Test Drive: 2013 Mercedes Benz C 350 4Matic Coupe car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars
Test Drive: 2013 Mercedes Benz C 350 4Matic Coupe car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars
2013 Mercedes-Benz C 350 4Matic Coupe. Click image to enlarge

Story and photos by Lesley Wimbush

So you’ve finally scored that promotion. Maybe that ancient great-aunt has shuffled off this mortal coil leaving you a tidy little inheritance. Or perhaps your significant other has finally made partner and you’re moving on out into the green Valhalla of the suburbs.

Either way, your beloved Honda Accord just isn’t cutting it in the newly elevated yet thoroughly respectable status you so richly deserve. What to do?

Enter the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. Not overtly flashy enough to attract unwanted attention, the C-Class Coupe strikes just the right balance between respectability and youthful sportiness.

Once the favoured mode of transport for middle-aged dentists everywhere, the C-Class was the recipient of a thorough makeover for 2012. Transformed from the nondescript, upscale equivalent of the beige Corolla into a stylish, attractive mid-size vehicle, the C-Class added a modicum of sexiness to the lineup with the coupe by deleting two doors and adding a swooping roofline.

Globally the C-Class sedan has been the bread and butter car for premium automaker Mercedes-Benz. So it made good economic sense for the company to develop it further by offering a 2+2 coupe to compete with the lovely Audi A5/S5 coupe and segment-leading BMW 3 Series. Even Cadillac had beaten it to the game by producing a two-door variant of their CTS while that was their entry-level vehicle.

That’s some pretty heady competition, but Mercedes is counting on the dynamic coupe to reach a younger, more hip demographic than the sedan had ever attained.

Taking another page from Audi’s playbook, the entry-level Benz now adds a high-tech, high-output, turbocharged four cylinder to the C-Class lineup. The coupe offers the choice of three powertrains: the C 250′s 1.8L turbocharged I4 producing 201 hp/229 lb-ft of torque, the C 350′s upgraded 3.5L V6 (now boasting direct injection) with 302 hp/273 lb-ft of torque, and the C 63 AMG’s prodigious 451 hp/443 lb-ft V8.

The C 250 and C 350 both get the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission, while the C 63 has the AMG Speedshift MCT seven-speed with an extra wet clutch in place of a torque converter. For those in search of even more power there’s a $6,000 AMG performance package for the C 63 that upgrades the output to 481 hp, delivering a 0–100 km/h time of 4.3 seconds.

Canadian winters are a gruelling test of survival, and can really mess up your commute if you live in the suburban outback. Fortunately, the C-Class is available with AWD, but only on the C 350.

Test Drive: 2013 Mercedes Benz C 350 4Matic Coupe car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars Test Drive: 2013 Mercedes Benz C 350 4Matic Coupe car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars Test Drive: 2013 Mercedes Benz C 350 4Matic Coupe car test drives mercedes benz luxury cars
2013 Mercedes-Benz C 350 4Matic Coupe. Click image to enlarge

My tester, a jet-black C 350 4Matic is a tidy, good-looking car with a swept-back roofline adding a dash of sportiness. However, more than one observer remarked on its resemblance to the Honda Accord – an opinion not likely to go over well in Stuttgart.

As with the SLK coupe lineup, all Canadian C-Class coupes wear the AMG-influenced body styling – featuring molded side skirts, and the signature twin blade and oversized-badge grille inspired by the SLS AMG halo car.

It’s a handsome, chiselled face that bears no resemblance to the pokey blandness of C-Class past. Sharp character lines lend a touch of elegance, and 18-inch, seven-spoke alloys add a flash of dynamism to its overall image.

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