Designers get top marks with the Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe
Some coupe models look like a two-door version of their saloon sibling, but Mercedes Benz has carefully avoided the look-alike approach with the new C-Class Coupe. The new model is very much its own car on the exterior, only the wings and the bonnet line(which has been extended) are the visible carry-over from the stylish saloon.
So top marks to the designers for not taking the easy approach of just lopping off two doors, lowering the roof and suspension and adjusting the boot area.
A lot of thought has been given to give the Coupe a fresh, desirable look - a wise decision when trying to win sales from models such as the BMW 4 Series and the Audi A5.
The new model is 95mm longer, 40mm wider, has had the wheelbase stretched by 80mm and now sits 15mm lower on the suspensions -all of which give it a sleek and very purposeful stance. It is obvious that the designers looked to the S-Class Coupe for inspiration.
Arriving in mid-December, the Coupe joins the saloon and estate models which have been well received. Ciaran Allen, sales manager, says that the trio in the C-Class range are expected to become the best-selling segment in the MB portfolio, a position long held by the E-Class models.
Inside, there are sports seats, but elsewhere designers decided to leave well enough alone and the remainder of the interior is virtually all C-Class saloon.
The rear seats are more centred to give rear passengers a better view. The boot is slightly smaller than both the BMW and Audi rivals. Shod on 17" wheels, with the option of air suspension - a first in this segment, according to MB - and there is a dynamic select function, offering five drive programmes ranging from sport to comfort and economy.
There is a new 9-speed automatic gearbox available for greater cruising economy and the steering has been tweeked to give an improved handling over saloon and estate versions.
Power comes from four petrol and two diesel engines, all Euro 6 emissions-compliant, with Stop/Start, giving up to 20pc lower fuel consumption compared to the previous model. The petrol options start with the 1.5 litre, 156bhp C180, which comes in at the entry-level price of €44,550.
The other petrol engines are all 2-litre: the 184bhp C200 at €45,860; the 211bhp C250 at €50,265; and the 245bhp C300 at €54,080. Diesel models, both 2.1 litre capacity, are the 170bhp C220d at €45,900 and the 204bhp C250 automatic at €51,470. High-powered 3-litre AMG versions - 476bhp and 510bhp with 0-100km sprint times of under four seconds - are also available.
Elsewwhere in the MB line-up the entry-level model, the A-Class has been given a higher level of standard features for the new season in January. Models now get heated front seats, cruise control, reversing cameras, and keyless go, worth €1,560.
The A-Class range, which includes 4-Matic and AMG versions, includes four diesel and six petrol engines, with the A160 1.6 litre petrol at €27,145 and the 1.5 litre A160 diesel at €28,940 expected to be the best sellers.