2017 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC Coupe Road Test Review
An ideal mix of luxurious comfort and agile performance
Mercedes’ new 2017 C-Class Coupe looks especially good. Its elegant yet suitably sporty styling is complemented by an equally attractive interior that blends contemporary design with top-tier materials and superb build quality, my tester moved up a notch with beautiful perforated Porcelain leather upholstery plus aluminum and open-pore dark ash hardwood trim.
There’s a real sense of occasion in the cabin, an ideal combination of artistry and purposeful practicality that makes its $48,100 entry price seem very reasonable. Factor in that it’ll whisk four adult passengers and their belongings along in quick, quiet comfort and its value proposition improves further, and that’s even before considering Mercedes’ traditionally strong residuals.
This Merc’s got style
Styling is critically important when it comes time to resell and the C Coupe is a particularly attractive bit of kit. Its classic Mercedes ovoid grille floats above a much more aggressive lower fascia than the previous generation C 350 Coupe I tested. The new headlight clusters are similarly more complex, their detail more jewel-like, my latest tester’s 19-inch machine-finished alloys on 225/40 front and 255/35 rear Continental rubber significantly larger and more dazzling, but really it’s not just these details but the entire car that’s transformed. This is most noticeable in its elegant profile, while rather than finalizing the new Coupe’s backside with a slightly modified rendition of the sedan’s hind end this new car is a complete departure from the popular four-door C, with a more pronounced integrated deck lid spoiler and completely unique horizontally shaped LED taillights. It’s stunning from every angle.
Interior quality is second to none
And that’s how I felt even before sliding into my tester’s optimally adjustable perforated leather-clad driver’s seat. Getting comfortable is easy, the lower cushions power-extendable no less, while looking upwards is visual manna for the soul. My car’s beautifully stitched Artico leather dash top gracefully arced over a metal-rimmed two-dial primary gauge cluster, its centre filled with a large colour TFT multi-information display. The instrument panel recedes elegantly from the dash top before butting up against a gorgeous brushed aluminum inlay that stretches from the right side of the primary cluster to the edge of the passenger’s door, this forming a backdrop for a fixed 8.4-inch tablet-style infotainment display that sits above three of the industry’s best looking metal-formed centre vents, these mimicked with a singular vent at each corner of the dash for perfect symmetry.
The doors are fronted by the same aluminum trim incorporating speaker tweeters and perfectly aligned, tightly fitted aluminized buttons, plus Mercedes’ trademark powered seat controllers within easy reach. This switchgear, and all other buttons and knobs around the cabin, is amongst the segment’s best, especially the power window switches and stunningly detailed aluminum toggles at the mid-point of the centre stack. The analog clock just below is lovely as well, while the bezels around each circular vent are exquisitely finished. It’s all truly high-end stuff, better executed than some ultra-premium brands. As noted earlier, Mercedes dressed up this example with open-pore dark ash as a background for the centre stack controls including the infotainment controller at its base, a rich complement to the creamy beige leather used for the upgraded door panel and seat upholstery.
No shortage to high-tech features
I actually thought the infotainment controller was the gear selector when first climbing in, its unique shape and combination of aluminum and glossy piano black lacquer causing a double take as to its functional purpose. Its combination knurled metal rotating dial, finger-gesture capable touchpad-cum-palm rest and surrounding buttons offer myriad ways to access the crystal clear colour display above, my tester’s filled with all the latest technologies including a superb backup camera with active guidelines, a 3D-style radio preset selector, wonderfully clear and precise navigation, colourful and visually descriptive HVAC vent direction graphics, and more, while it also integrates Mercedes’ new mbrace Connect telematics system that lets you set the climate control, preprogram navigation inputs, in-vehicle apps, servicing alerts, and more from your smartphone.
The infotainment also shows cutaway graphics of the car when toggling the standard knurled metal console-mounted Dynamic Select rocker switch that lets you choose between Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport + driving modes, all designed to help you get the most out of your C-Class Coupe experience. I spent time with each, the Eco mode retarding acceleration to minimize consumption, quickly shutting down the engine when it would otherwise be idling while utilizing residual engine heat to warm the cabin, the latter two helping the C 300 4MATIC Coupe achieve an efficient 10.4 L/100km city and 8.0 highway rating; Comfort mode offering more compliance from the front and rear multi-link suspension, which features coil springs, adaptive dampers and stabilizer bars, while allowing more responsive acceleration; Sport mode upping the engine, transmission and suspension’s reactiveness; and Sport + mode taking performance to its furthest extreme while shutting off some of the electronic safety equipment for a livelier rear end.
Set it for ultimate efficiency, comfort or sport and go
Set Dynamic Select to Sport mode and the C 300’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder makes the most of its 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, the paddle shift-actuated seven-speed automatic it’s mated to shifting smoothly and quickly and 4MATIC all-wheel drive making sure each wheel is locked to pavement no matter the weather conditions. Standstill to 100km/h takes just 6.0 seconds and it keeps on pushing right up to highway speeds and beyond, while high-speed passing power is readily available with just a light press on the throttle.
The C 300 owes much of its accelerative performance to its relatively light curb weight of 1,630 kilos, with aluminum alloys used for the fenders, hood and trunk lid, plus high-strength steels and composites used elsewhere. This makes for a rigid body shell that not only aids crash protection but also provides a better combination of handling and ride comfort. It really takes to the corners with confidence inspiring poise, expected of any Mercedes but welcome just the same.
An impressive assortment of standard features
Mercedes makes its AirMatic air suspension optional while you can also individually add sportier suspension tuning, but before I delve into options the C-Class 4MATIC Coupe’s $48,100 starting price includes a lot of standard features worth noting, such as 18-inch alloys, aluminum doorsill plates, an automatic seatbelt feeder, an electromechanical parking brake, pushbutton ignition, power-folding side mirrors, auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors, a powered tilt and telescopic steering column with memory, a heatable windshield, rain-sensing wipers, a 5.5-inch colour multifunction display, heatable powered front seats with three-way memory, dual-zone auto climate control, Bluetooth hands-free with audio streaming, a panoramic sunroof, attention assist, adaptive braking, ESP Dynamic Cornering Assist, Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Crosswind Assist, Passive Blind Spot Assist, Pre-Safe, a full assortment of airbags including front knee blockers, and more.
Personalize your C Coupe with options galore
A $3,400 Premium package added LED headlamps, a rearview camera, navigation, MB apps and more; a $2,000 Sport package included an AMG styling package, chromed “Diamond Grille”, 18-inch AMG five-spoke alloys, an AMG interior package, the Artico leather dash trim and more; while my tester’s 19-inch AMG multi-spoke alloys added $500, Brilliant Blue Metallic paint $890, leather upholstery $1,990, and hardwood another $250.
Additional options include active cornering headlights with adaptive high beams, proximity access, illuminated doorsills, ambient lighting, a garage door opener, Parktronic with active parking assist, 590-watt 13-speaker Burmester surround sound audio, satellite radio, and a powered trunk lid; and yet more safety gear including a 360-surround camera, Distronic Plus steering assist, Pre-Safe Plus for rear-end collisions, Active Blind Spot Assist Plus with cross-traffic assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, and autonomous emergency Pre-Safe braking. If you still want more, like an exterior aero kit, roof top ski, board, bike, etcetera carriers, and even a LED lighted three-pointed front star, Mercedes offers a comprehensive accessories catalog that’s ideal for personalizing your ride.
Very roomy for a sport coupe
As noted the C-Class Coupe was designed for real adults in each of its four positions, but those larger in stature might want remain to up front. I fit in well enough when seated behind the driver’s seat when it was set to my height, having about four inches ahead of my knees and another two above my head, while the seats offered good lateral bolstering and excellent lower back support.
A centre pass-through optimizes passenger and cargo space, the large 400-litre trunk expandable via a 40/20/40-split rear seatback. Mercedes also remembers to include convenient levers to fold those seatbacks down, plus the compartment is nicely finished with carpeted sidewalls and metal tie-down rings.
A full range of C-Class Coupe models
The C-Class Coupe is not only available in 300 4MATIC trim, but also as the 362 horsepower twin-turbo V6-powered and nine-speed automatic-geared AMG C 43 4MATIC Coupe at $59,500, as well as the 469 horsepower twin-turbo V8, rear-drive AMG C 63 and 503 horsepower AMG C 63 S at $77,100 and $85,800 respectively.
The new 2017 C 300 4MATIC Coupe ideally balances comfort and sport in a highly efficient package. It’s a car you can tirelessly commute in every day and then enjoyably jaunt the family away for weekend retreats no matter the time of year. Mercedes has done an excellent job updating this model from the previous version, making it better in every respect.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press
Photo credits: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press
Copyright: Canadian Auto Press Inc.