Mercedes Benz C300 Coupe 2016 new car review

Coupes are somewhat of a lost category when it comes to vehicles.

Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
Expert Reviewer | Auto Media Group

Coupes are somewhat of a lost category when it comes to vehicles. If they are not outright sports cars, I struggle to see the point. Why wouldn’t you just buy the four-door – with all the practicalities that brings.

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Overall score 4.3 / 5

The good
  • Looks will appeal if you want to stand out
  • Great seats - even better in red leather
  • Burmester audio
The not-so-good
  • Harsh transmission in Sport Plus
  • The four-door version is probably better

When built on the same platform and similar dimensions to their sedan counterparts, why wouldn’t you take the same drive — and additional practicality for similar — or even less — money. However, once in a while the format spins off a gem. A prime example is the Pininfarina-designed Peugeot 406 coupe of the late 90s, to this day one of the prettiest cars on the road.

The new Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe probably doesn’t challenge entirely for that title, but it certainly makes a statement.

Our test car, a 2016 Mercedes Benz C300, is the same length overall and in the wheelbase as the sedan version, but it is slightly lower and overall and from the front wheels the C-Class look ends, the bulk of the car is shifted backwards, and there are there are hints of the AMG GT and SLS supercars.

The rear is styled with one long sweeping curve, and the design is kept clean by hiding the reversing camera under a pop-up Mercedes badge. The C300 is a luxury car.

Same is good

Inside styling is just like the rest of the C-Class range with a solid, sweeping dash and dark woodgrain. Even with the optional glass-roof, the car does feel considerably more closed in than the sedan – adding to the sporty feeling.

The back seats are not impossible for an adult to use, but are certainly tight. To exit, the front seats need to slide forward electrically.

The seats themselves are very comfortable — even if I do have a habit of reaching for the side of the seat rather than where Mercedes mounts theirs — on the door. In our car, they were a sumptuous red leather.

The Mercedes Infotainment system is good — especially with the optional Burmester speaker system — but there is no Carplay or Android Auto as in other new model Mercs. It is coming I am assured.

Spot on for a tourer

Under the bonnet is a 2-litre-turbocharged engine producing 180kW of power and 370Nm of torque. It is channelled through a seven-speed transmission to the back wheels.

While the C300 has the top output of the 4-cylinder C-Classes, we yearn to drive the c63 version of this car with a stonking-350kw twin-turbo V8.

That is not to say the C300 is not a performer. 0-100 in six-seconds is fast, and Mercedes have worked in a satisfyingly rumbly tone to the engine, with the occasional crackle from the exhaust.

Fuel consumption of 6.6-litres per 100km on a combined cycle matches its closest competitor in the market — the BMW 428i.

I’d call the chassis pretty much spot on as a tourer rather than a sports car. I would like a little more steering feel, but the ride compromise is excellent, throttle response crisp and the transmission quick.

Mercedes, like so many cars now, offers four selectable drive modes, ranging through Eco to Sport Plus. With the C-Class I have learned to love it in Comfort or Sport, the Sport Plus setting makes the transmission just a little bit too harsh.

Style for dollars

The C-Class Coupe is a car that will turn heads, and considering its specifications, the $97,900 price tag represents relatively good value.

Note: This was reviewed as a new vehicle.

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Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
Expert Reviewer | Auto Media Group

I've been writing about the automotive industry for 16 years, and lead a range of publications through Auto Media Group. I play with my 1984 Toyota MR2 and travel in my downtime.

Opinions are my own and not those of Trade Me.