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Mercedes-Benz does it again

13.05.2016

Designers at Mercedes-Benz really outdid themselves, penning the new C-Class coupé.

From the front to the back, it’s difficult to find fault with the car's shape and proportions.

The current Mercedes-Benz nose template works so much better with a sleek and sporty coupé body behind it, instead of a more bulky sedan shell. The rear, especially, is very fitting for a sporty car and with a bit of imagination one can see some AMG GT traces.

On the whole, the new C coupé looks so different from the sedan; it could just as well be a car on its own. Like BMW’s 4 Series, the C coupé can be classified separately and seeing that D-Class sounds a bit dorky, it will have to be the F-Class.

Sophisticated

The C coupé sits 15mm lower than the sedan and gives that sporty feel right from the moment you have to slide into those leather bucket seats. Inside everything has been lifted off the sedan and feels of high quality, with all the major controls sensibly laid out.

The metal-effect trims help lift the cabin ambience well, as does the optional leather effect dash top. Some people might not like the infotainment screen that’s perched on top of the dashboard, appearing a little like an afterthought, but it is right in your line of sight, much better than an integrated system mounted halfway down the centre console.

McCarthy Inyanga Motors in Empangeni gave me the C220d to drive and getting into the car I asked myself who this coupé is aimed at. I imagine the C-Class coupé buyer to be a sophisticated gentleman who can tell the difference between four and two-door driving.

He wears black pinstripe trousers with a plain white shirt and doesn’t have a need for the back seat because he’s clever; therefore, I don’t see the need to discuss rear legroom and boot space in this review.

Also, going into any Mercedes-Benz car's specification lists is like making sense of Darwin's Theory of Evolution after watching an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians or explaining Einstein's Theory of Relativity to someone who likes to watch Here comes Honey Boo Boo.

Just know there are a lot of buttons doing a lot of things most other cars cannot do. Serious buyers will be better off sitting down with one of Merc's proficient sales people to learn about the car's intricacies.

Sporty

Once you’ve discovered the electronic park brake button under the dash, the C-Class coupé carries on to impress with its sporty drive. On the open road, especially, there’s a marked difference between the two-door C and its four-door brother. Two less doors make for an outer shell which supports the platform better, thus improving handling.

The car lover and distinguished gentleman will be able to tell the difference between sedan and coupé and be able to appreciate the latter's on-road aptitude. Mercedes-Benz SA offers three models in the C-Class coupé range: the C200, C300 and C220d. My choice would be the C300 with its 180kW and 370Nm from the turbo-charged 2.0-litre petrol plant, because when you take the sporty route and drop two doors you need that bit of extra oomph under your bottom.

To offer a large bodied coupé in anything less powerful or with a diesel engine, defies the purpose of having such a car.

The C300 coupé should be an excellent balance between performance and everyday driving, but if that’s still not enough, then wait for the AMG version to arrive. As always it will come standard with fire and brimstone.


C-Class coupé pricing:

C200 R551 100
C220d R592 700
C300 R660 300

 

Article written by Val van der Walt
13.05.2016
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