Mercedes C-Class Coupe (2015-2017) 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.
What's not so good
Find out more about the Mercedes C-Class Coupe (2015-2017)
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.
The new C-Class Coupe is up to 27 per cent more efficient than the model it replaces
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.
For more detailed and in-depth analysis of the Mercedes C-Class Coupe, read the Interior, Practicality, Driving and Specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, if you just want to see how much money you can save, click through to our Deals page.
You won’t have any problem getting comfortable in the front, but it’s a very different story if you’re in the back seats or trying to load some big packages in the boot
Naturally, there's less space in the back of this C-Class than in the saloon, but it's still one of the more practical coupes
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.
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 door bins are each big enough for a 2-litre bottle of water and there’s room for another one in the large glovebox.
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.
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.
From some angles the Coupe looks like a sports car, but it drives more like a grand tourer.
The soundproofing is excellent and the car is really comfortable
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.
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.
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.
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 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 running costs will be cheap.
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.
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.