MERCEDES-BENZ C 200 is a popular choice among the well-heeled, outselling the winning BMW 330i, which is $10,000 dearer, by two to one. The C 200 was class-leading with the BMW in many areas such as safety, seating comfort, build and finish quality, and ride. Mercedes has a long list of safety technology including autonomous emergency braking, nine airbags – including a driver knee airbag – blind spot monitoring, and the PRE-SAFE accident anticipation system. The C 200 is slightly better equipped than the BMW, with a good list of standard features including navigation, faux leather upholstery, powered front seats with electro-pneumatic lumbar support, electric park brake, rear camera with guidelines, adaptive suspension and heated folding side mirrors. But while the dollar equations are in the C 200’s favour, it couldn’t match the 330i on the road, especially in performance and handling. Not that the Mercedes is a slouch, offering a seamless drive with its 135kW turbo-charged engine and seven-speed transmission. And fuel consumption is at the frugal end of the scale – only the hybrid Lexus outpoints it and the BMW – aided by a fuel-saving stop/start system.