Mercedes-Benz has gone all-out to promote the new C-class to the younger buyers.
Let us start with a bit of history: The C-Class is the best-selling model for Mercedes-Benz. Now in its fourth year, the car receives new styling to keep up with the competition – and we do like it. Unlike the curvy looks of its direct competitor, the Benz features chunky features and clean straight lines. Right up our alley!
It might look similar to the sedan, but the coupÃ©’s roof is slightly lower. Like the sedan, it has B-pillars — though we would prefer not having it, like the more expensive E-Class coupÃ©. Other than that little niggle, it is hard to fault the C-Class coupÃ© in the looks department. Mercedes-Benz has pulled off a bold look that isn't brash and elegant without being overly swoopy. Plus, those 18-inch AMG wheels just looks perfect!
A coupÃ© doesn't just have to look good on the outside, it has to be great inside too. Let us start with the eye-catching Flamenco red leather seats and inserts that look inviting. Check.. Once you have settled yourself into the snug seats, you will be looking at a very clean-cut dashboard with easy-to-understand instruments and displays. Yes, the centre console looks a bit busy with all the buttons, but that means you have less to bungle for the basic operations.
If you are going to pick up four friends for the night, sorry, this will only seat three of them. The rear legroom is pretty average and the sloping roof line does eat into the headroom for those in the rear and makes rear entries a little less dignified. However, those getting into the back will appreciate the front seats that automatically slide forward when you tilt them.
There is a long list of equipment that you can spec up the Benz with, but we shall start with what we have in our car: A three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, Attention Assist, COMAND, the Audio 20 entertainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, memory seats and an exterior chrome package.
What lurks under the bonnet isn't a 2.5-litre fuel-chewing monster. Following the current downsize-and-turbocharge trend: the engine's a 1.8-litre. But it doesn't take long to realize that the C250 isn't a slouch. There is a good serving of go-power and it is revs happily. Shuffling all that power is a 7G-Tronic Plus gearbox with manual override through the gear stick or shift paddles behind the wheel.
It's not just straight-line prowess, this German does corners too. While leaving it in normal mode does bring about noticeable body roll, hitting the button labelled “Sport” on the centre console doesn't really do much to cure it, unfortunately. It feels just slightly harder, but the effects it has isn't really drastic. Grip levels are very good, and the light-weighted steering wheel does provide feedback, but only just.
Take it slow, go for a cruise and this car seems to soften itself. A drive around town is achieved in a calm manner, with the car displaying all the trademarks of a refined cruiser. The engine does sound a bit on the rough side as the RPMs barely cross the 2k mark in the city, but the ride quality is smooth. And yes, taking a relaxed drive does reward you with in fuel consumption — we scored slightly over 11km/l, a figure that is pretty impressive for a heavy coupÃ©.
So, is the C-Class coupÃ© going to give its immediate rivals a run for their money? Well the propeller and rings won't have too much about the C-Class eating into their market share, but what they should be worried about is the niche that it is squarely aimed for. Discerning drivers are better off elsewhere, but for the average driver will find this offering very tantalizing. Mercedes-Benz has spent quite a while trying to shed that “old folk” image off itself and we do think they are on the right track. The C-Class coupÃ© does have its flaws, but the image it projects is very different. It is a comfortable, all-day cruiser that does have the finesse for a bit of spirited driving. That is even before we consider the price tag...