Mercedes C-Class Coupe
“The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is more attractive than ever and better to drive, but it’s expensive, too”
- Well equipped
- Good to drive
- Only one diesel engine
- Smaller boot than rivals
Once upon a time, the Mercedes C-Class Coupe was just a swoopier two-door version of the saloon and didn't really have a character of its own. The latest model is something else, though. While it uses the same mechanical package as its sensible sister car, the coupe wears a far more adventurous suit of clothes and bears a close resemblance to the flagship Mercedes S-Class Coupe.
The C-Class Coupe is a direct rival for the Audi A5 and BMW 4 Series coupes, along with the Lexus RC. It offers a wide range of engine choices that stretches from a mild-hybrid 1.5-litre petrol that keeps a fairly keen eye on economy (the C200), to a 2.0-litre petrol (the C300) and the 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged six-cylinder in the fast Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC, which uses Mercedes' four-wheel-drive system. There’s also the Mercedes-AMG C63 S with a 4.0-litre V8, which we’ve reviewed separately. No C-Class Coupe is lacking performance, whether you choose petrol or diesel, and the entry-level C220d diesel even boasts claimed fuel economy of up to 54.3mpg.
Few will find the C-Class coupe disappointing to drive – its saloon sister is only narrowly beaten by its BMW 3 Series rival when it comes to driver appeal, and the Coupe feels notably sharper and has more feel through the steering wheel. It's still very comfortable, too, with the same effortless ability to soak up bumps and cosset passengers as the saloon. It's worth noting that the biggest 19-inch wheels make it harder for the suspension to disguise road imperfections, and the smaller wheels make for a more comfortable ride.
The shape of the C-Class means it cuts cleanly through the air and very little wind noise permeates the passenger compartment. This does mean the engines become quite easily audible, though – particularly the diesel. That doesn't prevent the C220d from being our pick of the range, however; it's responsive and economical without sacrificing speed.
There are three trim levels - AMG Line, AMG Line Premium and AMG Line Premium Plus - and even the first of those comes with a comprehensive standard equipment list. LED headlamps, climate control, infotainment with DAB radio, sat nav and a 10.25-inch display, keyless go, 18-inch alloy wheels and a potent-looking AMG bodykit are all standard, which makes the latest C-Class Coupe a better-value proposition than its predecessor. There are still plenty of option packages available, but it's hard to justify the additional expense on such a well appointed machine.
Premium adds headlights with increased functionality (such as curving when you move the steering wheel and high-beam assistance), a digital instrument cluster, ambient lighting and wireless phone charging, while top-spec Premium Plus offers keyless entry and start, a panoramic glass sunroof and a Burmester sound system. The C43 also comes with Premium and Premium Plus versions.
The C-Class range finished 74th out of the 100 cars ranked in our 2019 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK, but it came 27th the year before. Its individual performance was better than Mercedes' overall score, though – it came 26th out of 30 brands. Mercedes customer expectations may be very high, but so are those of Lexus drivers, and that brand came in first place.
Nevertheless, there's an awful lot to like about the C-Class Coupe. It's not as cramped inside as some rivals and arguably looks a more expensive car than it is. Allied to impressive fuel economy and exemplary comfort, it's not only the Mercedes' looks that are seductive.