Often it is that we end up liking the middling variant of a model range as it’s usually the most sensible choice. And so it is for the C-Class coupe. There’s the entry-level C 200, and then you come to the C 300, featured here, with its fruitier four-potter and added equipment.
You then step up into AMG territory, the six-cylinder 43 more than enough for most, but then there’s always a place for an over-the-top headlining act, like the C 63 S. And we’ll look forward to driving that soon when it arrives in refreshed form.
But for those dudes and dudettes looking for a vehicle as a rather nice means of conveyance, the C 300 is pretty much all the car you’d ever want or need. It lists just below $100k, or just over with a few options, this one suited out with the AMG Line kit, getting the sporty appearance bits, nice wheels and the like.
And also the Vision pack with a glass roof and head-up display. If you’re after something dead easy to drive and live with, packing suitably stylish creds, this will tick your boxes. The C-Class coupe looks good from any angle, while offering a good lashing of usability.
The boot has a powered lid, and a hands free function (you waggle your foot under the bumper) that actually works every time. The hold itself is decent for a coupe, being long and deep, and can be extended with folding rear seats. It’s more of a four seater than a 2+2, though head and leg room are restricted in the rear.
If you’ve got kids or grandies, they’ll fit fine, as long they don’t require help buckling up. At the front, you’re seated lower in the coupe, the pew positioned closer to the tarmac to add to the sporty feel and the 300 gets more of the good stuff with alloy trimmings and Burmester sounds.
New digital dials are present with configurable displays, as well as a wide format infotainment screen and the open pore wood on the centre stack. Our main beef with the interior concerns the seats which tend to feel too firm.
There’s plenty of adjustment however and, along with retracting as part of the easy egress function, the seat back tilts forward slightly to give you a little nudge to get up and out. On entry, another little helper serves up the seat belt so you don’t have to go searching for it. There’s no way around the bigger, heavier doors of a coupe however, which can make exiting even harder in tight car parks.
The C 300 is easy to manoeuvre with a superb surround view camera, the quick steering rack, and a tight turning circle. With the 300, you get the latest versions of Merc’s driver assistants, including the route-based active cruise which will adjust your speed for the road ahead. It’s good when dealing with upcoming intersections, slowing to negotiate a roundabout for instance, but it’s a bit optimistic of the C 300’s cornering ability, not braking a jot for those corners indicated at 45km/h. So don’t put complete faith in it on winding roads.
All the functions are easy to set or disarm with controls on the steering wheel spoke, and we’ll give Merc’s active cruise its due; it’s the best of the lot when dealing with most traffic situations. Away from city crawling, the 300 does the business too. Okay, so it’s not an AMG but it’s fast enough.
It has a much brawnier midrange than the 200, and more up top if you let it kick on. There are Sport driving modes to energise the powertrain, the gearbox benefitting from faster shifting and gearholding, the throttle livelier. The engine delivers well from 2500rpm, so you don’t need to flog it, but extending it past 4000rpm is worth it, where it gets along surprisingly well.
At urban speeds it feels good below 2500rpm, with not much in the way of turbolag off the mark and extra oomph in reserve when need be. For fuel use you’ll likely average in the 9L/100km range, less if there’s more motorway miles involved.
With the AMG line you get lowered sports suspension, adding starch to the spring settings. That means it will pick up the more abrupt edges of the road, both in town and out, but the payback is good control and stable roadholding.
There’s not much to worry on the traction front either. This sticks at both ends well, as that quick steering points the nose into bends smartly. As you’d hope for a six-figure motor, the C 300 is hard to fault if you’re someone looking for an elegant, easy driving coupe.
|Model||Mercedes-Benz C 300 Coupe||Price||$98,000|
|Engine||1991cc, IL4, T/DI, 190kW/370Nm||Drivetrain||9-speed auto, rear-wheel drive|
|Fuel Use||7.0L/100km||C02 Output||159g/km|