PREMIUM German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has deliberately aimed its new C-Class Coupe at a lower age group in a bid to attract younger owners to the famous old marque now in its 125th year and there should be be no doubt that they will succeed writes Bryan Longworth
The company’s sales and marketing boss, Joachim Schmidt, says this is the first time Mercedes has offered a compact classic coupe in a new market sector and the C-Class coupe is a “youthful and stylish” way of entering this segment aimed at 35 to 45-year-olds.
He does not say the new car is also being aimed at taking sales from their two arch rivals at Audi and BMW but it is clear that this will be one of their objectives with the dynamic C-Class coupe which has real style plus excellent handling and steering qualities.
After road testing one of the models from the coupe range I found it to be one of the most enjoyable cars I have driven from Mercedes-Benz and there can be little doubt that their German rivals in particular will be keeping a close watch on the new range sales figures.
My test car was the C220 CDI Blue EFFICIENCY AMG Sport Coupe costing £33,080 with the very economical 2.0- litre four cylinder diesel engine that is likely to be one of the most popular cars in the range.
For as well as producing a top speed of 144mph and a zero to 62mph time of 8.4 seconds the combined fuel consumption is 55.4mpg which is not too far from the actual consumption that careful owners can achieve with this car which also has the stop-start fuel saving function.
My test car had the six speed manual gearbox which offered slick and positive changes but it was the steering and handling that really impressed as I drove the car over my favourite country roads in the Peak District.
The car with the AMG sports styling package as standard looked good, tt had a classy interior and one feature which really impressed was the speedometer which could also be changed to an easier to see digital read-out that also warned the driver of changing speed limits making it a very useful piece of kit and the first time I had seen it.
At the rear there is a reasonable amount of room in the boot and underneath there is a space saver spare wheel which is much more preferable to a puncture repair kit which many manufacturers are now using.
My only grumble about the test car and most other coupes is that the two large side doors make it difficult getting in and out when parking close to
other vehicles and the seat belts take some locating because they are so far behind the driver and front passenger.
Otherwise I really enjoyed my time driving the C-Class Coupe and Mercedes-Benz dealers should find it comparatively easy selling this car to younger owners and probably quite a few older ones who will be pleased that the company has now entered this market segment.
My Verdict: A Merc coupe that Audi and BMW will be closely watching!