The C-Class Sedan took a slimming pill and the result is rather satisfying
Photos by Azfar Hashim
Who is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe perfect for? Easy: The lot of you who doesn’t want or need the C-Class sedan. Or for the few who secretly wants the 3 Series sedan, but for some unfathomable reason, finds a 2-doored car with a star badge more impressive. Perhaps you are the sort who strongly desire for a 911; unfortunately your current bank accounts doesn’t agree to such a splurge. Oh wait – obviously you find the 4 Series Coupe and A5 Coupe too… well… yesterday. Plus, the local dealer already stopped sale for the latter.
Whatever the reasons could be, the C-Class Coupe is already here and with me is the entry-level C180 variant.
The C180 Coupe's rear section is undoubtedly well designed
To cut to the chase, it offers everything you’ve seen in the C180 Sedan. Only differences here, obviously, are that this Coupe variant is far sexier, has two doors less, is far sexier, doesn’t look like a rush chop job and is far sexier. There, I cannot emphasize just how far sexier this model is. Think of it as the automotive Margot Robbie equivalent…
Moving along. In terms of size, the coupe and sedan displayed no significant difference, except for the height; the coupe here sits 37 mm lower. And at the same time, 80 kg separates the two, with the sedan being the pudgier one.
The C180 Coupe’s cabin is a wonderful place to be in all thanks to the impeccable build quality, splendid ergonomics and praise-worthy rear space. The front two seats are supportive and equally huggable; at the rear, despite the sloping roof, headroom remained decent while leg space should not receive any complaint even over longer drives. Of course, the positive part with regards to the rear is only applicable for passengers of average height. That said, ingress and egress is a non-dramatic affair and you don’t need to possess superb acrobatic ability just to get back there.
Its cockpit is as similar to the sedan, which means if sportiness is what you are seeking, you’re better off in the 420i; here, what you get instead is a classy-themed one. But personally speaking, I do wish all the labels were given bigger fonts. Also, the piano black finish on the center console attracts dust, thumbprints and definitely is vulnerable to scratches. A matte finish would do a much better job in this case.
If you hit the golf course often, I’m glad to report the C180 Coupe’s boot is useful enough to lug your bag all thanks to the 400-litres worth of space available. However, it’s the smallest in class as both the 4 Series Coupe and A5 Coupe has 450-litres.
The C180 Coupe’s much more of a cruiser than a bruiser, and it really shows by the leisurely pace it takes to get a move on. Under the hood lies a turbocharged 1,595 cc 16-valve in-line 4 powerplant. Mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission, it produces 154 bhp at 5,300 rpm and 250 Nm worth of torque at the 4,000 rpm mark. It may not be anything close to a hot-hatch but takes surprisingly less than nine seconds — 8.8 seconds to be precise — to go from zero to 100 km/h.
Although no fire-breather, it’s respectable how power is dispatched from low to mid rev without feeling lethargic. Closing gaps in traffic jams isn’t a big problem for the car, and around town, it does its job well enough from traffic light to traffic light. You could even select ‘Sport+’ to get more life from both transmission and engine.
With a not-so-big-engine however, you do need to yank the accelerator to get the autobox to work harder and faster, but at least when pressed, it will get the job done within expectation. Selecting your own gears via the standard paddle-shifter comes in very useful for such a task as well.
Out on the expressway, the C180 Coupe drives comfortably, with only the occasional potholes and road irregularities throwing the suspension off-guard. Some might opine this coupe is slightly hard-sprung, but the good thing is you could push it hard into a corner or drive it slightly fast around sweeping bends; the car would just go in a confident manner.
It understeers without a doubt, but at least it does so progressively enough to let your senses anticipate that you are breaching the handling limit. The body roll — yes, it’s present — can be felt too, but it’s hardly to a point your passengers are thrown off their seats.
To sum it all up rather simply, the C180 Coupe would be a perfect proposition for (a) buyers who have wanted a star-badged coupe all along that doesn’t cost beyond $200k with COE or (b) those that find the CLA young-ish. There’s a perfect balance of class and style at the same time and the sorted refinement, without power struggle, makes this one worthy.
Just press this button and the car extends the driver and front passenger's seat belt without both having to stretch their arms