2-door coupes have long sold at a fraction of the pace compared to the sedans they are usually based on. But, if German brands have their say, they are not likely to go away anyway soon. Over the years, they have perfected the art of the luxury sport coupe. And, now Mercedes-Benz adds fuel to that tradition with the new C300 coupe.
While the compact chassis that underscores this 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe now carries all kinds of vehicles, this 2-door is by far the most dynamic looking of the bunch. Certainly more agile and muscular looking than its sedately appearing sedan stablemate.
The Coupe’s hood and grillwork are the same as the Sedan, but everything else is unique, including a lower roofline that makes almost one complete arch from A-pillar to tail.
Those hindquarters have much more in common with the larger S-class Coupe than the C-class Sedan; and due to sportier tuning, it sits about ½ and inch lower.
It’s a great-looking sculpture, clearly designed to be a true Coupe from the beginning and not a 2-door step child of a 4-door saloon.
The available Sport Package features a host of AMG add-ons for both the interior and exterior, and 19-inch AMG wheels can replace the standard 18s.
The ubiquitous German 2.0-liter turbo-4 handles power delivery, sending 241-horsepower and 273 lb-ft. of torque to the rear wheels, or all four if you chose to go the 4MATIC route.
It’s easily one of the better turbo-4’s out there right now, feeling more powerful than many V6s. Benz’s 7G-TRONIC 7-speed automatic transmission is your only route but it’s a good one.
Base suspension is equivalent to the Sedan’s sport setup, and ride quality is on the sporty side of comfortable; not harsh, and with just enough roll to keep it from feeling like you’re in a race car.
Still, smooth and steady are the themes here, more than quick and deadly. Upgrade to AIRMATIC suspension and you get sportier settings for even more aggressive maneuvering. Anything more, and you’ll have to wait for the AMG versions which are obviously on the way.
Most everything in the front compartment is straight C-class sedan, which is a good thing. There’s a great looking twin bezel gauge cluster, and lots of real knobs and buttons on the center stack; and a tacked on-style tablet just above.
The screen does look awkward, but it functions well through the COMAND controller.
There are minor trim updates, to go along with the obviously larger door panels.
Front “sport seats” are unique to the Coupe, and are very comfortable with plenty of adjustments. Rear seat space and access are pretty much standard Euro-coupe. Its tight getting in, and only set up for 2 moderately-sized physiques. So you might want to just fold them down to expand a very tight 10.5 cubic-ft trunk.
In track tests, despite a hefty feel, the C300 Coupe proved easy to point and shoot through the cones. Understeer became a problem as we pushed harder, but the rear didn’t so much as slide out as bounce around; as there always seems to feel like there’s some kind of electronic intervention present.
Steering was super-quick, but also a bit numb. Still, both that steering and overall performance felt sportier than the last BMW 4 series we sampled.
There’s also plenty of power to keep you satisfied; good thrust down low, and it keeps it up pretty well down the whole track. We hit 60 in 6.4-seconds.
Shifts happen very quickly and firmly; but better enjoy it while you can, Benz’s 9-speed will probably be coming shortly. All-in-all the car feels sneaky fast, quicker feeling than our 14.9-second ¼-mile time at 94 miles-per-hour.
A 120-foot average stopping distance from 60 is certainly acceptable. Pedal feel was nice and firm, and the car very stable.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings with all-wheel-drive are 23-City, 29-Highway, and 25-Combined. So, our 27.2 miles-per-gallon average of Premium was pretty good. But it only rates an average Energy Impact Score of 13.2-barrels of yearly oil use with 5.9-tons of CO2 emissions.
C300 Coupe prices start at $43,575; only a couple hundred dollars over a BMW 4 series Coupe, and we think well worth it. Add 2-grand more for all-wheel-drive.
In the past, owning a C-class Coupe or any C-Class really, clearly felt like you were settling for less than Benz’s best. Not anymore. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe is a fantastic, sporty coupe; that, like the C-Class Sedan, now stands ready to take on all comers.
Engine: 2.0 liter
Torque: 273 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
1/4 mile: 14.9 seconds @ 94 mph
EPA: 23 mpg city / 29 mpg highway,
Energy Impact: 13.2 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 5.9 tons/yr