The 2016 Mercedes-Benz C300 is a stunner from every angle, but can you take it anywhere? We drove it down some country dirt roads and through the mountains to find out.
If a sporty Mercedes-Benz is adorning your phone's wallpaper, then it’s time to stop dreaming. The Mercedes-Benz C300 coupe could be what you’ve been looking for, and you won’t need to dig too deep into your pocket.
Sure, this isn’t an AMG, but it does have the sleek styling of one. With its sloping roof and accentuated lines, the C300 is incredibly good looking. And with a price tag of $83,400 plus on-road costs, it’s about $30,000 cheaper than a similar looking C43.
Since the last time we wrote about the C300, the car is still a beloved member of the CarAdvice family. For anyone who is lucky enough to drive it, they are the envy of the office.
During the time I got to experience this car, it was taken up to a CarAdvice event in the stunning Hunter Valley with The Boss in the passenger seat, and a trip to Winton Motor Raceway’s Festival of Speed.
Under the bonnet of the C300 is a 2.0-litre turbo direct, fuel-injected, four-cylinder engine that pumps out a punchy 180kW of power and 370Nm of torque. With a car that weighs over 1500kg, it is enough to get it moving along swiftly, although it still feels like there could be more room to gallop, even in the Sports Plus mode.
Getting the C300 up to 100 kilometres per hour quickly, the 7-speed automatic transmission moves through the gears smoothly and at times, holds on at 6000rpm. But, there’s one thing that’s lacking – an engine note that oozes grunt. This is something The Boss and I agree on. The majority of the driving I did in the C300 was on the freeway at 110km/h, and it was using 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres, not too shabby.
I drove the C300 in comfort mode on all types of roads and there were some surprises. On a typical sealed country road, the standard damper and spring suspension doesn’t exactly soak up all the small bumps. This is where Mercedes-Benz would like to remind you that this is a sports coupe. Interestingly though, the ride wasn’t too bad on corrugation. I have travelled on the same dirt road many times before and the C300 didn’t feel like it was shaking apart.
For a coupe that’s over 4.6 metres long, having cameras around the front, side and rear is handy when displayed on the floating coloured multi-function control screen. It is easy to drive at night with anti glare power door mirrors, lane departure warning and cruise control with distance control.
Part of the optional Vision Package is the amazing High Beam Assist, that automatically adjusts the light around the traffic, giving you the ultimate vision at night, especially on the freeway.
A touch of class is found in the glovebox which adds to the car's soul, if you wish. A scented glass jar that Mercedes-Benz calls Nightlife. It looks impressive with its own holder and light, although it rattles. When the 13 speaker stereo isn’t cranked up, or you don’t have The Boss in your ear, it can be noticeable out on the highway.
Apart from the roomy glovebox, there’s a deep storage compartment underneath the armrest, and even the cup holders can fit a long drink bottle. The dashboard is a lovely thing to admire when stuck at traffic lights. Complementing the black woodgrain and padded leather dashboard, are three vents and slim shiny buttons – very simplistic and uncluttered. Keeping a slice of the Mercedes-Benz heritage, is a fancy analogue clock that is also seen in the E-Class.
The roomy boot got a workout carrying loads of CarAdvice employees' suitcases, but the coupe design makes it difficult to initially get a large suitcase into it. There’s stacks of legroom for the passenger and the rear has ample room too, but with the sloping back, headroom can be limited for those who are taller. I am 160cm and my head lightly brushes the roof.
Along with 2 cup holders in the rear centre console, there’s large storage compartments on either side. Front seats are firmly comfortable, yet still supportive for those long trips or the daily drive to work. Meanwhile, the rear seats aren't ideal for a quick trip to the corner store, but no doubt would be more than accomodating for the kids.
The baby seat, according to The Boss, is awkward getting into the back and attaching it to the ISOFIX points. The C300 is equipped with seven airbags and there is an option to purchase the Rear Seat Safety package which comprises of sidebags and seat belts with adaptive belt force limiters, which could be some more peace of mind.
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz C300 is a bit special, and that’s how you feel every time you nestle your posterior into the sports seats and wrap your hands around the leather steering wheel. It is a looker, and when it was surrounded by classics at Winton Motor Raceway, it got the attention it rightly deserved.
So, it’s time to delete that dream photo of a sporty Mercedes-Benz off your phone, because you’re $83,400 away from replacing it with a real one.
2016 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe
Date acquired – June 2016
Odometer reading – 6012kms
Travel since previous – N/A
Consumption since previous – N/A
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