BMW 530i vs Mercedes-Benz E300

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Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - August 23, 2017

BMW versus Mercedes is about as close to an Ali versus Frazier fight as one can get in the automotive realm. In the midsize category, these two heavyweights throw in two excellent examples in the BMW 530i and the Mercedes-Benz E300.

Both models offer amazing luxury, great rides, and surprising performance, but which knock-out sedan is the better buy? Keep reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the 530 & E300 »

What the 530i Gets Right

The BMW 530i gets a slight edge on the E300 from the window sticker, as the 530i checks in at $52,895 ($995 destination fee included) and the Mercedes-Benz runs $53,945 (including $995 destination fees). Sure, that’s only about a $1,000 difference, but that money is enough for a few options on the 530i.

The BMW's 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder gets a very small power advantage over the E300's 2.0-liter turbo: 248 horsepower versus 241 hp. This added power, lower weight, and other technical bits (like more aggressive transmission gearing) help the 530i hit 60 mph 0.2 seconds faster than the E300. Fuel economy is another strong point for the 530i, as its 24 miles per gallon city, 34 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined easily beat the E300 by 2 to 4 mpg across the board.

Rear-seat passengers will also find the BMW 530i a bit more comfortable, especially those with longer legs. This is thanks to the 530i’s extra 0.7 inches of rear leg room. Additionally, at 18.7 cubic feet of luggage room, the BMW 530i crushes the E300 by 5.6 cubic feet.

What the E300 Gets Right

The E300 starts off with one big choice for buyers: Sport or Luxury. This option allows buyers to choose from a sportier front fascia or the more traditional Luxury appearance.

While the E300 does fall a touch behind the 530i in hp, its 273 lb-ft of torque outdoes the 530i by 15 lb-ft. Though this isn’t enough to beat the 530i in a straight line, it does make the E300 feel quicker when the pedal meets the floor.

The E300’s back seat, while lacking in leg room, has an extra inch of shoulder room relative to the 530. This reduces shoulder rubbing when adults are in the rear seats. Additionally, its 38.2 inches of rear-seat head room makes settling in the rear seat easier for taller riders.

Plenty of E300s will sell, regardless

While we can't crown the E300 the victor of this head-to-head competition, plenty of units will find new homes this year. Many buyers choose their luxury car based on name alone, and Mercedes-Benz has very loyal followers.

Verdict: BMW 530

While there are many parallels between the 530i and E300, the BMW pulled ahead with its lower base price, extra leg room and massive trunk.

Take a closer look at the BMW 530 »

Take a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz E300 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Google+ | Website