3

For the available manual transmission and its sharper reflexes 

Impressively, and despite being a car that feels more at ease near its limits than the AMG, the M3 is also easier to drive and live with on a daily basis. This aspect is one of the three most crucial differences between the M3 and C 63. 

For the ultimate driving enthusiast, the M3 can be delivered with a 6-speed manual transmission. Among the three German automakers that sell vehicles such as these, BMW is the only one to do so. This gearbox is not for novices or learners as extracting the most out of the transmission requires perfect synchronicity, a reason why we love it so much. 

Photo: BMW 

The other advantage the M3 has C 63 is the available xDrive AWD system. This feature ensures optimal performance in all weather conditions. And finally, the 3.0L BMW M TwinPower turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine is a legend and an engineering gem. 

The M3's sibling, the M4, also generates power from the twin-turbocharged 3.0L straight six. Here's our full 2022 BMW M4 Competition review.

But, it is not a hand-built AMG V8 engine. The C 63 is ballistically fast even without the aid of AWD and, like the M3’s manual transmission, it’s not for everyone. This super-sedan isn’t as forgiving or easy to live with as the BMW. Its suspension is tuned without any give or suppleness which means that it never settles down unless driven on a perfectly smooth surface. Again, when the V8 rumbles, almost all is forgiven and forgotten. 

Photo: Mercedes-AMG 

Verdict: which high-performance German sedan is worth buying?

The single fact that the BMW M3 is offered with a manual transmission makes it a winner. The reality is however that it will account for only a small portion of overall M3 sales - Kudos to BMW for satisfying your legions of fans and driving enthusiasts everywhere. 

The Mercedes-AMG C 63 is a rotary machine gun brought to a paintball game. Like the heavy gun, the C 63 can become an uneasy burden over time. The AMG will always offer massive firepower and command respect and admiration. 

If we had to choose, we’d opt for the M3 with a stick. Here are all our used BMW sedans currently for sale. If you decide to buy from us, we’ll deliver your certified Bimmer straight to your door, and you have 7 days to try it out. Not happy with your 500-plus horsepower Bavarian rocket? No problem, we'll come pick it up within those first 7 days and give you your money back.

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