THE market for luxury sports coupés may not be as good as in the past but there are still people out there for whom a BMW 3 Series Coupé, an Audi A5 or a Mercedes C-Class coupé could be an option.
Road Tested by Hugh Maguire
So this week I am road testing the very stylish Mercedes C-Class Coupé in 220CDI format that is to say powered by a 2.1 litre turbo diesel.
This car also benefits from Mercedes fuel saving technology and so also bears the label Blue Efficiency, their tag for cars in the range that have had special engineering tweaks to make them super fuel efficient.
The C-Class coupé range starts at €36,000 for the C180 CDI Blue Efficiency.
The new C-Class coupé is a dramatic looking car with sweeping lines and curves that go to create a distinctive and appealing style. It follows the family styling cues which are evident in the latest new E and S class. Mercedes were however careful not to alienate their loyal following by producing a car with a more radical style.
In designing the shape of the current car Mercedes have kept all the traditional elements of Mercedes styling yet have also managed to produce a slippery aerodynamic coupé shape that has a low drag co-efficient. This has helped improve fuel consumption by reducing drag and increases refinement as wind noise is reduced.
Behind the wheel
The cabin of the new C-Class coupé is one of the best I have seen of late. My test car was the C220 CDI Blue Efficiency and was finished in beautiful burgundy leather with judicious use of aluminium trim. The whole style and design of the interior is really faultless. The attention to detail is equally impressive right down to the tactile nature of every switch and lever. There is plenty of oddments space with ample sized door pockets, a good glove box, and a centre armrest incorporating a storage box. Mercedes still use the somewhat crude push-brake for the park brake, strange when many others have gone the electronic park brake route.
The driving position is excellent and the seats prove very comfortable. Headroom and legroom for a coupé in both the front and rear is generous while wide-angle opening on the doors makes access to the cabin very easy. This car is set out as a four seater and a very comfortable four seater coupé it proved to be! The boot is big too. It is great to see the now comprehensive list of standard equipment on a Mercedes in comparison to the past. All C-Class coupés now have, ABS, BAS (Brake assist), SBC (sensotronic brake control), ESP (Electronic stability program) with ASR, front, side and side curtain airbags, Thermatic air conditioning, light alloy wheels, multi function steering wheel, rain sensors, 6 speed manual gearbox, an excellent stereo system, with 6 stack in dash CD changer, engine immobiliser, ECO stop/start, central locking, one-touch electric windows, and an outside temperature gauge. I particularly like the Command APS Multimedia system. It’s simple and easy to use allowing the driver to scroll through audio, climate control and (if fitted) navigation functions with ease.
The C220 CDI is powered by a 2.1 litre four cylinder in-line turbocharged diesel producing a very healthy 167 bhp and a mighty 400NM of torque at just 1,400rpm.
Standard transmission is a 6-speed manual, an optional 7G-Tronic auto is also available as was fitted to my test car.
I found overall performance from this new Mercedes diesel turbo to be very good indeed while refinement is well up on previous Mercedes diesel offerings.
Interestingly its fuel consumption over my week’s test was just 6.9litres per 100km and combined with low emissions falls into Band A for road tax.
Probably the single most impressive aspect of this car is the dynamic way in which it handles. It handles and corners with aplomb. No matter what the conditions the new C-Class coupé has limpet like grip through the corners inspiring great confidence in the driver. The precise steering allows the driver to accurately place the car in a bend making it a pleasure to hustle along a twisty country road.
The other area that I was immediately impressed by is the high level of refinement. No matter what the speed, wind, road, and engine noise are almost non-existent.
The new C 220 CDI coupé is truly a rewarding car to drive, the dynamics are such that you look forward to finding some challenging roads.
The new style is contemporary yet will not offend the loyal Mercedes buyer, and the interior is superb cosseting the driver and passengers in a quiet, safe, and luxurious environment.
I know it will sell in limited numbers in today’s market, but should you want the style, elegance and quality of the new C-class saloon but don’t need four doors and would prefer the svelte looks of a coupé then try the new C220 CDI
The C220 CDI auto as tested costs €52,509.
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