2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet: Real, Actual Two-doors Gain Power and Content
Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class line maintains a steady stream of customers by being attainably aspirational. A dignified, confident car, the C-Class doesn’t feel the need to be something it’s not. Watch a realtor pull up in one, and a feeling of quiet assurance falls over the would-be home buyer — certainly, not the same feeling you’d get after seeing them pull up in a CLA.
In a bid to maintain this respectful relationship, Mercedes-Benz has a host of changes in store for the refreshed 2019 C-Class sedan. These niceties are now bound for the coupe and convertible variants, too.
Isn’t it nice to talk about an honest-to-goodness sedan, coupe, and convertible, each carrying the same model name?
Not wanting to mess with a good thing, exterior changes are subtle for 2019, echoing alterations made to the sedan. The front fascia grows more aggressive, adopting larger side intakes, while a “diamond” grille keeps the shiny bits well behind the prominent three-pointed star. LED headlamps come standard, though buyers can spring for M-B’s Intelligent Light System if they feel the need for extra-wide high beams.
Out back, it’s the same story: a reworked lower fascia and LED taillights. Evolutionary, but just enough to keep the model fresh.
Like the sedan, the C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet see power gains across the board. C300 models now make 255 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, up 14 hp from previous versions. It’s a top-end power gain, as torque stays put at 273 lb-ft. Supposedly, this engine now ekes out greater fuel economy, but we’ll have to wait and see what the EPA says about it.
For those choosing the hopped-up C43 model, Mercedes-AMG saw fit to give the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 a power boost of its own. Output now stands at 385 hp, 23 hp more than before, though toque holds firm at 384 lb-ft. New light-alloy wheels and front air curtains aim to make the C43 slipperier than its predecessor, while a new, all-black AMG Night Package aims to make it stealthier, too.
Vanilla C-Class models make do with a nine-speed automatic; AMG buyers gain a faster-shifting unit with the same number of cogs. The 4Matic all-wheel-drive system that’s standard on the C43 remains optional for C300 customers.
While changes to the two-door C-Class line appear subtle on the exterior, expect an obvious upgrade in the cabin. Hoping to lure Millennials while keeping returning buyers in its fold, M-B is going all-in on tech and touch. Upgraded leathers and woods mingle with new features like touch-sensitive steering wheel controls, a 10.25-inch multimedia screen poised above the center stack, and an optional fully digital instrument display. Voice controls now cover things like the seat warmer, and a broader range of driver-assist features are available to keep the C-Class out of the rhubarb. Active Brake Assist comes standard on all models, as does Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Yes, these C-Class models can cautiously drive themselves under certain conditions (think: on the highway). Besides assistance from improved camera and radar systems, the vehicle borrow info from the vehicle’s navigation system to help predict the road ahead.
Mercedes-Benz hasn’t released pricing just yet, but expect mild inflation to cover the cost of the added equipment. The 2019 C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet debut later this month at the New York International Auto Show before rolling into dealers in late 2018.
[Images: Daimler AG]
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