What is it?
Mercedes would like us to think of the rear-wheel drive CLC as being an all-new car, even though it isn’t.
In an uncharacteristic move for the German car maker, whose reputation has been forged around more than a century of cutting-edge automotive engineering, the three door coupé is, in essence, a heavily facelifted version of the eight-year-old C-class Sports Coupé . . . albeit one boasting over 1100 detailed changes.
Mercedes claims that using the C-class Sports Coupé as the basis for the CLC, rather than sitting it on underpinnings from the newer fourth-generation C-class saloon, it has been able to keep pricing at or near the levels of the car it replaces.
What’s it like?
You’ll recognize the CLC by its edgy styling. The new look attempts to link the new model with the latest C-class, albeit with the retention of its predecessor’s doors and rear fender panels.
It is mildly successful. The CLC’s front end is nicely cohesive and purposeful in appearance, but the rear remains a mess, with unfortunate shut lines where the C-class Sports Coupé’s tail lamps once were.
By ditching the window mounted within the tailgate, the new Mercedes also suffers from poor rearward visibility, leading to a decision to equip all UK-bound models with parking sensors as standard.