It will come as no surprise that the two-door C-Class finds itself in the minority on Britain’s roads.
Last year, Mercedes sold 8000 of the things - but managed to find homes for almost three times as many C-Class saloons. We at Autocar feel that’s a shame, as with styling inspired by the significantly pricier S-Class, the Coupé perhaps fulfils the laid-back luxury brief even better than the four-door.
That’s especially true in this facelifted form, which is the first to use Mercedes’ entry-grade diesel engine. The all-new turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder replaces the outgoing 2.1-litre unit, gaining an extra 24bhp for a total of 191bhp.
It delivers the same 295lb ft of torque as before, but promises greater refinement and efficiency. Mercedes expects it to be the most popular choice for saloon customers, and it stands to make an impression on coupé buyers as well.
It’s tested here in sportier AMG Line trim, and with the optional Performance Plus package that adds a whole host of extras including panoramic sunroof, 12.3in digital instrument cluster, uprated stereo system and distinctive interior ambient lighting.
How does the C-Class Coupe perform on the road?
Sitting lower than the saloon and with a far sleeker chassis, the C220d certainly gives the impression of a sportier C-Class. The AMG Line trim of our test car borrows much of its styling from Affalterbach’s most potent models, although the engine badge on the swooping rear end says otherwise.
The 2.0-litre turbodiesel is responsive enough when pushed, dispatching the 0-62mph sprint in 7.5sec, and while improved from the outgoing 2.1-litre engine, still sounds less than polished under hard acceleration.
Instead, it works best at a cruise, where it delivers relaxed and refined progress. This comes hand in hand with respectable economy for long-distance touring: we averaged 55mpg on a motorway cruise, and stop-start city driving didn’t result in a major change in consumption either.
The nine-speed automatic gearbox is at its best when left to its own devices: it can hesitate slightly on kickdown, and just isn’t as smooth as Audi’s seven-speed when trying to take manual control of the gears. With peak power and torque reached well before 4000rpm, there’s not much to be gained from higher revs, either, so there’s little incentive to override with the paddle shifts.