The good news is that the C-Class Coupe’s interior has just as much wow-factor as its glamorous exterior. All versions have dense-feeling materials, spiced up by plenty of metallic and piano black or wood inserts, and the simple, clutter-free design looks cool and makes things appear even more sophisticated. The standard sports seats are comfortable, supportive and will accommodate all shapes and sizes of driver, and are upholstered in a hard-wearing artificial leather.
The minimalist layout does mean that most functions have to be controlled via the infotainment system, and we have some gripes with the standard-issue screen. It's mounted high up the dash, which makes it easy to read, but doesn't look especially discreet. Secondly, you get a touch pad controller, which can be used both like a laptop track pad to pinch and zoom maps, or to write out letters and numbers for the sat-nav or your phone book. It sounds good in theory but its positioning is awkward and in reality it’s much more of a faff to use on the move. You also get thumb pads on the steering wheel to do a similar job, which are just as much of a faff to use. Fortunately, there's also a rotary controller that you can use instead, and this is much easier to get to grips with.
Visibility doesn't suffer too much as a result of the small rear window, but we're glad that Mercedes has included a reversing camera as standard - it's a life-saver when parking up.
Accessing the rear seats is easy enough, and while headroom is naturally a little tighter than in the saloon, adults can still sit comfortably, and knee room is better than in many rivals. The rear seats also split/fold if you want to carry flat objects, and there is a ski hatch for more awkward, longer items.
is a useful shape, but it's smaller than you get in an Audi A5
or a BMW 4 Series
. It'll be fine for most people's needs, but fitting two sets of golf clubs or a buggy might be a bit of a push, so check it its roomy enough for you before you buy.
Elsewhere, the interior is dotted with deep pockets for storing loose items when you're on the move. The door bins are sculpted to take a couple of cans or bottles, the glove box is generous, and your wallet, keys and other paraphernalia will all find a home up front without it feeling cluttered.
Most buyers would (quite rightly) expect any coupe worth its salt to handle with more finesse than its four-door sibling, and to that end, the C-Class Coupe comes with suspension that’s been lowered compared with that of the saloon. However, we’ve only driven the car on optional air suspension so far, and it’s absolutely fab. It gives you the body control needed to take advantage of the car’s grippy rear-wheel drive chassis to provide fun in the corners, while the ride is arguably more comfortable than in any of its premium rivals.
Our experience of the standard suspension on the pre-facelift car was that it was rather firm and unsettled, and if that’s still the case (we’ll let you know once we’ve tried it), then we’d say the air suspension is definitely a worthwhile investment.
We’ve also had a shot in the high-performance C63 version, which doesn’t have full-on air suspension, but does have an adaptive setup that can also vary its behaviour according to which mode is selected. The range of different modes is rather dizzying, with six main ones, another four for the torque vectoring system that distributes drive across the rear wheels, plus no less than nine modes for the clever traction control system that allows varying degrees of slip on the back end.
Using the various profiles isn’t as complicated as it sounds, though, and the technology means that the C63 can play a variety of roles with impressive polish. It can be a civilised and comfortable cruiser, an agile and alert sports car or, if you turn everything up to eleven, an absolute foamy-mouthed, tail-sliding lunatic.