Review: Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (2011 – 2016)

Rating:

Well built and attractively styled. Available with low emission diesel engines. Entry-level C180 petrol is surprisingly good.

It's not as sporty to drive as you might think. Looks very similar to the saloon.

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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (2011 – 2016): At A Glance

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe is a far cry from the brands' last effort at a small 'coupe' - the CLC. For starters it's a much more attractive design with a classic coupe silhouette - there's the long bonnet, short front overhang and a low sloping roofline. It’s certainly a stylish design, yet remains conservative enough not to overtly shout about its more ‘sporty’ connotations.

It's based on the standard C-Class, but is lower, wider and stiffer than the saloon. All cars are fitted with the AMG Sport package as standard, which features a flat-bottomed steering wheel, light alloy wheels, speed-sensitive sports steering, sports suspension and paddle-shifters if you go for the an automatic. There are also styling tweaks including metal pedals and restyled front and rear aprons and sideskirts.

Three petrol and two diesel engines are available and perhaps the best of these is the C220 CDI. It produces 170bhp and 400Nm of torque while only emitting 117g/km of CO2. Official economy is quoted at 64.2mpg (with the manual gearbox) making it very affordable to run too and a good choice for company car drivers looking for something a bit different from the conventional four-door saloon.

At the other end of the scale there’s also a range-topping C63 AMG Coupe, with a 458PS V8 that produces 600Nm of torque, all the while sounding like thunder interspersed with the odd firing of a distant piece of artillery. This model, though, is a completely different animal to the rest of the range. All models with the exception of the C63 come with BlueEFFICIENCY technology as standard, complete with stop/start system to improve urban fuel economy.

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507 Road Test

What does a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (2011 – 2016) cost?

List Price from £29,035
Buy new from £23,397
Contract hire from £284.30 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (2011 – 2016): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4633 mm
Width 1770–1997 mm
Height 1391 mm
Wheelbase 2760 mm

Full specifications

The C-Class Coupe cabin has four individual seats, and thanks to being built on the same platform as the C-Class, rear legroom and boot space are both good, An average adult of about 5ft10 can easily fit behind the equivalent height driver without much contortion while the boot is 450 litres. 

The dashboard and centre console are more or less the same as in the saloon and estate, which is no bad thing. There’s little ‘flair’ save for the customisable trim stretching across the dash, but everything feels solid and well put together, something especially evident with the single indicator stalk. It's chunky and requires much more effort to operate than in cheaper cars, while the metal buttons below the stereo to operate the optional heated/cooling seats have a similar quality feel.

The foot-operated parking brake is very ‘USA’ and releasing it requires the use of a handle which doesn’t feel particularly premium, but the rest of the interior is logical in layout and simple to operate. An SD card based sat-nav system comes as standard and is very simple to read and follow. It can be upgraded to a more complex system which can be linked to Google maps to display 3D terrain and buildings.

DAB radio is standard, as is a six CD auto changer. In fact, standard equipment is quite good all around with automatic wipers and headlights, as well as an alertness monitor, electric seats, dual zone climate control and a multi-function steering wheel.

There’re also plenty of optional extras, most notably an improved telematics system called COMAND Online, which provides internet access on screen providing it’s linked to a suitable mobile phone. A full length glass roof is available as an option too, and it makes the cabin light and airy. The seats are laterally supportive to keep you from falling off in a high-speed corner, but they’re also comfortable and easy to adjust.

Child seats that fit a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (2011 – 2016)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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What's the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (2011 – 2016) like to drive?

It’s very easy to be taken in by the marketing talk, which uses words like ‘sporty and ‘agile’, to then expect a fairly harsh, sports car ride and lots of noise. Luckily there’s still a lot of Mercedes-Benz about it all. At low revs all of the engines are refined and quiet, while the suspension, although not necessarily as soft as the likes of a limousine, is smooth and does a good job of subtly isolating the cabin from bumps and potholes.

The entry-level engine is the C180, a 1.8-litre petrol, which comes with a standard six-speed manual or an optional 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic. In town the engine is hushed and the automatic gearbox makes the car relaxing to drive. The steering is a little too light though.

Out of town and on the motorway, the 156bhp engine remains quiet and the seven-speed gearbox is intelligent in its selection of the correct ratio, quite happily dropping two gears to make light work of overtaking before changing up again to settle into a cruise. On long, flowing curves mixed with a few tighter, narrower sections, the C180 shows its weakness. The C-Class Coupe is a heavy car and the 156bhp engine doesn’t quite have the torque to make this type of driving as enjoyable as it could be.

The more powerful engines are better suited to flowing country roads. The C220 CDI and C250 CDI diesel engines produce 400Nm and 500Nm respectively while The C250 petrol delivers 310Nm and the C350 V6 has 370Nm. The petrol units have wider torque bands than the diesels, which is useful on twisty sections and means you don't have to work the engine as hard. The four cylinder engines have tuned exhausts, which make them pleasant on the ear at higher revs, though they all remain quiet at low speed.

An Agility Control suspension system is standard across the board and it provides a good balance of comfort and enjoyable handling thanks to adaptive damping. The C-Class Coupe is so stable at high cornering speeds that it’s quite easy to forget just how fast you’re travelling. The steering weights up at higher speed, although it doesn’t provide enough feedback to give a real sports car feel.

The C-Class Coupe may be fairly dynamic through the bends, but it’s safe to say that for most buyers - some of whom Mercedes-Benz wishes to attract from the Audi A5 and BMW 3 Series Coupe, usually bought by slightly younger people – will rarely drive on sweeping, smooth, empty roads in southern Spain.

Most people will use a car like this for their commute, with the odd long-distance motorway journey and the occasional holiday road trip, and the C-Class Coupe provides an obviously well thought out balance of characteristics that, when combined, make a compelling package. It’s quiet, refined and well built, and shy of the A-pillar somewhat obscuring visibility it’s quite easy to drive around town. It’s effortless on the motorway, and when you take it into the countryside it’ll travel at any speed you ask it to without even a jot of fuss.

The range of engines provides a suitable option for all tastes, although our pick would be the C220 CDI because it provides the best fuel economy and lowest emissions in the range while delivering brisk performance thanks to a healthy torque figure. With a manual gearbox it produces 117g/km of CO2 and official figures state that it can travel 64.2 miles on a gallon of diesel. 

The C250 CDI diesel isn't far behind, capable of a claimed 57.6mpg, with CO2 emissions of 128g/km. If you prefer petrol power then the 3.5-litre V6 is surprisingly efficient, producing 159g/km of CO2 with official economy of 41.5mpg. That's more or less the same as the middle-of-the-range C250 petrol, which produces substantially less power. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
C180 BlueEfficiency 39–44 mpg 8.5–9.0 s 149–169 g/km
C180 BlueEfficiency Automatic 40–45 mpg 8.5–8.9 s 147–162 g/km
C220 CDI BlueEfficiency 55–69 mpg 8.4 s 109–133 g/km
C220 CDI BlueEfficiency Automatic 53–58 mpg 8.1 s 128–139 g/km
C250 BlueEfficiency 40 mpg 7.2 s 163 g/km
C250 CDI BlueEfficiency 52 mpg 7.0 s 143 g/km
C250 CDI BlueEfficiency Automatic 53 mpg 7.1 s 139 g/km
C250 d Automatic 52 mpg 7.0 s 143 g/km
C350 BlueEfficiency 40 mpg 6.0 s 164 g/km
C63 AMG 24 mpg 4.4 s 280 g/km
C63 AMG Edition 507 24 mpg 4.2 s 280 g/km

Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (2011 – 2016)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

81%

Real MPG

15–63 mpg

MPGs submitted

307

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (2011 – 2016)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe paint problems

I have a 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe in red and have noticed that the paint if starting to have raised pimples in the paintwork. I regularly wax and clean the car and it is immaculate and has only done 20,000 miles from new. Are you aware of any problems associated with this type or car or its paintwork in this colour?
Yes, there is a significant problem with MB reds. It's mentioned in several different model entries in http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar. I'll add yours.
Answered by Honest John
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