Before the C-Class Coupe, Mercedes-Benz attempted to fill the coupe niche with the C-Class Sport Coupe (CLC in other markets). With a hatchback body style and its high prices, the Sport Coupe proved unpopular with the buyers, specifically young adults. However, seeing how successful the Audi A5 and the BMW 3 Series coupe was, Mercedes attempted to enter the foray with a coupe version of its popular C-Class sedan. Despite the previous Sport Coupe’s individual style, the latest C-Class coupe looks like the sedan with two doors chopped off. Available in C250, C350, C63 AMG versions, this Coupe attempts to lure younger buyers to the brand unlike the unsuccessful Sport Coupe.
The front end is completely identical to that of the sedan. With that in mind, the front is cohesive and uncluttered. You can tell this is the Sport trim because the Mercedes star emblem is not present on the hood. The headlights are nicely detailed, and the grille is simple. The LED daytime running lights are positioned in the lower quadrants of the bumpers where they are still present but not messing up the overall design. The side profile is characterized by an uprising line, creating dynamism. The rising belt line helps add excitement to the side as do the subtle fender flares. The rear is nicely done, and the taillights look high quality. The only gripe I have with the rear is the diffuser that comes with the Sport trim. It looks out of place, and it is not uniform in design. The interior is a pleasing place to be in. Warm colors and inviting wood help with this effect.
To drive, it feels considerably more sport orientated than the sedan. The steering is slightly heavier, and there is some road feel. To corner, it is faultless in this regard. It could be better, as there is no fizz or excitement in the way it drives. It feels very calculating and robotic. Which shouldn’t be a problem for most people, but in my opinion, it is just not engaging enough. When you go on a twisty road, it drives well but it lacks that special quality that truly makes it fun to drive. The ride quality is smooth most of the time. However, it thuds over poor surfaces. If you want a more comfortable ride, go with the Luxury trim.
The 250 in C250 denotes a turbocharged 1.8 liter four cylinder engine. Despite its modest 201 horsepower rating, it feels far stronger than you would think. There is virtually no turbo lag, and once you get past 2,000 rpm, there is a colossal surge in power. It is quick, and it is accompanied by a smooth 7-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is decent at 22/31 mpg city/highway.
Except for wind noise, refinement is excellent. Road and engine noise are well contained. The engine is refined, and it lets out a satisfying whir when pressed.
Fit and finish is stellar. Everything fits together nicely and feels premium. The controls are easy to master. The steering wheel controls are not as intuitive. The seats are a bit hard and firm. It is easy to get comfortable, and there are numerous adjusting settings. Cabin storage is moderate. The rear is cramped, and headroom is lacking due to the roofline. Access to the rear could be easier. The trunk is a bit shallow but it is a decent size.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a fine car. It feels like a proper Mercedes-Benz, and it drives like one. The only problem for me is the fun factor. But then again I am picky when it comes to cars, and I do not expect people to share my opinion. The styling is eye catching, and it drives well enough. What I like best about this car is the engine. It has just the right amount of power, which in today’s power hungry society, is rare in a car. It has enough power for everyday situations, but its modest power output means you can enjoy every second of pushing it to its limit. I just wish the rest of the car was just as fun as the engine to drive.