The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the brand’s least expensive offering, but it’s no less a Mercedes-Benz. And for the 2012 model year, an all-new C350 Coupe has been added to the lineup. The C350 Coupe has the sporty front face that sets it apart from the sedan. Even though the coupe’s dimensions are similar to those of the sedan, the roof slopes down in the back with a more elegant arc. The sedan was already good looking, but the new coupe has a more aggressive forward rake.
Inside, the C350 Coupe features “race-inspired” sport seats with integrated headrests, and includes memory functions for the driver. The steering wheel gets wheel-mounted paddle shifters to let you know this car is all about sport to go along with luxury. The rear offers split-folding rear seats for cargo flexibility.
The C350 Sport Coupe ($42,370) comes loaded with features like heated front seats, satellite radio, iPod/MP3 interface, auto-dimming driver’s side mirror, power rear sunshade, and a rear spoiler. The sporty C350 comes with interior wood trim and P225/45R17 summer performance tires. Notable standard features are a panoramic sunroof, 14-way adjustable power seats, dual zone climate control and Bluetooth audio streaming. The C350 coupe also gets rear side airbags.
The new 3.5-liter V-6 is powerful and fuel-efficient
For 2012, Mercedes-Benz has upgraded the C350′s 3.5-liter V-6. It is the same size as last years model, but it’s considerably more powerful with 302 horsepower. The 3.5-liter V-6 feels very strong and Mercedes quotes a 0-60 mph time of 5.9 seconds, which is just two tenths of a second quicker than last year’s 3.5. The 3.5-liter naturally aspirated engine feels almost like a V-8, and far more fuel efficient. while delivering fuel economy close to the four-cylinder at an excellent 20/29 mpg.
The 3.5-liter V-6 is mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission that shifts quickly and precisely. Two modes are offered, Comfort, and the more aggressive Sport for spirited driving situations. Drivers can also shift it manually via the gearshift or, with the Dynamic Handling Package, via paddle shifters on the steering wheel. While standard C350 Coupes are rear-wheel-drive, Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system is optional.
The C350 Coupe will compete with more expensive sport coupes
The C350 Coupe feels stable on the road and has responsive steering. Even though the the coupe is heavier than the sedan, the Coupe performs well in both engine performance and handling. The rear-wheel-drive Coupe is on par with some more expensive sports coupe’s and can compete with most in the segment in terms of sporty handling. The C350 allows minimal body roll, and can change direction quickly.
For the most sport-minded driver’s, the C350 Coupe can be ordered with the 18-inch wheel package that adds a half-inch to front wheel width, a half-inch to rear tire width, and employs lower profile, stickier tires for maximum performance. The C350 Coupe does compete in very capable segment with the BMW 3-Series Coupe, the Infiniti G37 Coupe, the Cadillac CTS coupe and the Audi A5.
The all-new Mercedes-Benz C350 Coupe offers fresh styling and the upgraded 3.5-liter engine offers better performance and improved fuel-mileage. The C350 Coupe offers a sporty driving experience and a good balance of safety, stability and luxury. Driving enthusiasts can’t make a wrong choice here.
See how much this car should cost you. Hint: It's not MSRP - get Free Price Quotes at Edmunds.com