Mercedes C250 CGI Coupe

22 Feb, 2013 11:45am Tom Phillips

We drive the mid-range Mercedes C250 petrol to find out if it's a better choice than the V6 model


The 1.8-litre turbo engine makes lots of sense in a car that many people will buy for its looks. It’s still a relatively powerful, efficient and refined engine and certainly doesn’t feel as though it should be £3,500 cheaper than the V6. Plus, all that money you’ve saved can go towards loading your new Coupe with some desirable optional extras.

We've driven the entry-level Mercedes C180 and C350 V6, but the C250 could be the sweet spot of the C-Class Coupe range. It promises similar performance, to the V6 model for £3,560 less.

It’s powered by a 201bhp 1.8-litre turbo engine, and in AMG Sport Plus trim looks as good as the pricier C350. Its design mixes sportiness and elegance more convincingly than the BMW 3 Series Coupe, and 18-inch alloys are fitted as standard.

The 1.8-litre engine offers fine performance thanks to 310Nm of torque. In-gear acceleration feels almost as fast as the V6’s, but 0-62mph takes a second longer, at 7.2 seconds. Add a smooth seven-speed auto box and the C-Class Coupe can be a relaxed cruiser if needed.

The steering is light and fairly precise, while there’s also lots of grip and adaptive dampers ensure a comfortable ride. A 3 Series is sharper to drive, but the C-Class is easier to live with.

Although the cabin is dull, all the controls are well laid out and everything feels solid. The DAB radio is one of the best there is, but the driving position is disappointing: the steering wheel is offset to the left, while the pedals are offset to the right.

Unfortunately, opting for the 1.8-litre turbo over the V6 doesn’t really cut running costs: claimed fuel economy is the same as the larger engine’s, at 40.4mpg, and CO2 emissions just 1g/km lower. Still, while we prefer the C350 for its performance and smooth power delivery, you won’t lose out much if you opt for the cheaper C250 model.

Key specs

  • Price: £35,440
  • Engine: 1.8-litre 4cyl petrol
  • Power: 201bhp
  • Transmission: Seven-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph/Top speed: 7.2 secs/149mph
  • Economy: 40.4mpg
  • CO2: 163g/km
  • Equipment: AMG bodykit, xenon lights, climate control, Bluetooth
  • On sale: Now