From £29,310
Entry-level engine doesn't necessarily offer the best value in the range

What is it?

This is the least expensive, least powerful version of the Mercedes C-class Coupe, which comes with a 1.8-litre petrol engine serving a relatively modest 154bhp, and a more useful 184lb ft of torque from 1700rpm.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, as is stop-start, which also comes with the seven speed, paddle-shift torque converter auto fitted to this test car.

The car itself is effectively a more stylish, two-door version of the C-class saloon riding on the same wheelbase, and replaces the recently deleted three-door hatch CLC coupe.

That gives Mercedes a direct rival to both the BMW 3-series coupe and the Audi A5, and a car it believes will appeal to younger buyers. And to induce them into showrooms over here, all UK C-class coupes get an AMG body kit, 18-inch alloys and a 15mm lower ride height as standard to counter the M-Sport and S-Line offerings of BMW and Audi.

What’s it like?

This is a svelte, civilised coupe whose interior is inviting even in the car’s least expensive guise. It’s very well finished, roomy up front, adequately spacious in the rear, has a decently big boot and folding rear seats.

So it’s practical, and comfortable too with excellent front seats and very impressive refinement that has the slightly unfortunate effect, in the case of this entry-level engine, of making this coupe appear rather languid.

So does the engine itself, whose slightly diesel-ish torque delivery means that there’s little point in revving it. In fact, the C 180 isn’t so slow, but it’s definitely at its best as a cruiser.

The engine’s lack of truly solid shove means that the excellent chassis is rarely taxed, although you will discover satisfying chassis balance, strong grip and better-than-average steering feel.

The ride of the test car was good too, but, UK models with their lowered suspension and bigger wheels may turn turbulent. And unnecessarily so in the case of this more languid Coupe, which is not about outright dynamism, even if the excellent seven-speed auto makes the best of the engine’s efforts.


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Should I buy one?

You need not much more than £2000 to turn this C 180 into a C 220 CDI, and if you can make the stretch, you’ll turn the least impressive C-Class Coupe in the range into the best all-rounder, the cheapest diesel version a good mix of poke, parsimony and refinement.

Low mileage drivers in less of a hurry and on a (relatively) tight budget should find the C180 acceptable, but that acceptability stems more from the excellence of the car itself rather its motor.

Mercedes-Benz C 180 Coupé

Price: £30,220; Top speed: 139mph; 0-62mph: 8.8sec; Economy: 38.6mpg; Co2 157g/km; Kerb weight: 1500kg; Engine: four-cylinder, 1796cc; Power: 154bhp at 5000rpm; Torque: 184lb ft at 1600rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

Join the debate


1 June 2011

It's supposed to replace the CLC but it's almost 50% more expensive yet doesn't have a hatchback. Cynical or what?

2 June 2011

[quote blowerbentley]It's supposed to replace the CLC but it's almost 50% more expensive yet doesn't have a hatchback. Cynical or what[/quote]

You are spot on, you could have had a 3.5 V6 in the C class sport coupe for significantly less than this thing costs. I think its a real shame Mercedes didnt decide to replace the old car properly at the same price point, with a RWD car.

Having said that, this is so much more appealing than the E Class coupe. Bizare that the cheaper the Mercedes coupe, the better looking it is.


2 June 2011

Sounds like a dreadfully slow and uninspiring way to spend 30k to me - baffles me why anyone would spend so much on something that is designed to look fast but plainly isn't. Something rather sad about underpowered premium cars... smacks of desperation.

And I notice the test car is LHD - let's see where the pedals are on the RHD version shall we? Most likely annoyingly offset as per the saloon, and again, it baffles me why anyone would spend 30k on a car that imposes an unnatural seating position from the moment they get in to the moment they get out. BMW, Audi and Mercedes are all guilty of this - if they can't be bothered to engineer their cars properly for my side of the road, I can't be bothered to give them my money for one. Simples!

2 June 2011

[quote Autocar]which comes with a 1.8-litre petrol engine serving a relatively modest 154bhp[/quote]

I am sorry but you need to start living in the real world, a 1.8 with 154 bhp, low emission and 140mph top speed, is not modest, a couple of years ago you couldnt get a 2.0 with those figures. It may not be a fire breathing monster, but its not a bad engine


2 June 2011

[quote Citytiger]1.8 with 154 bhp, low emission and 140mph top speed, is not modest[/quote]

It also has decent torque an extended rev range and inherent smoothness that the diesel will never match.

Nevertheless I'd expect more go for this money.

2 June 2011

I just made a comment about the Audi R4 and the unlikelihood of it being on sale at the 25k target price. Given that this is over 30k then I am pretty sure that I will be right!

2 June 2011

[quote blowerbentley]It's supposed to replace the CLC but it's almost 50% more expensive yet doesn't have a hatchback. Cynical or what?[/quote]

With the new A-Class appearing to be more of an Audi A3 / BMW 1-series rival, I guess the 3-door version of that replaces the cheaper versions of the CLC.

Still expected the entry level C-Class coupe to be less than £30k though - you could get a Jag XF 2.2d for the same money which feels like a lot more car.

2 June 2011

Mercedes suggest this car is to replace the CLC and is designed to get younger buyer in to the show room?

Why bother Merc?

At the end of the day if a younger buyer wants a Mercedes then they will go and buy a second hand car.

The whole strategy is at odds with Mercedes character as a company. Why devalue your product to appeal to a younger audience when you have a perfectly good second hand car scheme? It's not as if the residuals are that special any more.

As for the car itself, it's nice enough but as other have said there are far better ways to spend £30,000, even if you HAVE to have a Merc.

2 June 2011

taking into account the stories suggestion to spend a couple more grand for the 220 diesel - I'd agree to scrub that and go for the new XF Jag diesel - slightly less money much better performance and as was said previously, a hell of a lot more car for the money.

2 June 2011

"Something rather sad about underpowered premium cars... smacks of desperation."

Only on a car review website populated by 20 - 40 yr old men will you find comments like this. Somebody who spends 30k + on a car is by no means desperate, whatever engine they choose. Not everybody feels the need to compete on the roads, sorry lads. In fact it could be just as easily argued that unnecessarily overpowered cars... "smacks of desperation".

For many many people - those who aren't so worried about their ability to burn people off at the lights, or on the autobahn, or in the outside line of the M4, this engine will be 100% enough.


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