By Barbara & Bill Schaffer
Driving more than 100 different new cars each year we are continually encouraged by the how good most new vehicles are — across the board. We very rarely get a new vehicle to test drive that doesn’t have some good aspects and desirable features. Of course, the overall levels of the cars vary and occasionally one pops up and becomes a “keeper”, or a car we’d like to have in our garage.
A car that recently grabbed our attention and aroused the “we want one” desire was the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe.
As a couple, we tend to do most things with just the two of us and seldom go places with others, so a coupe works well for us. Two-seaters or sports cars are nice, but they lack a lot of extra space in the cabin. On the other hand, a coupe, or 2+2 configuration gives us room to throw things in the back seat for easy access, plus should we ever need to take passengers, there’s space, although maybe not the most comfortable space.
The all-new C-Class coupe has strikingly simple lines which make it look more like a sculpture than a car from the new diamond grille and long hood back to the tightly formed posterior – in short, it’s a very sexy car.
“Our new C-Class Coupe continues the philosophy of our exciting coupes. It combines thrilling design with agile sportiness and modern luxury. The C-Class Coupe therefore clearly pledges itself to stylish driving enjoyment,” states Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
As great as a car looks outside, though, it’s the interior that sets the tone, because that’s where the owner spends his or her time. The C300 Coupe not only has an elegant look, but it is remarkably functional. A twin pod instrument cluster with center digital screen and conventional buttons and knobs give the car a traditional feel. Then the wide wood trimmed center console and center stack with a large (8.4-inch) iPad-like display screen add a combination of technology and opulence.
Like most Mercedes models, the C300 has a simple steering column mounted shifter and shift paddles to control the transmission functions. We also like the feel of the flat bottom, leather-clad steering wheel with its well organized controls.
Mercedes cars were traditionally six, eight, and twelve cylinders, but in the quest for improved fuel economy several Mercedes models have embraced four-cylinder turbocharged engines. The EPA lists fuel the Coupe’s fuel economy at 23 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. We averaged 26.3 mpg according to the trip computer after a week of combined driving.
With its impressive level of performance, it was difficult to imagine that the engine in the C300 was in fact a 240-hp turbocharged four-cylinder. Outfitted with the Mercedes seven-speed 7G-Tronic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive, the C300 coupe makes a 0 to 60 mph run in just 5.9 seconds. The top speed is limited to 130 mph. Plus the engine produces a powerful sounding exhaust note so it doesn’t sound like a wimpy four-cylinder.
Our C300 Coupe test vehicle was outfitted with the optional Airmatic air-suspension system with the Dynamic Select Adjustable Suspension which took it to an outstanding level of handling performance. With its sports car like handling and the extra traction of the 4Matic, the car felt unflappable on the winding corners we drove on in the mountains near our home in southern Washington state.
Mercedes-Benz cars are noted for their high level of technology and the C300 Coupe is a showplace for some of the latest and greatest driver assistance features. Be sure to check out all the features on line at https://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/vehicles/class/class-C/bodystyle-CPE. Our test car came with nearly all the available equipment with features like the colored head-up display, Parktronic, blind spot assist and LED headlights. Plus, it had all of the famous Mercedes safety technologies.
The week we drove the C300, we had to go to several new places for appointments and we were impressed by how well the navigation system worked, especially the traffic service which pinpointed exactly where the traffic slowed and crawled. This allowed us to easily detour around problem areas. It’s one of the best systems we’ve used.
The Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe is just the tip of the iceberg of the C-Class coupe lineup. There are also three AMG versions including the C43(362-hp biturbo V-6), C63 (469-hp biturbo V-8) and C63S (509-hp bi-turbo). The AMG versions offer extreme performance with the top model making the 0 to 60 mph run in only 3.8 seconds. The C-Class also comes as the venerable sedan and in a new convertible version.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe is available in rear-wheel drive or the 4Matic all-wheel drive version. Both models have the same standard equipment with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Pricing starts at $43,575, including the destination charge, for the two-wheel drive. The 4Matic is $2,000 more. With a healthy handful of options and the price can easily end up in the $60,000 to $65,000 range.
This new Mercedes-Benz coupe offers an outstanding level of style, comfort, safety and performance. This car is a “keeper!”