Mercedes-Benz C Class Coupe (2011 - ) review
Read the Mercedes C-Class Coupe (2011 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.
- Range of strong engines
- Sophisticated styling
- Well equipped
- Access to rear seats
- Poor ride and refinement
- Quite expensive
At a glance
The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is a good-looking car, albeit in an understated kind of a way. It’s certainly more of a looker than the C-Class Saloon, and will be appealing for those who value style over practicality. Is it as good looking as its main rivals, the Audi A5 and BMW 4 Series Coupe? That’s up to you to decide of course, but in this style-led section of the market, that’ll be the key question for many buyers.
The interior looks smart enough, but the materials used simply don’t have the lustre you expect from a Mercedes. They look okay, but they’re not touchy-feely enough, especially when compared with those in competitors. The design might irritate you, too. The dash is covered with buttons despite most functions being controlled through and system of on-screen menus, and many of the controls work in an unintuitive way. The driving position is poor due to offset pedals, and rear visibility is rather limited due to the small rear window.
The C-Class Coupe is a proper four-seater, but it’s a little claustrophobic in the rear. Space is a little tighter than in the the A5 and 4 Series Coupe, but rear seat passengers will still be fine on shorter journeys. Accessing the rear seats requires you to be quite nimble. The boot is similar in size to those of the A5 and 4-Series Coupe. Parking sensors are standard, helping to make awkward situations easier.
Ride and handling
Some coupes are designed to be sporty while other are designed to be cruisers. The C-Class performs neither role particularly well. Most models come on sports suspension, which gives a firm, unsettled ride at all speeds. That does mean tight control over body movements, and grip is pretty strong, but the numb, artificially-weighted steering means that this doesn’t feel like a sports car. The weight of the car doesn’t help on that score, either. We haven’t driven the entry-level version yet, which comes with a softer suspension. We’re hoping it improves things.
Petrol choices range from a 154bhp, 1.6-litre turbo petrol up to the 6.2-litre hand-built AMG engine with three times as much power. The entry-level engine is flexible enough if not particularly fast, but there are a few annoying flat spots in the power delivery. The AMG C-Class Coupe is a true performance car, with blistering pace and a sensational noise. Two diesel engines are offered, with 168 and 201bhp and impressive pulling power. Both feel very strong and will be exceptionally popular due to their economy, but they’re nowhere near refined enough. They sound too grumbly and emit too much vibration.
That every diesel model (including those fitted with an automatic gearbox) averages more than 50mpg with emissions between 133 and 143g/km of CO2 is impressive. The small C180 isn’t quite there, with fuel economy of around 40mpg and CO2 emissions of 162 to 169g/km. The C 63 AMG is on another planet, emitting 280g/km (actually not bad for a 6.2-litre V8) and returning just 23mpg. The C 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY is the cleanest, cheapest-to-run offering. It manages an impressive 117g/km of CO2 and 64.2mpg. Prices aren’t cheap, but residual values will stay strong and insurance groups are reasonable.
The C-Class Coupe feels solidly built, but the C-Class saloon this car is based on has been the subject of a number of manufacturer recalls, suggesting there’s still room for improvement with build quality. Mercedes recently did impressively well in the JD Power survey, suggesting its customer service is excellent.
Lots of standard safety equipment is fitted, including anti-lock braking, electronic stability program and driver, passenger, knee and side airbags. Blind spot, lane assist and speed limit assist technology is also available to help keep you safe. A pop-up bonnet is fitted to increase pedestrian safety.
The entry-level trim, Executive SE, provides generous kit including the COMAND Online infotainment system, with internet connectivity, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, DAB radio and a six-disc CD changer. You also get Bi-xenon headlights, parking sensors, air-con, alloy wheels and man-made leather upholstery. AMG Sport trim adds sports suspension, a body kit and a whole host of sporty interior upgrades, while paying the extra for AMG Sport Plus doesn’t really earn you anything of note.