Test Drive Report: Mercedes-Benz CLC 180 Coupe Sport Auto

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When Mercedes-Benz first introduced the C-Class Sports Coupe, it attracted instant appeal with its all-glass rear hatch.  Mazda tried this with success on 323F, so why not Mercedes-Benz?  While that model had a higher percentage of female owners the latest generation is likely to challenge that majority vote.  Why?  Because the new Mercedes-Benz CLC Sports Coupe is more mature, has more advanced technology and is much sportier to look at than the model it replaces.

From its distinctive V-shaped front section, the diffuser like insert in the rear bumper keeps with the sporty theme will be noticed by those travelling behind.  In fact there is an actual ‘Sports’ package on the spec sheet – but more about that anon.

Three-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel with chrome surrounds on the instrument cluster together with trim elements in light, brushed aluminium ensures that the new CLC stands out from anything done in the past in this regard.  Under the bonnet, there are new engines that offer lower fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions – but that’s expected nowadays.  Increased power and torque will be appreciated too.  As with the heavy commercial vehicle industry, telematics are playing an important role in providing real-time information to the driver and one of the optional extras on the CLC is NTG 2.5 telematics generation with improved control display concept and extended functionality. 

Standard equipment includes Thermatic automatic climate control and new sports seats while Artico man-made leather and fabric continue to enhance the design.  Leather upholstery is optional.  Options on the Sports package are wide and varied with smoked glass look on the lamps and grille.  New also are the 18” light alloy wheels and the leather multifunctional sports steering wheel.  The instrument cluster is different too.

The version tested was the CLC 180 Coupe Sport (Auto) priced at €46,120.  This 4 cylinder-in-time turbo petrol engine pushes out 141 bhp and returns an estimated combined fuel consumption figure of 7.8 L//100 kms or 36.2 mpg.  After a week’s motoring, this figure was reached.  Prices for the CLC start at €33,640 and increase to €53,555 for the C350 Sport. One point of note which transfers from its predessor in that vision through the rear view mirror is extremely small.

In this range the 1.8 litre petrol would not be my first choice – from a running cost and operational cost viewpoints – it performed well – in the ride and handling stakes.  Specification in this version was high as listed below, so the CLC 180 Coupe Sport (Auto) has a lot to offer.  Best bet to go for is the C200 CDI Coupe Sport at €42,310 ex works.

Specification
•    Front and side airbags and windowbag for driver/passenger and rear occupants
•    ABS with brake assist
•    ESP with skid control
•    Radio/CD
•    Brake wear indicator
•    Auto dual-zone climate control
•    Reach and rake adjustment on steering column
•    Three-spoke multifunction steering wheel
•    Collapsible spare wheel/tyre
•    Fabric/leather upholstery
•    Split-folding rear seats
•    Front sports seats
•    Bluetooth phone connection
•    Cruise control
•    First Aid kit