From £29,310
A very complete and sophisticated package with impressive performance and excellent economy. Lacks for outright style, though
15 May 2011

What is it?

Broadening the reach. That’s how Mercedes-Benz describes the move that has seen it replace the once popular CLK with not one but a pair of coupe models – both sharing the same basic underpinnings and, in part, driveline combinations.

The first of them, the E-class coupe, has been on sale here since 2009. Now, with the introduction of the smaller and more affordable C-class coupe, the second stage in the German car maker’s bid for up-market coupe dominance has been kicked into action.

Predictably, the new Mercedes-Benz coupe sits on the same rear-wheel drive platform as other C-class models. It'll be be sold with five standard engines – all of which are common across the Mercedes-Benz line-up.

All but the top two petrol engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox, although all can be optioned with a seven-speed automatic. As with the recently facelifted C-class saloon and estate, the C-class coupe also receives a range of fuel saving features, including automatic stop/start as standard.

What's it like?

Mercedes-Benz’s high output four-cylinder diesel is nicely refined and delivers loads of usable performance for its relatively small capacity. Peak torque of 369lb ft arrives on a fairly narrow brand of revs, but there’s always plenty on offer to ensure there’s no need for constant gear shuffling to keep it percolating along.

It’s at a constant motorway cruise where the C 250 CDI is at its best; with a flexible nature, an optional fast acting seven speed gearbox and superbly chosen ratios, it is endowed with a strong stream of acceleration and feels effortless up to the sort of speeds limits imposed in the UK. Its stability at high speeds is also exemplary.

It’s really only when the engine is asked to work beyond 4200rpm – the point at where maximum power is delivered, where it becomes breathless and begins to emit an annoying mechanical thrum, that you notice that there is a four cylinder sitting up front. Still, a claimed 52.3mpg means visits to the service station forecourt won’t come too regularly even if you’re prompted to work it hard.


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The rest of the driving experience is very much in the mould of the C-class saloon and estate, with engaging and predictable handling traits. There is an added touch of tautness in the suspension, which uses it own unique tuning, to give the C-class coupe a slightly more sporting demenour than its four door siblings. But it is a very subtle change in character. Despite this, the ride is superb, offering great low frequency control and sufficient composure to sponge away larger potholes with authority.

The interior is impressive if familiar, offering greater quality and style than the 3-series coupe. As part of moves to cut costs and streamline production, much is shared with the C-class saloon and estate, including the new three dimensional instrument graphics.

Crucially, the driver’s seat, manually adjustable as standard, can be set low enough to provide a proper sporting driving position. But while there’s plentiful accommodation up front, the rear is quite cramped, and the narrow aperture of the rear side window makes it feel awfully enclosed. Getting into the rear seats is also quite a chore despite the inclusion of front seats that both slide and fold forward. Best to think of it more as a two-plus-two than a true four seater, then.

Should I buy one?

Its conservative styling is a matter of taste, but there’s no doubting the overall ability of the C 250 CDI coupe. An excellent combination of performance, refinement and economy makes it a very relaxing car over long distances. Enthusiasts will also find the chassis provides sufficient response, feedback and control to make it a worthy rival to the BMW 325d.

Mercedes-Benz C 250 CDI Coupé

Price: 30,315; Top speed: 149mph; 0-62mph: 7.0sec; Economy: 52.3mpg; CO2: 143g/km; Kerb weight: 1580kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 2143cc turbocharged diesel; Installation: front, longitudinal, rear-wheel drive; Power: 201bhp at 4200rpm; Torque: 369lb ft at 1600rpm; Gearbox: 7-speed automatic

Join the debate


17 May 2011

I like the look of these, but not in this silly matt black finish. Do people really buy brand new cars with this sort of paintwork?

17 May 2011

I really like the look of this, although not in the silly egg-shell finish. I think this engine is the sweet spot in the C-Class range. Do you need anything more?

Autocar said: "It’s really only when the engine is asked to work beyond 4200rpm"

Does anyone other than car journalists or car thieves take a four-cylinder diesel beyond 4000rpm?

17 May 2011

[quote bomb]Do you need anything more?[/quote] yer, at least two more cylinders (^:

17 May 2011

[quote ThwartedEfforts]yer, at least two more cylinders (^:[/quote]

hehe, you're undoubtedly right. But that's more 'want' than 'need'...

17 May 2011

[quote bomb]

Does anyone other than car journalists or car thieves take a four-cylinder diesel beyond 4000rpm? [/quote]

Depends on the engine. My BMW 320D gets wound round to about 4500 every now and again, and the twin-turbo 123D is very happy up in the high fours. On the family Megane though there's really no point going over about 3200.

17 May 2011

[quote bomb]Does anyone other than car journalists or car thieves take a four-cylinder diesel beyond 4000rpm? [/quote]

When applying max acceleration capabilities in 2nd, I can see 5000rpm+ on my 123d. Sounds good too (i.e. no diesel thrum) with an aftermarket exhaust. And no, I don't imagine it's a gasoline - just a very good 4-pot diesel. So much for prejudices ;)

18 May 2011

Admittedly it might look a tad conservative but then again the 3 Series rival is equally as restrained.Thats not a criticism of either though,both great cars!!


18 May 2011

Looks a lot more classy than the bland-yet-fussy 3-series.

18 May 2011

[quote Autocar]Its conservative styling is a matter of taste [/quote]

Unlike the 3 series coupe which is as radical as they come......

18 May 2011

That the interior is more "stylish" than the 3 Series Coupe is clearly subjective. I personally cannot stand the facelifted C-Class interior with its sharply angled double dual display cowling and abundance of buttons on the centre console. That said the 3 Series dash looks better when it doesn't have the dual cowling too.


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