Mercedes C-Class Coupe review
The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is a slick-looking executive two-door with a smart interior, but the back seats are pretty cramped and the boot isn’t particularly big
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The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is a stylish executive car with a wide range of engines and a slick interior with plenty of high-tech features. If practicality is high on your list of priorities, you can also get it as a bigger four-door saloon or a much roomier estate.
To help the C-Class Coupe keep up with the likes of the new Audi A5 and the latest BMW 4 Series, it was updated in 2018 with a couple of new engines and some subtly redesigned bumpers.
Inside, this latest model also gets a massively improved infotainment system. Gone is the old car’s 8.4-inch display, replaced by a crisper, brighter and easier-to-read 10.25-inch screen. If that still sounds a little small, you can get a larger 12.3-inch display instead of conventional analogue dials that makes the C-Class Coupe feel very nearly as modern inside as the futuristic Audi A5.
Look past these fancy displays and you’ll spot plenty of smart glossy black trims, brushed aluminium and unvarnished wood that make the Mercedes C-Class Coupe’s interior look every bit as fancy as its exterior. Even the man-made leather seats you get as standard feel almost as good as the real thing.
Unfortunately, the Mercedes C-Class Coupe’s practicality can’t quite match some alternatives. Its rather cramped back seats mean tall passengers won’t be as comfy as in the likes of the 4 Series or A5 and the Mercedes’ boot is slightly smaller than what you get in the Audi and BMW, too. At least you can fold the back seats down to carry particularly long luggage, however.
You’ll struggle to find an angle that doesn’t make the C-Class Coupe look great – well, besides the view from the dark and dingy back seats, that is…
The Mercedes C-Class Coupe starts to claw back some points when you go for a drive. It’s more comfortable than the A5 and 4 Series – even without the optional air suspension – and you won’t hear a great deal of wind or tyre noise at motorway speeds.
Speaking of which, go for a C220d diesel version if you do lots of long journeys – it’s very quiet, fast enough to easily overtake slow-moving traffic and relatively cheap to run. If you spend more time driving in town, go for a C200 petrol hybrid. This comes with a built-in electric motor for improved performance and reduced fuel consumption.
For performance to match the coupe’s slick looks, you’ll want a C300 petrol or an even faster AMG C43 that’ll accelerate from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds.
Whichever engine you choose, you get a smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard, alongside plenty of high-tech safety features that’ll help prevent avoidable accidents – including adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.
Together, these features help make the Mercedes C-Class Coupe very relaxing to drive, and a worthy alternative to the likes of the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5 – especially if comfort is your main focus. See how the C-Class stacks up against these two in our group test below.
There’s loads of space and plenty of adjustment to help you get comfortable in the front seats but the back seats feel slightly claustrophobic and alternatives have bigger boots
The Mercedes C-Class Coupe’s front seats are spacious and supportive, so you’ll have no trouble getting comfortable – even if you’re very tall. Both front seats come with electric height-adjustment and adjustable lumbar support to help reduce backache on long journeys as standard.
Unfortunately, space in the back isn’t as generous. Even with the front seats folded forwards, there isn’t a particularly big gap for your passengers to climb through, and the Mercedes C-Class Coupe’s small rear windows make the back seats feel quite claustrophobic.
The sloping roofline cuts into headroom considerably, too, so anyone over six-feet tall will find long stints in the back quite uncomfortable. Thankfully, there’s a fair amount of legroom, and the fact you only get two seats in the back means there’s plenty of shoulder and elbow room.
You get two pairs of Isofix anchor points for fitting a child seat, but lifting the seat into the back is a bit of a faff. At least the anchor points themselves are easy to locate behind a set of plastic covers.
With an interior as fetching as the Mercedes C-Class Coupe’s, you won’t want to clutter it up with bottles and old coffee cups. Thankfully, you get plenty of handy storage bins to keep things looking tidy. The front door bins are wide enough to hold a 1.5-litre bottle and there’s a pair of cupholders under a folding cover in the centre console.
You also get a reasonably spacious storage bin under the front armrest and passengers in the back get a couple of cupholders fitted where you’d usually find a central seat. Unfortunately, you don’t get a folding rear armrest in any C-Class Coupes.
The Mercedes C-Class Coupe comes with a boot big enough for two large suitcases or a set of golf clubs, but its 400-litre capacity is smaller than what you get in the 4 Series and A5. The slightly narrow boot opening makes it a little tricky to load bulky items – such as a pushchair – and there’s a tall boot lip that you’ll have to lift heavy items over.
Thankfully, you can fold the Mercedes C-Class Coupe’s back seats down in a three-way (40:20:40) split, so you can carry two passengers in the back and some long (but relatively thin) luggage at the same time. If you need to carry very large pieces of luggage, both seats flip down to create a relatively flat load bay with only a slight ramp up behind the back seats.
You get a good variety of engines in the Mercedes C-Class Coupe, from a frugal 1.5-litre petrol to a twin-turbo V6, but whichever one you pick you’ll find alternatives more fun to drive
The C-Class Coupe feels about as athletic as a sports jacket – i.e. not very. Thankfully, it’s very comfortable and hugely relaxing to drive
Entry-level Mercedes C-Class Coupe C200 models come with a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a mild-hybrid system that uses a small electric motor to improve acceleration and reduce fuel consumption. It’s your best bet if you do lots of driving around town because it’s impressively smooth and very quiet. Mercedes claims it’ll return 46.3mpg, although you can expect to see closer to 40mpg in normal driving conditions.
If you spend more time on the motorway, you should consider a C220d diesel version instead. This 194hp 2.0-litre engine produces very little noise at 70mph and it’s fast enough to keep up with fast-moving traffic. It’ll return around 50mpg in normal driving conditions – slightly less than Mercedes’ claimed 61.4mpg. If you live somewhere hard to reach in icy winter weather, C200 models also come with the option of 4Matic four-wheel drive.
If you want something with more performance, the AMG-tuned C43 model with a 390hp twin-turbo V6 that’ll cover the same sprint in just 4.7 seconds. If this still sounds a little slow, just wait until the V8 AMG C63 with more than 470hp goes on sale.
Whichever engine you pick, you get a smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard. It doesn’t jerk at slow speeds and changes gear smoothly when you accelerate hard, but it doesn’t respond to the shift paddles as quickly as the automatic ‘boxes you get in the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5.
The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is more comfortable than most small executive saloons so it’s more at home cruising along a motorway than storming down an empty country road. You won’t hear much wind or tyre noise at speed and it irons out bumps and potholes impressively well around town – even without the optional air suspension.
Sure, the Mercedes doesn’t feel as sporty as the BMW and it leans slightly more in tight corners, but sportier C43 models still feel pretty nimble and will have no trouble putting a big grin on your face on a spirited Sunday afternoon drive.
Around town, however, things are a little less grin-inducing because the Mercedes C-Class Coupe isn’t particularly easy to see out of. You can thank its narrow windscreen, thick rear pillars and small side windows for that.
Thankfully, you get a reversing camera as standard, so at least the C-Class Coupe’s relatively easy to park. Sadly, you can’t get a surround-view camera system to help you avoid scraping the Mercedes’ alloy wheels on tall kerbs.
What you do get, however, is automatic emergency braking to help prevent avoidable low-speed collisions, and adaptive cruise control to help you maintain a safe distance to cars in front.
Pay extra for the Driving Assistance pack, and you’ll get a bunch of extra features including blind-spot detection, lane-keeping assist and a more comprehensive cruise control feature. The latter will accelerate, brake and even steer for you on motorways – so long as you keep your hands on the steering wheel.
The C-Class saloon – on which the coupe is based – received a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP back in 2014 and these new safety features should help make this latest Mercedes C-Class Coupe model a very safe executive coupe.
The Mercedes C-Class Coupe looks and feels pretty plush inside, but add a few unpolished wood trims and things start to get very tasteful indeed. Sadly, they cost extra in entry-level cars
Mercedes C-Class Coupe colours
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