Mercedes C-Class Coupe

Good-looking coupe is fun to drive and luxurious

8.2
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 5 reviews
  • Good looking
  • Fun to drive
  • Luxurious interior
  • Noisy diesels
  • Uncharismatic petrols
  • Tight in the back
 

£31,835 - £49,870 Price range

 

4 Seats

 

35 - 68 MPG

Review

The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is based on the four-door saloon of its namesake and rivals the new Audi A5 and the BMW 4 Series. It costs £2,000 more than the C-Class saloon and trades some of that car’s practicality in the name of good looks.

It looks like a fair deal, though, because, well, the Coupe is really rather good looking. Far from being a mere two-door saloon, it distinguishes itself from the four-door with its diamond-style grille, pillarless doors and sloping rear end.

That said, from behind the steering wheel the saloon-car DNA is hard to deny – the Coupe’s dashboard is exactly the same as you get in the four-door. The three central air vents look sporty, the dials are heavily cowled and you’re surrounded by expensive-looking trim pieces that do a convincing job of making the C-Class feel like a mini S-Class, which is exactly the comparison Mercedes wants you to make.

Rear-seat passenger space is way down on what S-Class occupants have grown accustomed to, but the C-Class is one of the more practical coupes on the market. It has space for two adults in the back, at a push, and a boot that actually looks like it was designed to carry things.

Actual mechanical changes next to the saloon are limited to suspension that is 15mm lower. Engines have been borrowed from the four-door model, so there’s a variety of units to choose between, ranging from the 2.0-litre in the C200 to the 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 in the Mercedes-AMG C63. We would avoid petrol power altogether, though, and go for the C250d diesel that has the best mix of low running costs and performance.

Even if you choose the cheapest model equipment levels are pretty good and see to it that all C Coupes leave the factory with automatic emergency brakes, a Garmin sat-nav, LED headlights and a rear-view camera. The latter pops from behind the famous three-pointed star badge when you engage reverse.

While it would be nice to see the C-Class Coupe get its own unique interior, manufacturing and design costs make this unrealistic. Anyway, when the saloon’s fixtures and fittings are as good as this it would be a shame not use them.

It dispatches with the old train of thought that more buttons equal more kit – and goes for a simple design instead, with fancy slabs of trim where you used to expect to find rows of identical buttons. The result is a car that feels hyper-luxurious, particularly if you fit the Burmester stereo that sports intricately designed tweeter covers that look very high end indeed.

Mercedes C-Class Coupe infotainment

The standard infotainment system makes the dashboard’s simple design possible and it’s used to operate things like the heater and stereo. Basic models come with a Garmin sat-nav unit, but its seven-inch display looks small in a car the Coupe’s size.

Better to go for the optional Comand Online system. It comes as part of the pricy Premium Plus package, but gets a crystal clear 8.4-inch display and 10GB of music storage. It’s not the easiest system to use, though, with a confusing number of menus to navigate your way through, but the fixed control on the centre console makes it easier to use on the move than a touchscreen. The Premium Plus pack’s £2,995 price looks like better value when you consider it also adds keyless entry, a Burmester stereo, electrically adjustable seats, mood lighting and panoramic sunroof – all of which are attractive upgrades in a car like this.

Mercedes C-Class Coupe interior space

Interior space very much depends on where in the C-Class Coupe you’re sitting. Up front there’s room for tall adults to lounge, with lots of space for your legs and there’s headroom to spare. All models come with adjustable lumbar support for the front seats to make getting comfortable almost guaranteed.

There’s no such luck for people in the back who’ll get to experience the limited rear headroom and small windows that come as a result of the C-Class’ elegantly tapered roofline. The back seat is only built for two people, though, so there’s plenty of elbow room and – depending on the size of the people in front – a reasonable amount of legroom.

With no rear doors, fitting a child seat is more awkward than in the saloon, but the big door openings, front seats that glide open electrically and clearly marked Isofix points mean it’s no major hassle.

Back-seat passengers get a couple of cup holders where a third passenger would have sat and there are various other small storage areas scattered around the cabin. The doorbins are each big enough for a 2-litre bottle of water and there’s room for another one in the large glovebox.

Mercedes C-Class Coupe boot space

The Coupe’s 400-litre boot is smaller than that of its main rivals – a BMW 4 Series offers 445 litres and the Audi A5 465 litres – but that’s the price to pay for its attractive rear end – and in everyday use it’s perfectly big enough. The opening is a little small, but there’s just enough room for two large suitcases, and rear seats that split and fold 40:20:40 mean there’s room to fit a TV box, if you’d rather not wait for a delivery.

While from some angles the Coupe looks like a sports car, it drives more like a grand tourer. It’s perfect for covering huge miles in because interior refinement is excellent and the ride is extremely comfortable.

Quite how comfortable depends on which of the three suspension setups you go for. The standard springs give a good balance between comfort and road-holding, while AMG Line models get a sportier feel. Choose the latter and the £895 Airmatic air suspension is an option worth going for, giving the C-Class limo-like ride quality.

No matter which setup you choose, the C-Class isn’t as fun to drive as a BMW 4 Series, which resists body roll better and has more accurate steering. The Merc always feels like a relaxing cruiser that’s better suited to wide and open A-roads than tight, twisting B roads.

Standard-fit ‘Agility Select’ allows you to choose from Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual driving modes. They let the driver adjust the weight of the steering and the throttle response.

Comfort lies at the heart of the experience, though, which makes specifying the nine-speed automatic gearbox a no-brainer. It’s a £1,445 option on basic models but comes as standard on the rest of the range.

Thanks to a new range of engines, the C-Class Coupe is up to 27 per cent more efficient than before. UK buyers do without the basic 1.6-litre petrol fitted to European cars, the core of the range is made up of 2.0-litre petrols and 2.1-litre diesels.

Mercedes C-Class Coupe petrol engines

With 184hp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the C200 can scrabble from 0-62mph in a reasonably spritely 7.7 seconds and returns respectable fuel economy of 53.3mpg along with CO2 emissions of 123g/km for road tax of £110 per year.

If you want a sporting chance of seeing off hot hatches from the traffic lights, however, you’ll need to upgrade to the C300. Contrary to what the name suggests, it uses the same 2.0-litre engine as the C200, this time tuned to produce 245hp – enough to get it from 0-62mph in six seconds, while posting running costs comparable to the C200.

The C43 4Matic bridges the gap between the regular Coupes and the mobile riot that is the C 63. Performance is very impressive, partly because of its twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine and partly because it comes with four-wheel drive as standard – which helps it gets all its power down hitting 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds. With the increase in performance comes a hike in running costs – fuel economy drops to 35.5mpg and CO2 emissions rise to 183g/km for road tax of £210 a year.

Mercedes C-Class Coupe diesel engines

It’s the diesel engines that offer the winning combination of being cheap to run and reasonably pacey, so it’s no surprise Mercedes expects them to be the most popular.

The range kicks off with the 170hp C220d that, if you spec the smaller 17-inch alloy wheels, costs just £20 a year to tax and can post fuel economy of more than 70mpg. On paper it’s slightly slower than the basic petrol – 0-62mph takes 7.8 seconds – but the reality is that it actually feels quicker thanks to it offering more torque (295Ib ft versus 221Ib ft). That translates into a lazy powerful delivery that requires fewer gear changes to make quick progress.

Best of all is the 204hp 250d. Its 369Ib ft of torque makes for even lazier progress – 0-62mph takes 6.7 seconds – but fuel economy of 64.2mpg is strong and, if you ignore the temptation to specify larger wheels, its CO2 emissions of 115g/km mean that road tax costs just £30.

Sharing its underpinnings with C-Class saloon, which got a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, we expect the Coupe to be very safe. To that end it comes as standard with all the latest features including a system that detects the driver becoming drowsy and warns them to take a break, a tyre-pressure-warning system, nine airbags and a pop-up bonnet that protects pedestrians from the hard engine underneath in the event of a collision.

If you want to boost safety still further it’s worth considering the optional £1,695 Driving Assistance package. It brings with it a whole host of extra equipment including active cruise control, lane assist and a blind-spot-warning system.

As touched on before, the C-Class Coupe comes with comprehensive standard equipment – basic Sport trim includes the aforementioned sat-nav, LED headlights, automatic headlights and a rear-view camera.

Mercedes C-Class Coupe AMG Line

If you want to spend more money you can of course. AMG Line models sit in the middle of the range and have sporty looks thanks to their 18-inch alloy wheels and AMG bodykit. They’re genuinely sportier to drive, too – they get quicker steering and stiffer suspension.

Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC

C43 models come with four-wheel drive and Mercedes’ nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard. Outside they look like an AMG Line model with everything turned up a notch, so the front bumper has extra vents and the rear one sports a diffuser-style design. Inside, the dashboard is wrapped in man-made leather and you get racy red seatbelts.

Conclusion

Mercedes coupes have often been little more than saloons with two doors missing, but that’s not a complaint levelled at the new C-Class Coupe. It offers style in spades – enough to ensure it sits several pegs above the saloon in the cool stakes.

Thankfully, practicality doesn’t take too big a hit and although it can’t match the saloon for boot space, the Coupe will be easy to live with everyday unless you need lots of rear-seat space. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that it remains a car better suited to fast cruising than gung-ho B road blasts – if that’s what you’re looking for then the BMW 4 Series remains the go-to choice.

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