Saguenay, QC – Purchasing a coupe over a sedan is a right-brain manoeuver. It’s all about aesthetics. Paying more money for less practicality might not be the most rational strategy, but to snag a line from Janis Joplin, “If it makes you feel good…” then why not?

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic Coupe is a sleek two-door take on the C300 sedan. It certainly ticks all the right boxes for those seeking a dash of style in a compact Benz. It’s a fine-looking car that adopts the automaker’s recent push to more gentle, flowing and elegant lines. Nicely resolved from any angle, this coupe does not rely on gimmicks to make an impression.

Consider its understated styling to be the antithesis of what’s happening in Japanese design studios of late, where no crease, weird headlight or gaping maw is too much.

It’s a similar story inside the cabin. First-class fit and finish mate with fine design and exquisite detailing to produce an interior worthy of the marque. A few might take exception to the MMI infotainment screen that perches atop the centre console like an afterthought, but the comfortable front seats and overarching quality win over.

Faux Artico “leather” and panoramic sunroof are standard. There’s lots of real metal bright-work in here, and Mercedes has bestowed the dash with a useful array of hard buttons for HVAC and audio that are well marked and easy to use. Thank you.

Standard issue is a touchpad/hand-rest just aft of the MMI rotary controller that responds to swipe, pinch and handwriting gestures.

The screen graphics aren’t as colourful as those from Audi and BMW, but once familiar with the system it’s quite easy to navigate.

Back-seat passengers won’t be quite so happy as ingress is a fairly inelegant process and headroom is tight. This is a coupe, remember? If your left brain is complaining about rear-seat accommodation, you should have listened to that side of your noggin while in the Benz showroom.

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4Matic Coupe lands with a starting price of $48,100. That’s a $4,300 premium over the C 300 4Matic Sedan.

Under the hood we find Mercedes’ ubiquitous 2.0L direct-injection turbo four-cylinder, here making 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a 7G-Tronic seven-speed auto with paddle shifters, and it drives all four wheels via 4Matic all-wheel-drive. For 2018, this car will get Benz’s new nine-speed auto. Other markets see a rear-wheel-drive version, but we Canucks get the one best suited to our weather (and buying preferences).

As we course the gently winding black-top through rural Quebec in our white C 300 4Matic Coupe, it becomes evident Mercedes has tailored this two-door for the relaxed cruise. It’s a smooth operator that plays perfectly into what most buyers expect the Mercedes experience to be. It has no aspirations of being a sports car, unlike its more edgy and engaging crosstown rival, the BMW 428i.

At first blush: 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

Larger and lighter than the outgoing C Class Coupe, this 2017 model gets standard blind spot assist, Collision Attention Assist Plus (forward collision mitigation) Pre-Safe (which preps the seatbelts, seat angles, windows and sunroof if a collision is imminent) and Crosswind Assist that reduces lateral drift when the no’r-easter hits your pretty flanks.

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