Mercedes C-Class Coupe review
The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is a stylish and sophisticated choice, and a close rival to the BMW 3 Series Coupe
If the standard C-Class looks too dull for you, the Mercedes C-Class Coupe could be the answer. It serves up all the appeal of the regular compact executive saloon in a gorgeous two-door body, and is one of the prettiest models in the Mercedes range. The C-Class Coupe competes in a fiercely contested class of the market, against the likes of the BMW 3 Series Coupe and Audi A5, but compares favourably with its good looks inside and out, as well as its high-quality finish. Plus, buyers can choose from a wide range of petrol and diesel engines that combines performance and efficiency well.
Our choice: Mercedes C220 CDI AMG Sport
While it’s unmistakably a C-Class, the Coupe is distinguished from the saloon and estate with its attractive two-door body and lower stance. Surprisingly, it’s longer than the four-door, at 4,633mm, and all models are equipped as standard with an AMG body styling kit, which combines with the alloy wheels – 18 inches in diameter even on the entry-level C180 – to add real muscle to the looks. Inside, the dashboard design is virtually identical to that of the C-Class saloon, but that’s no bad thing as it’s clear and easy to use. It also has a solid, high-quality feel, although the fake leather trim Mercedes insists on fitting detracts from this slightly.
The standard Mercedes C-Class trails the 3 Series for driver appeal, and the same is true of the Coupe. Particularly noticeable is the level of steering feel, which simply isn’t a match for that of the BMW, while cars with a manual gearbox suffer from a vague gearshift. The driving position is also offset - the steering wheel is a little to the left of centre of the driver, while the pedals are off to the right - which can cause some discomfort for taller drivers. The C-Class Coupe is still good to drive. Its suspension is 15mm lower than the saloon’s and adaptive dampers are fitted as standard, so body control is impressive in corners and the car feels agile. It’s more refined than its BMW and Audi rivals, too, while strong performance is guaranteed from every engine in the broad line-up.
Mercedes finishes fifth in the manufacturer standings of the Auto Express Driver Power 2013 satisfaction survey, ahead of Audi and BMW. The brand's dealers also had the edge, coming 12th. Mercedes has fitted the C-Class Coupe with an array of hi-tech safety equipment that has filtered down from the S-Class luxury car. This includes Attention Assist – which alerts the driver if it senses they are falling asleep at the wheel – plus an active bonnet that protects pedestrians in the event of a collision. A whole array of airbags is also included, along with stability control and ISOFIX child seat mountings, and all of this explains why the Coupe was awarded five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests.
The two-door layout means access to the rear of the C-Class Coupe obviously isn’t as easy as in the C-Class saloon, plus the cabin is a strict four-seater, with two individual seats in the back. But all four occupants have plenty of head and legroom, and there’s a raft of storage cubbyholes dotted around the cabin. Boot space is marginally ahead of the 3 Series Coupe, at 450 litres, and the load area has a practical shape. But while drivers will find the heavily bolstered seat comfortable and supportive, it doesn’t adjust low enough; even in its lowest setting, it feels a bit too high.
As with most cars from Mercedes, the C-Class Coupe is more expensive than its rivals. But the extra buys more equipment, with climate control, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and parking sensors featuring as standard across the range. All models wear the Mercedes BlueEFFICIENCY badge, which means they get direct injection and stop-start – even the more powerful petrol cars. For the best blend of performance and efficiency, though, you should choose a diesel. The 168bhp 2.1-litre C220 CDI Coupe claims 68.9mpg economy and 109g/km emissions, while if you specify the 7G-Tronic seven-speed auto box on the more powerful 201bhp C250 CDI Coupe, you get 53.3mpg and 139g/km. The 3 Series Coupe is even more efficient, though, plus BMW offers a better-value servicing deal.