Coupe du jour Plush new Mercedes-Benz C300 two-door enhances sportiness, ride, adds power burst

A Brilliant Blue Mercedes-Benz C300 coupe drives along a cobblestone street downtown. The 2017 model is at Baker Motor Company west of the Ashley.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class entices first-time owners, younger buyers and veteran brand fans who savor the combination of comfort, streamlined looks and a moderate price.

The C-Class is sure to please faithful purchasers and also lure owners of competing models and brands. The luxury carmaker unveiled the fully revamped Mercedes-Benz C300 sedan last year, and the model received ample kudos from the car-buying public. Then late this spring, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 coupe made its debut at dealerships nationwide.

Specifically, Mercedes-Benz showcased an extra fine-tuned engine; ample interior space; user-friendly instrument displays; safety enhancements and eye-candy grille, body and wheels.

Even the colors reveal a fresh style. One of the 2017 two-doors that arrived at Baker Motor Company’s Mercedes-Benz dealership at 1511 Savannah Highway in the past month exhibits a Brilliant Blue metallic exterior. According to Danny Stackhouse, Mercedes-Benz Sales Manager, the shiny hue stands as “a new color for the C-Class.”

The all-new C300 coupe boasts a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine delivering 241 horsepower. Showcasing a $42,650 base price, this new blue two-door with extra accessories costs an even $50,000. “This one is pretty well loaded up,” he said.

Along with 18-inch five-spoke wheels, the model sports an upgraded sound system, and enhanced navigation and voice control features.

The C300 coupe will be followed by the release of specialty models, such as the C43 AMG coupe with a turbocharged V-6 engine developing 362 horsepower, and the 4.0-liter C63 carrying a bi-turbo V-8 engine capable of 469 to 503 horsepower. Extra features on the C300 coupe include ambient lighting, Linden wood trim, a rearview camera, a “memory” passenger seat that will revert to the user’s preferences and sport suspension.

The model also counted a premium package with a feature that permits the driver to parallel park hands-free with electronic sensors.

Extra perks include:

• Keyless start and stop, in which the motorist pushes a button to rev up and turn off the engine as long as the key fob remains nearby. The driver’s side door also can unlock automatically with the high-tech device on hand.

• Electronic trunk closer that closes on its own with the push of a button.

• High-end Burmeister Premium Surround Sound System.

• Door entrance lamps.

• Sirius XM radio for a free trial period.

• Navigation map upgrades included for three years.

• Power folding mirrors.

• Electronic screen touchpad.

In addition, the package comes with safety advancements, including Blind Spot Assist, in which the side-view mirrors light up when cars on multilane roads move into places that the driver can’t see clearly.

Stackhouse said the C300 coupes started arriving in early June and most are being delivered “loaded up” with performance and appearance extras.

Based on an afternoon drive, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 coupe seems to offer a balance between luxurious passenger vehicle and sleek sporty car.

The two-door’s new look couples a streamlined design with an edgy profile, headed by the three-pronged Mercedes logo dominating the forceful grille. The Brilliant Blue exterior offers a flashiness for the starter-priced class. The sloped rear roof tops the new coupe while still providing a targeted back window placement for visibility.

From a motoring standpoint, the C300’s brakes proved perky, the navigation system provided a host of angles and clear roadway scenes and weather transmissions flashed on the screen. A rearview camera provided at least three views out the back. Juiced by the turbocharged engine, the C300 coupe picked up speed quickly and kept pace in highway traffic.

Handling proved the most pleasurable aspect for a driver. The Mercedes-Benz cornered and changed lanes with aplomb, acting more like a high-performance roadster than a passenger model.

High-tech features, such as the well-laid out instrument panel and driver’s information display, were practical, not overbearing. Motorists can turn an easy-to-reach knob or push a button to control the various technological systems, changing radio stations or adjusting engine and suspension settings to Economy, Comfort or Speed modes. The high-performance equipment lets out a speed burst in Speed mode and provides tactile control from steering-wheel tabs.

Another space-age highlight is the electronic trunk closer, which makes it easier to remove groceries and then shut the rear hood.

Although a two-door, the C300 coupe employs electronics to control the front seats, permitting them to slide back and forth and providing plenty of room to the back seats. The rear seating includes armrests and dual climate control as in the front.

The model has one feature unique to Mercedes-Benz that takes getting used to — a stalk on the steering wheel that acts as the shifter to Park, Drive and Reverse. After an on-the-fly self-tutorial, the shift gadget proved to be rather easy and convenient to use.

Mercedes-Benz took on a lot in the past two years to upgrade the C-Class, redesign the E-Class set to roll out this summer and extend the high-end S-Class to an ultra-luxury car.

At least at first blush with the C300 sedan and now coupe, the carmaker has emerged with flying colors.

Reach Jim Parker at 843-937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.