2016 MERCEDES-BENZ C 200 COUPE REVIEW

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Yet another model has been added to the huge Mercedes-Benz range, this time a coupe version of the latest C-Class. It joins the existing four-door sedan, the vehicle that took out the award for World Car of the Year in 2015.

Crammed full of safety and infotainment technology the new C-Class coupe is larger yet lighter, stronger and quieter than the model it replaces.

Advanced lightweight construction with a higher proportion of aluminium is the secret. Light-alloy components include the front guards, bonnet and bootlid.

The stiffer body not only improves driving dynamics and noise levels, but also crash safety and so adding even more to the renowned Mercedes crash safety.

Mercedes’ latest coupe starts from a pretty reasonable $65,900 for the C 200 we tested, a good price for the prestige it puts in your driveway.

The range goes all way up to $162,115 for the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S, but see further remarks in our Styling section, showing you can look like an AMG without the big bucks required for the real deal.

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STYLING
There are plenty of AMG looks inside and out the standard C-Class coupe range, with ‘our’ C 200 having AMG Line body styling, Artico dashboard, auto safety-belt feeders, black ash wood, trim, seat memory and 360 degree reversing and parking cameras.

A sleek and stylish two-door with a diamond radiator grille and larger lower air intakes dominated by the three-pointed star, the C 200 also comes with LED headlamps while daytime running light ‘eyebrows’, flank the grille. AMG 18-inch alloys filled the wheelarches of our test machine.

Rear end styling on the some of the latest models from Mercedes-Benz is on the weak side to my eyes, but that on the C-Class coupe is brilliant, with sleek lines that fit their purpose to perfection.

The cabin is fitted with sports seats specifically designed for the coupe. Materials and finish have a handcrafted look and feel. Add ambient lighting and black ash open-pore wood trim and the overall effect is of luxury and sportiness.

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INFOTAINMENT
An 8.4-inch tablet-style infotainment system has voice recognition, touchpad and console mounted controls for the satellite navigation. The radio has DAB+ digital radio. A 13-speaker, 590-watt Burmester surround sound system provides plenty of quality audio.

There’s Bluetooth streaming, USB, iPod and aux to add your personal inputs.

ENGINES /TRANSMISSIONS
The Mercedes C 200 coupe is fitted with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine producing maximum power of 135 kW, and 300 Nm of torque. It drives through a seven-speed automatic transmission that can be overridden by using paddle shifters when you feel the computer hasn’t chosen the correct ratio.

SAFETY
An enormous range of passive safety items do everything they can to keep you out of trouble. If things still go wrong the Merc is packed with airbags, intelligent headrests and many other features that hopefully let you walk away – even after major incidents.

A five-star safety rating has been given to the C-Class sedan range, it’s hard to imagine the coupe not receiving the same result.

DRIVING
New C-Class coupe sits on an 80 mm longer wheelbase than the outgoing model. It has 95 mm extra length and 40 mm added width. The extra size makes for improved shoulder, elbow and headroom in all seats. As is normal in any two-door coupe the rear seats are best suited to occasional use only, however we found compromising between front and rear occupants isn’t as tough as in some in this class.

The front seats power forward to make space for rear occupants to squeeze in, and return to their previous position automatically when the activation lever is used.

Though it has ‘only’ 135 kilowatts of power, the engine’s turbocharger means it has strong torque across almost all of the rev band normally used by the driver. Perhaps my revhead mind was longing for more oomph from the engine, especially after spending a week at the wheel of a C 63 S sedan not long back. I’m sure saner souls will be more than happy with the performance the C 200‘s engine provides.

Fuel use during out test period was in the mid sixes to low sevens on easy paced country cruising and motorway running. This rose to nine to eleven litres per hundred kilometres in around town running in traffic.

Handling is impressive, all the more so when you remember this version of the C-Class leans slightly more in the comfort direction than others in the range. Its rear-wheel-drive setup gives it nice balance, the suspension grips well and the overall feeling is of competence and comfort.

There’s some added road noise on coarse-chip country roads but the notorious harsh concrete on the Gold Coast to Brisbane motorway didn’t create as much noise as in most other cars.

SUMMING UP
The all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe range comes in at a surprisingly sharp price for such a well-packaged piece of prestige automotive machinery.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
C200 2.0-litre turbo-petrol two-door coupe: $65,900 (automatic)
C300 2.0-litre turbo-petrol two-door coupe: $83,355 (automatic)
C250d 2.1-litre turbo-diesel two-door coupe: $74,900 (automatic)
AMG C 63 S 4.0-litre petrol two-door coupe: $162,115 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local BMW dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Mercedes-Benz C200 2.0-litre turbo-petrol two-door coupe)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 1.991 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 135 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 300 Nm @ 1200 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.2 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 140 g/km

DRIVELINE:
Seven-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4708 mm
Wheelbase: 2840 mm
Width: 1810 mm
Height: 1400 mm
Turning Circle: 10.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 1488 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 59 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Three years / unlimited km

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