Our tame racing driver helps kicks off Evans's CarFest motor show...
You are here
The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe
For:Desirable and smart alternative to the battery-farmed BMW 4-Series
Against:Still lacks the outright dynamism and driver appeal of its Munich rival
C250 CDI AMG Sport 2dr Auto
Leave some AMG engineers by themselves during August and what do they do? Come up with a BMW M3-rivalling C-Class..
You could bottle the noise this thing makes and sell it. And the chassis is fantastic. Not a good car, but a great one.
With its refinement and understated performance, has the C-Class Coupe fought its way out of the ‘sportiness’ trap?
Stonking. A rubber-devouring, petrol-punishing masterpiece of excess.
Nice car, shame about the drivetrain. That’s the feeling I’ve had about the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sports Coupe ever since I drove one with a...
What we say:
This is more like it, a junior Merc coupe aimed straight at the Audi A5
What is it?
Well, it’s not the new CLK. And it’s definitely not the new CLC sports coupe. No, it’s a riposte to BMW’s 4 Coupe and the Audi A5. A two-door C-Class that no longer hides in the gaps but takes the big Germans head on. A strict four-seater with smooth grace on its mind and a stable of engines all built for that single purpose. This is no pant-bothering sports coupe, but a relaxing, mooching take on the two-door mid-sized executive coupe formula.
The new C Coupe comes with an ‘amplitude-dependent’ damping system, automatically adjusting the compliancy of the shocks when the road decides to become rubbish.
Despite this, the Merc doesn’t transform into a jousty weapon of pinpoint precision, but retains a rather more calm sensibility and disposition towards aggressive inputs. There’s little body roll and a strong, confident chassis, it’s just that the relationship between driver and road is a little filtered. And this philosophy extends to the engine line-up, too. Three petrols – two 1.8-litre turbo four-pots producing 154bhp and 201bhp, and the C 350 V6 with 302bhp – join two diesels. The C 250 CDI produces 201bhp and a staggering 368lb ft of torque, which outperforms its Munich rival, the BMW 420d. Outpointing a diesel BMW on power and torque is a rare feat, and the Merc’s unit is a serene one, gently mooching around at the bottom of the rev range but with enough mid-range torque to allow for some big-car-style overtaking whoosh.
On the inside
The C-Class Coupe is a strict four-seater, and the rear backrests can split and fold down for extra bootspace, which stands at 450 litres unfolded. There’s enough room for a pair of six-footers to sit front and back, though the rear passenger’s head will tickle the headlining. Plenty comfortable for medium-length journeys, while build quality is in keeping with the brand, as in it’s very good.
The panoramic sunroof allows for an airy, pleasant cabin and all the controls are nicely finished and pleasant to manhandle.
Opt for the diesel coupe and you’ll enjoy some rather splendid figures. The C 220 CDI returns an average of 55mpg and emits only 133g/km of CO2 which, frankly, is a cracking set of statistics and, as mentioned earlier, betters the BMW 420d. The 1.8-litre petrol C 250 manages to return 40.4mpg and emits 163g/ km of CO2, despite a 0–62mph time of 7.2 seconds, which is very respectable. All of the Cs are likely to have strong residuals thanks to that three-pointed star on the bonnet, especially the lustworthy V8 C 63 AMG.