As with the four-door sedan on which they are based, the Mercedes-Benz C-class coupe and cabriolet offer style that mimics that of the larger E- and S-class models. The svelte junior Benz two-doors serve as an entry point to the motoring high life, where sleek lines and luxurious cabins mean more than practical considerations such as interior space or luggage capacity. Driving either the rear wheels or all four is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that provides adequate, if not exactly thrilling, power. Some rivals offer sportier handling, zippier acceleration, and smoother rides, but the C-class coupe and cabriolet are prettier and coddle occupants in one of the nicest interiors in the segment. Tech features pioneered on the brand’s more expensive offerings have trickled down as well, including available automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist. The C-class coupe and cabriolet are lovely, impressive pieces that are well suited for drivers who prefer relaxing in style.
What’s New for 2018?
For 2018, the coupe model ditches its seven-speed automatic transmission for the nine-speed unit from the convertible. Coupe models now come standard with blind-spot monitoring, push-button start, and a new 18-inch wheel design. The droptop gains a semi-automatic trunk separator, new wood trim for the interior, and an analog clock on the dashboard. Both models now offer Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a heated steering wheel as options. A new color—Designo Selenite Grey Magno—freshens up the palette.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
We can’t decide between the coupe or the convertible, so we’ll leave that $8000 decision up to you. We would suggest a few upgrades to each of them, though, starting with the $1090 Advanced Lighting package, which provides LED headlamps with automatic high-beams, illuminated doorsills, and interior ambient lighting. Next, we’d add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for $350, and finally, we’d select the Premium package ($1900 on the coupe, $1650 on the convertible), which, among other things, adds:
• Power-folding side-view mirrors
• SiriusXM satellite radio
• Premium Burmester audio system
• Pop-up wind deflector (convertible only)
As equipped, our chosen rear-wheel-drive coupe carries a list price of $47,185, while a similarly equipped convertible retails for $54,935.
Starting in 2018, the C-class coupe and cabriolet (both dubbed C300) come with a 241-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine matched up to a nine-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or all-wheel drive. Both cars offer enough scoot for zipping around town or merging onto the highway, but among this set, they’re at the bottom of the list for acceleration times.
Not only is the C300’s acceleration the most relaxed of this test group, its four-cylinder emits a droning, agricultural sound until you’re at cruising speed and the engine revs drop. It’s not loud, but it’s not nearly as refined as the best-sounding inline-fours. The nine-speed transmission shifts more smoothly than the outgoing seven-speed unit and downshifts quickly when called on for extra oomph.
If a hotter C-class is what you’re after, check out the Mercedes-AMG C43 and beastly C63 models, both reviewed separately. We endorse their powertrains without reservation.