Mercedes C-Class Coupe review
The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is the smallest coupe it makes, but it’s reassuringly big on style
While Mercedes has a strong heritage when it comes to two-door coupes, the current C-Class Coupe is only the second car of its type the brand has ever built. The first generation C-Class only came in saloon and estate guises, and while a coupe model was offered with the second-generation C-Class in 2001, the SportCoupe (later renamed CLC) was more of a stylish three-door hatchback than a proper coupe.
Mercedes finally offered a rival to the all conquering BMW 3 Series Coupe in 2011 but the current C-Class Coupe is the most stylish of the lot sharing key design themes with the much larger S-Class Coupe.
There’s a wide range of versions – from entry-level Sport right through to the Mercedes-AMG tuned C 43 and C 63 models – to suit all budgets and tastes with every version coming with a well made interior and space for four people. Its nearest rival is the similarly well appointed BMW 4 Series Coupe and although that car has a dynamic edge, the Mercedes is a stylish and well rounded product.
The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is the third body style for Mercedes' compact executive, following on from the four-door saloon and C-Class Estate. It arrived in 2015, and was followed in 2016 by the C-Class Cabriolet, which is essentially the same car, but with a canvas roof in place of the standard metal top.
Car group tests
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- New Mercedes-AMG C 43 2023 review
- New Mercedes-AMG C 63 S E-Performance 2023 review
- Mercedes C 300 d Estate 2022 review
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- New Mercedes C 300 e 2022 review
Used car tests
This is the second-generation C-Class Coupe, and it has a more shapely look than the last model. From the nose to the back of the bonnet, the lines are similar to the C-Class saloon, but the low roof and pillarless doors give the C-Class Coupe an elegant profile. The sculpted doors and rounded rear end complete the look. Inside, the cabin is really designed for two, as there are only two small seats with limited space in the back.
Mercedes offers the C-Class with a range of petrol and diesel engines. The different engines get their own badging, kicking off with the C 200 petrol. There's also a C 300, while the C 43 and C 63 are the top-performing AMG variants of the range, in terms of engine size, this comprises a 2.0-litre turbo four with 184bhp or 245bhp, a 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo with 367bhp and a 4.0-litre V8 twin turbo with 476bhp or 510bhp in the C 63 S. For diesels, there's less choice, as there's a C 220 d and a C 250 d, both of which get Merc's 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel, with either 170bhp or 204bhp. Unlike the saloon, there's currently no 'e' badged C-Class Coupe hybrid available.
The majority of cars come with an auto gearbox as standard - the only exceptions are the C 200 and C 220 d, and these can be upgraded with an auto anyway. All petrol cars feature Merc's seven-speed 7G-Tronic box, while the diesels get the 9G-Tronic auto with nine forward gears. With so many ratios to choose from, it's easiest to let the car's electronics deal with shifting, although there are paddleshifters behind the steering wheel for manual control. If you want 4MATIC four-wheel drive, it's available as an option on both diesels and the C 200 petrol, while the C 43 AMG model gets it as standard.
Another omission from the C-Class Coupe range is SE trim. You can only get the two-door in higher spec Sport or AMG Line specs, while the C 43 and C 63 AMG models in their own right. On top of all these trims, Mercedes offers Premium and Premium Plus upgrade packs across the range.
These add kit such as larger alloy wheels, upgraded navigation and premium stereos, depending on what pack you go for, although the Premium Plus pack carries a hefty price premium of about £3,000 over standard. And because of the kind of kit these packs add to the C-Class, you can't get them with manual gearbox cars, because there's not enough room by the gearlever to add Merc's Comand control wheel.
There aren't many four-seater two-door rivals to the C-Class Coupe, but the ones on sale are very tough opponents. The Merc's two chief rivals are the Audi A5 Coupe and BMW 4 Series. All three have their own merits, with the A5 being more efficient, the C-Class more comfortable and the 4 Series being the sportiest model to drive.
The high-performance C 63 AMG is a convincing rival for the BMW M4 Coupe and upcoming Audi RS5 Coupe. If you want something non-German, then your options are limited to the Lexus RC coupe, which comes in petrol, hybrid and V8-powered RC F guises, and the Infiniti Q60, which only comes with petrol power.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Mercedes C-Class Coupe is the smallest coupe it makes, but it’s reassuringly big on style
- 2Engines, performance and driveStandard Coupe gets average petrol and diesel engines, while range-topping AMG versions get improved handling and more power
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsDiesel models appeal to the head while petrol powered versions of the C-Class Coupe appeal to the heart
- 4Interior, design and technologyLooks are important in a Coupe and the C-Class’s sleek lines help it stand out while interior quality is also strong
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe coupe bodystyle doesn’t stop the C-Class offering acceptable practicality. Rear seat space is tight though
- 6Reliability and SafetyQuality components means the C-Class Coupe should have few troubles, while interior is well made