BMW vs. Mercedes

Perfection Defined

Comparing Mercedes & BMW is like comparing apples to oranges, sweet tea to bourbon, Howard Stern to Billy Graham. These two car companies are completely different, yet somehow, they’re direct competitors. In the world of corporate law, and options trading, BMW reigns supreme. However, Mercedes rules in the world of plastic surgery & Eastern European crime organizations. So what sets these two German luxury carmakers apart? Glad you asked…

Mercedes-Benz Patent MotorwagenCarl Benz is widely regarded as the first official car maker on earth. His 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen had 3-wheels, a water-cooled 1-cylinder engine, and drivers had to buy their gasoline from the local pharmacist, who sold it in small bottles for cleaning purposes. His company merged with Gottlieb Daimler’s car company in 1924, creating Daimler-Benz. The name Mercedes came from one of Daimler’s distributors, who had named a 1902 Daimler model after his daughter.

BMW officially started in 1917, after the managing partner of aircraft engine builder Rapp Motorenwerke left the business. The company’s high-altitude BBE aeroengine was popular with the German & Russian armies during World War I. But the Treaty of Versailles prevented them from making any more aircraft engines, so BMW began making motorcycles in 1923, followed by their first production car, the BMW Dixi 3/15 in 1928. Ironically, the BMW Dixi was actually an Austin 7, built under license by BMW.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, this author has owned numerous vintage Mercedes-Benz’s. But I promise, that won’t cloud my objectivity, because we’re comparing modern Mercedes to modern BMW. And neither is even slightly similar to the cars of yore.

BMW 3 SeriesClearly, BMW spends their R&D money on driving enhancements, and Mercedes spends their Billions on advancing the automobile in general. And while Mercedes does offer some compelling AMG tire-shredders, you can get luxury and driving pleasure from BMW’s cheapest models. So if you’re a lawyer or stockbroker, buy a Bimmer. However, if you’re a plastic surgeon, or a member of the Russian Mafia, you should probably buy a Benz.