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Road Test: Mercedes-Benz C180 Coupe AMG Sport

By / 6 years ago / Road Tests / No Comments

Sector: Coupe Price: £31,590 Fuel: 44.8mpg CO2: 147g/km

Mercedes-Benz is a brand on the march, with the UK fleet sector firmly in its three-pointed crosshair. But while there’s been a glut of publicity about the much-praised new A-Class, the manufacturer hasn’t neglected its core models.

So the C-Class range was revised earlier this summer with fleets firmly in mind. New engines and a trim range that falls in line with BMW and Audi were a big part of this, and the very purposeful-looking C-Class Coupe AMG Sport is one of the results.

The C-Class makes such a pretty coupe that it’s a wonder Mercedes-Benz waited until the 2011 facelift to add it to the range. But despite the AMG logos, big wheels and sports interior, this isn’t a full-fat sports coupe. Under the bonnet is an engine displacing just 1.6 litres.

For most fleets, diesel is the default for a car of this size. But changes at the A and B-Class end of the range mean these models no longer have a sandwich floor, and no longer require bespoke engines. In turn, this means the smaller units can be shared between front and rear-wheel drive models without substantial modifications.

The C180’s engine is one of them. Despite its diminutive displacement, its turbocharger means there a very lively 156bhp on offer, while its small size contributes to a respectable 44.8mpg on the combined cycle with the dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Both are desirable, but this still has to drive right. It does. The engine offers a progressive, if not exhilarating, turn of pace and for those used to the hum of a diesel it’s also incredibly quiet at all speeds. If anything, the biggest performance sacrifice is the automatic gearbox. Not a bad unit, but a little keen to change up to save fuel.

That’s not a bad quality for most drives. The power is there, but usually two gears down, so the C180 feels relaxed at high speeds and doesn’t encourage spirited driving. As a result, 40mpg is an easily achievable figure, and there’s more to give for the most light-footed drivers.

It’s not as much of a performance car as the styling suggests, but the C180 Coupe has the street cred, comfort and refinement to be a great all-rounder for the image-conscious young executive.

Verdict:

Great to look at, especially in AMG Sport guise, this is an ideal perk car for drivers mostly doing shorter trips. It’s not as efficient or as powerful as a C220 CDI, but it’s quieter and still efficient enough not to make high miles a problem and a wholly viable alternative to the A5 and 3 Series coupes.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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