Coupe ups the style stakes

Multisport Mecca - - Motoring - Vani Naidoo

THERE is some­thing about un­der­stated elegance, about us­ing sub­tlety to make an im­pact that is so in­cred­i­bly classy. No in-your-face lewd­ness, no crass prom­ises, no em­bar­rass­ing com­pro­mises. Just the quiet con­fi­dence that comes with know­ing your worth and an un­wa­ver­ing be­lief in your abil­ity despite the strengths of those around you.

That is the world of the new C-Class Coupe and one in which Mercedes-Benz, who have had such de­served suc­cess with the C-Class sedan and es­tate, can do lit­tle wrong.

Of course fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of such ac­claim can be a tough gig but the C-Coupe avail­able here in two petrols – C200 and C300 – and a soli­tary diesel – the C250 d – is both em­brac­ing that good for­tune and cre­at­ing some of its own.

It is longer, lower, wider and lighter than the car it re­places and sports AMG styling and a host of good­ies – safety and com­fort – to have you happy with your lot. All three all-wheel-drive vari­ants tested here are pow­ered by en­gines fa­mil­iar to the Benz line-up with the petrols paired with a seven-speed G-Tronic trans­mis­sion and the diesel a nine-speed. We will have an out­ing in the AMG C63 S Coupe with its beast of a V8 next week.


Stylish and mod­ern, the dou­ble stitched dash of the Coupe mir­rors that of the C-Class sedan with a float­ing tablet-like in­fo­tain­ment screen, flat-bot­tomed steer­ing wheel and a com­bi­na­tion of brushed black oak and al­loy to lighten the pal­ette.

Fit and fin­ish is as we have come to ex­pect from Benz with qual­ity high-end touches and an ob­vi­ous feel­ing of lux­ury with the Ger­man gi­ant opt­ing for re­straint in­stead of daz­zling dis­plays.

The in­te­gral front sports seats, built specif­i­cally for this Coupe, are all soft leather and lav­ish com­fort, cush­ion­ing the small of the back and ef­fec­tively grip­ping the thighs dur­ing more en­thu­si­as­tic for­ays. They move for­ward to af­ford en­try to the two rear buck­ets (this is strictly a four-seater) where the ac­com­mo­da­tions now al­low for a tad more head and elbow room but is tight nonethe­less - which is hardly a sur­prise in a coupe.

On the road

We spent most of our time in the C300 – ex­pected to be the vol­ume seller here – and the C250d the only diesel on of­fer, and it was dif­fi­cult to not be im­pressed.

Now be­fore you get all ex­cited about the sporty as­pi­ra­tions the Coupe sug­gests, th­ese man­i­fes­ta­tions are more about lux­ury tour­ing than crazy rac­ing moves.

Does it re­spond when hurled around cor­ners? Yes, in de­light­ful fash­ion.

Does it have the power for quick over­tak­ing ma­noeu­vres? A big yes.

Is there good body con­trol, re­as­sur­ing grip and driv­ing feed­back? Yes, yes and yes.

But the C-Class Coupe ac­com­plishes th­ese tasks like a lion stretch­ing in the lazy af­ter­noon sun rather than a leop­ard poised to strike. There is calm and ease and ef­fort­less mooching mo­tion. For the leop­ard ex­cite­ment, the C63 S AMG with its 4.0-litre en­gine avail­able later this month is a bet­ter fit.

What do you get?

There is no short­age of equip­ment on of­fer with the en­try-level C200 of­fer­ing up dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, 17.7cm colour dis­play in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with touch­pad con­trol, Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity and iPod in­te­gra­tion, sat nav, re­verse cam­era with park­ing sen­sors, dig­i­tal ra­dio, push-but­ton start, AMG body styling, LED per­for­mance head­lights and 18-inch al­loys.

The C250 d adds leather up­hol­stery, pri­vacy glass, key­less en­try, pow­ered boot, driver as­sis­tance pack­age and 19-inch al­loys while the C300 also boasts a larger in­fo­tain­ment screen with in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity and a su­pe­rior sound sys­tem as well as a sports ex­haust sys­tem. Safety fea­tures in­clude nine airbags, adap­tive brake with hold func­tion and hill-start as­sist, 360 de­gree cam­era, at­ten­tion as­sist, col­li­sion pre­ven­tion as­sist plus and blind spot as­sist with the C250 d and C300 also get­ting steer­ing as­sist, stop and go, cross traf­fic as­sist and lane keep­ing as­sist.

Run­ning costs

Pow­er­trains op­ti­mised for ef­fi­ciency have im­proved con­sump­tion by 20% with of­fi­cial fig­ures at 6.0 litres/100km for the C200, 4.4L/100km for the C250 d and 6.6L/100km for the C300. War­ranty is three years un­lim­ited kilo­me­tres with capped-price ser­vic­ing pack­ages avail­able up to 50,000km.


Well, this is a Coupe so there is lit­tle sense in com­plain­ing about rear leg room or boot space or about how tricky it would be to fit car seats. We do like the au­to­matic seat­belt feed­ers for the driver and front pas­sen­ger which elim­i­nates all that fid­dling around.

And the Mercedes con­nect me app is a use­ful tool too, al­low­ing you to carry out var­i­ous car func­tions re­motely and will even help you find your ve­hi­cle in a crowded car park.

The low­down

There is a lot to like about the C-Class Coupe. It is stylish, stun­ning to be­hold and su­per fun to drive. It may be pitched as a long-dis­tance cruiser but has a def­i­nite sporty edge. With­out doubt it has lifted the stock of the al­ready high-fly­ing C-Class. It may not be a prac­ti­cal choice for all com­ers but then again, it was never meant to be.


The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe.

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