As the name suggests the C-Class Coupe is a two-door version of Mercedes-Benz’s best seller, the C-Class sedan. There are four models, starting with the four-cylinder C200 tested here ($65,900) and finishing with the V8-powered C63 AMG ($162,400). In the middle are two more four-cylinders, the diesel-powered C250d and the more powerful C300. While it looks smaller than the C-Class sedan, the Coupe is actually the same length and width, but it only gets four seats, one fewer than the four-door version.
- It looks the business, partly because of its two-door silhouette but also thanks to the unique “diamond grille” which brings more definition and visual excitement to the nose. Inside, too, it’s all elegance and class thanks to a clean but functional design and well-chosen materials, including matte-finished dark wood and aluminium.
- Those who enjoy driving will appreciate the AMG suspension fitted as standard to C-Class Coupes. It’s slightly firmer than the suspension on C sedans, but combined with steering that requires fewer turns to get the desired result it makes for sharper cornering responses, which is perfect for twisting roads. If you want more comfort splash out on the Airmatic adjustable air suspension system. It has a Comfort setting that is very compliant, making for more relaxed motoring.
- Despite being the most affordable model in the line-up, the C200 comes generously appointed. There’s fake leather that looks and feels convincingly like the real stuff, as well as digital radio tuning (for clearer reception in main cities), sat-nav and power-operated front seats with the ability to program settings for different drivers. The safety story is strong, too, with blind spot warning, partial auto emergency braking which can automatically apply the brakes to avoid a nose-to-tail crash, and nine airbags (dual front, side airbags for each of the four occupants, curtain airbags to protect heads in a side impact, and a driver’s knee airbag).
- It’s impressively fuel efficient. Claimed consumption is 6.0 litres/100km, and while you’re unlikely to achieve that in daily driving, with some careful driving you can get close to the claim. Keep in mind, though, that as with key competitors it prefers more expensive premium unleaded fuel.
- The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine in the C200 is strong around town and is a relaxed tourer but it lacks some of the sporty sizzle you might expect given the boldness of the exterior design. Those wanting more zing would do better to up the spend to the C300.
- The steering doesn’t match the athleticism evident elsewhere. Sure, it’s faithful in its responses to driver inputs and has a reassuring weight to it when you select the Sport or Sport+ mode as part of the Dynamic Select system (it also adjusts throttle sensitivity and how the seven-speed auto changes gears). But its initial reactions aren’t particularly direct, requiring more of a twirl to point the nose into a corner. It's more noticeable through tighter bends and when you’re changing direction quickly.
- Rear seat space is tight, especially if you’re shoehorning taller adults in. Head room in the rear is actually marginally worse than the model it replaces – and 37mm less than in the sedan – and there are only two seats in the back. Leg room, too, is 83mm worse off than the C-Class sedan, although if those in the front don’t have their seats pushed all the way back it’s liveable for shorter journeys.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER?
Traditional challengers include BMW’s 4-Series Coupe and Audi’s A5 Coupe.
A more recent entrant to the affordable end of the luxury two-door market is the Lexus RC. For similar money you could even consider Ford’s recently introduced Mustang, although with a big engine and retro-infused styling it’s a very different machine to the two-doors from luxury brands.
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