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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Car Review | Mercedes-Benz C320 Sports Coupe | August 1, 2003

Driven August 2003

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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 coarse four-cylinder engine and a power-sapping Sequentronic transmission. It was a nice car otherwise because: (a) it looks quite nice, (b) the double wishbone suspension and rear-wheel-drive gives the car a nicely balanced and neutral feel, (c) I can't think of anything for c and (d) it has a perfectly pleasant interior.

Now there's the C320 Sports Coupe with a useful 3.2-litre V6 engine which is coupled to one of Merc's nice normal auto gearboxes. Any owners or fans of the likes of the E320 or SLK 320 will already know that this petrol engine gives us 218bhp and 229lb ft of torque.

Rev it really hard and there's hint of harshness to it, as if it believes you really shouldn't be acting in such a loutish manner. But, generally, the engine's quite an asset in a car of such compact dimensions.

As is the gearbox. We all know that Mercedes makes a mean automatic. And this is one of them: smooth-changing with well-spaced ratios.

Since I don't make my living from stocks and shares, owning a chain of estate agents, or IT consultancy, then the price of £24,995 seems a bit on the steep side for me. But if you can afford it, then good luck to you and I'm sure you'll enjoy the C320 Sports Coupe. Me, I'm hoping that this heralds the end of a period of underachieving for this car and we will see some more interesting and desirable variations in the near future.

Now if only Mercedes-Benz could put the Sports Coupe bit of the name into inverted commas...

Colin Ryan  

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