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Mercedes C-Class Coupe - Engines, drive & performance

All Mercedes C-Class Coupe models are quick in a straight line and handle well

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The C-Class Coupe is a very good car to drive thanks to new software making the steering heavier and quicker than that of the C-Class saloon. It also provides more feedback, making it more engaging for those who really want to enjoy driving. It’s still comfort-oriented however, so driving enthusiasts will find the BMW 4 Series Coupe sharper but a bit firmer too.

The Airmatic Agility package includes air suspension, adaptive dampers and Agility Select – a system that allows you to choose between Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ driving modes. In the right setting, it makes the C-Class Coupe glide over bumps, as well as allowing you to tweak the setup of the car depending on how you want to drive it.

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Mercedes' nine-speed automatic is very smooth and is standard across the range, except on the cheapest C180 model - a six-speed manual is offered here but you can still choose the auto.

Mercedes C-Class Coupe diesel engines

The latest C-Class ushered in a 2.0-litre, twin-turbocharged diesel engine that replaced the previous, long-running 2.1-litre. While that engine had no shortage of power, some rivals were a lot smoother, and the 2.0-litre is a huge step forwards. The C220 d’s 191bhp is impressive, too – almost a match for the previous C250d, which is no longer available. The same engine is used in the C300 d, but it’s tuned to 242bhp and gets from 0-62mph in six seconds flat - about a second quicker than the C220 d.

Petrol engines

Petrol fans have a choice of three engines in the latest C-Class and the C200 is by far the least conventional. It's a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol that employs 'EQ' mild-hybrid technology to boost power by 13bhp while reducing fuel consumption. The system uses a belt-driven 'starter generator' that allows the engine to shut down when little power is required – even when the car is in motion. It'll also power the car away from a standstill before the petrol engine cuts in. There's 182bhp on hand – enough for a 7.9-second 0-62mph time and 149mph where it's safe and legal to do so. We’d recommend choosing this engine over the entry-level 1.6-litre C180 petrol - it’s about half a second faster to 62mph and is a better fit for the C-Class Coupe.

The 2.0-litre C300 has 254bhp and a six-second 0-62mph time. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, the same as the twin-turbocharged, 3.0-litre AMG C43 4MATIC and 4.0-litre AMG C63 S that sit at the top of the range. The 385bhp C43 takes just 4.7 seconds to perform the 0-62mph sprint, and the 469bhp C63 S reduces this to four seconds flat.

As the C43 has four-wheel drive its towering performance is surprisingly accessible. That makes it a fine choice if you want a swift and smooth means of getting about, but which still offers you a chance to have fun on the twisty route home.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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