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.