“As such, it is far more a Gran Turismo than sports car – a very Grand Tourer.’’
The sportier sister of the hugely successful Mercedes-Benz C-Class finally hit ZAR shores a few days ago and we were there to put it through its paces. Previous reports have long revealed that it’s available in a number of engine shapes, including in C43 and C63, but our consignment for now are two petrol four-cylinders and a lone diesel. We drove them on the Outeniqua Pass in George, Western Cape.
First Driving Impressions
The driving position is spot on, and the front seats supportive and comfy enough to create the right balance of a sporty, premium coupe. Pushing the C300 derivative on rain drenched roads it proved less of a handful as expected, with a fair bit of arm twirling required on roundabouts, occasionally the optional 20-inch tyres letting go due to standing water. It’s a lot of fun though, and we feel that with a 4Matic four-wheel drive system it would better use its ample power.
It’s bit weighty too, but not entirely handicapped and the girth suits its applications of a cruiser but not bruiser. A moment in the C 220d and 9G-TRONIC gearbox revealed it’s the choice of the range. Advantages slant more towards the savings of fuel bills while no compromise is made in handling dynamics and appeal. .
On to the BMW 420i’s greatest runner, the C 200 showed it struggles a bit. The performance is perhaps best under auspices of its Sport + mode, where its 135 kW and 300 Nm is attentively delivered. It’s not that it is incapable, it’s just noticeable turbo lag on initial throttle and the noise and harshness are higher in here than in the other models, as expected in smaller engine, less power derivates everywhere. However the mathematics suggest we will see more of it on the roads due to its easier entry-price.
Of all three models of the C-Coupe the C 300 is the most entertaining. Its 180 kW and 370 Nm is used effectively to create the sports car ethos of the range. It’s on point, its exhaust and engine acoustics emitted through the special AMG exhaust system adding to the pleasantries of its drive.
Dial in sharper drive modes and the throttle responses and shift points sharpen. The steering also tightens for better feel when on the attack. Yet in all of its available driving modes it remains sophisticated, its dampers successfully kneading broken surfaces, which were in good supply.
Notable features of the new C-Class Coupe
- There is plenty of head and shoulder room.
- You can integrate sports seats for added support in cornering situations.
- All models are equipped with Frontbass technology, optionally available is a Burmester® sound system.
- Frontal protection systems: Adaptive front airbags for driver and front passenger, additionally with a knee-bag on the driver’s side
- Side protection systems: Thorax/pelvis bags for driver and front passenger plus front and rear window bags are standard.
- C220 d is great for fuel efficiency. It reflected a mere 4.1l/100km on the run.
- AIRMATIC can be optioned for self-levelling and excellent ride comfort
- The C 220 d is exempt from CO2 emission tax due to its low footprint of 113 g/km.
As with all Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars, the C-Class Coupé comes standard with a class-leading six-year/100 000 km PremiumDrive maintenance plan without customer contribution
C 200 R551 000
C 220 d R592 700
C 300 R660 300
Edition 1 can be had in any of the three derivatives. It adds R49 000 to the base price.
|0-100 km/hin sec
|C 220 dManual transmission
|C 200Manual transmission
|C 3007G-TRONIC PLUS
Expect the C63AMG in June/July this year and the lesser version which is the C43AMG before the year ends.
Via Za Top Range