At the northeastern tip of the United States lies idyllic Maine, a state known for lighthouses, wonderful small towns, and lobster. Yes, Homarus Americanus is a “to die forâ€ gift from the deep seas of the North Atlantic. It was in Portland, Maine that Mercedes-Benz held the media launch for the newest coupe to the family, the 2017 C300.
The new C300 Coupe is a ground-up build on perfection. Lightweight construction to reduce weight; excellent aerodynamics; and a dynamically configured chassis, form the basis for a high level of driving pleasure.
Choose your 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe in rear-wheel drive (RWD) or 4MATIC all-wheel drive (AWD) guise. AWD versions command a $2,000 premium over the RWD’s base price of $42,650. Both chassis configurations feature handling limits well above the everyday abilities of the average driver, so why not choose the safety and enhanced traction of the 4MATIC version? It may not snow or ice up in your part of the U.S., but it rains everywhere, and 4MATIC’s traction bonus is just that–a bonus.
Both trim levels feature a 241 horsepower, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine; mated to a quick-shifting, seven-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. Plant your right foot, and the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe moves out with alacrity. Zero to 60 mph clicks off in an impressive 5.9 seconds.
Our tester was outfitted with the optional AIRMATIC air suspension–an electronically controlled, continuously adjustable damping system that lets you select your desired driving style. The “Dynamic Selectâ€ switch allows you to choose from five driving modes, all with unique driving parameters. We spent most of our time carving up roads in “Sportâ€ mode and found the C300 4MATIC’s handling near neutral and overall a blast to drive. Nothing could throw the C300 Coupe out of kilter, not even an unexpected road undulation in a sweeping corner at high speed.
NonAIRMATIC-equipped cars also share in the handling fun. Base underpinnings front and rear include an independent multi-link suspension with coil springs, single-tube shock absorbers, and a torsion bar. Again, road imperfections, like washboard surfaces, do little to unravel the car’s rock-steady persona.
As expected in any Mercedes-Benz, the new 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe provides many standard safety systems. Much of the safety technology that you find in today’s Mercedes-Benz automobiles is tested at very high levels, including Formula 1 racing.
C300 Coupe interior fit and finish standards are first-rate. Start the C300 Coupe, and seatbelt “presentersâ€ deploy to ensure this lifesaving feature is easy to access. Well-bolstered seats coddle you when needed, yet hold you fast during performance driving. Grasp the thick, flat-bottom leather steering wheel, peer out of the windshield, and witness the long hood that houses Mercedes’ iconic three-pointed star emblem. Look below the windshield, and your attention shifts to the center console, which features an available 8.4-inch fixed display to adjust many vehicle features. Available 13-speaker Burmester audio can either soothe your soul or thump your body, depending on how deeply you delve into the system’s 590 watts of power.
Prices for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe begin at $42,650 and reach into the high $50s fully optioned. Is this too much to pay for what is still considered an entry-level Benz? Perhaps. But drive it before you cast judgment. Our money says the smile on your face after you drive it is because the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe is the small performance car you’ve always wanted to buy.
For more on the stellar C300 Coupe, visit www.mbusa.com
BE’s automotive expert Brian Armstead has been involved in print, radio, and television for over 41 years. He is President Emeritus of the Washington Automotive Press Association and has covered the auto industry from 68 different countries. Got a new car question? Reach out to Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Instagram and Twitter @roadgearsun