The 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and its convertible version are the last of the current generation. They're based on the W205 C-Class Sedan that was superseded by the W206 last year, which means the current coupe and cabriolet are getting on in years. Annual updates and elegant styling have kept them looking swanky, but their time is now up, and they're set to be replaced for 2024. With a sub-$50k starting price, the 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe is also the last Mercedes two-door that you'll be able to buy this cheaply, as next year's CLE replacement will also usurp the two-door E-Class models as a larger and more expensive car.
So what do the 2023 C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet have to offer before they bow out? The same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque does duty across the range, and buyers can choose between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The C-Class coupe and its drop-top sibling are bookended by natural rivals in the form of the cheaper Audi A5 and the newer, pricier, controversially-styled BMW 4 Series. Does the C-Class still stand a chance?
There aren't any changes to the 2023 C-Class coupe and convertible in their last model year on the market. The unaltered range still comprises only C300 derivatives, all sharing the same engine. Pricing creeps up a little, meaning there is now only one derivative left retailing for less than $50k - the RWD C300 Coupe. The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class convertible starts at $57,250.
The price of a new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe starts at $49,550 for 2023, and that's for the RWD C300 Coupe. Adding the 4Matic AWD system will cost $2,000 more. If you have your heart set on drop-top cruising, the price of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class convertible jumps to $57,250 in RWD (add $2,000 for all-wheel drive). These are the MSRP figures and don't include destination fees of $1,150.
Choosing the right model for you starts with whether or not you want to be able to take the roof down. You'll already know the answer to that, but be reminded that the limited practicality of the Cabriolet and its smaller, compromised cargo area will restrict what you can take along when going two-up touring. From there, your only options are RWD or AWD since there are no trim levels in the lineup. We'd go for the RWD models - at least for the carbiolet, they're more efficient and a little quicker and lighter on their feet - unless you live in a cold-weather state and need the AWD ability.
The interior is elegantly styled and well-built, but lacks a few expected features, such as leather upholstery and various driver assists.
Once inside the C-Class Coupe or Cabriolet, it's clear where the origins of the cockpit lie, as the dashboard comes wholesale from the now-discontinued W205 C-Class Sedan. The fact that it still looks modern and smart is partly down to the elegant original design and partly to the way it's been specced - a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is standard, and the materials look and feel premium. Tactile quality is good, but creaks can be elicited from the trim under casual pressure, especially the wide center stack. The comfortable and supportive seats are powered and heated, but you don't get leather; the MB-Tex leatherette substitute is of good quality, though.
For the driver, there are some over-the-shoulder blind spots - more so in the cabriolet with its wide rear pillars when the roof is raised - and you'll mostly be reliant on the backup camera to help you out when backing up or parking; you pay extra for automatic parking and a surround-view monitor. All trims have a low roofline and limited ground clearance, so you have to stoop to get in, and accessing the rear seat calls for undignified acrobatics on behalf of everybody except the lithest of limb among us.
These are front-seat cars, and in the first row, there won't be any complaints regarding comfort or interior space. Things aren't nearly so rosy in the second row - which strictly seats only two passengers - and, despite a fairly generous 111.8-inch wheelbase, rear-seat legroom is cramped and headroom limited. The cabriolet lops another two inches off the coupe's rear headroom, making the dark, cramped, and claustrophobic rear quarters (with the top up) suitable for children only. Of course, it's airy with limitless headroom once the top is dropped, but there's still little room for knees. Considering the small trunk, this is a two-person car, and the rear seats are more likely to be used for extra cargo space rather than people.
Elegant the profile may be, but that rear end that so gently slopes out of view also means that trunk space is limited, with just 10.5 cu-ft available behind the second row in the coupe and a very restrictive 8.8 cu-ft in the cabriolet - worse than both the 4 Series and A5. Trunk space in the cabriolet is further diminished when the top is dropped, and Mercedes provides an automatic trunk partition to define the space that is available if you lower the roof, so you can pack accordingly. The coupe's rear seat splits 40/20/40 and folds down to extend trunk volume. The convertible's seats split 50/50, but due to the roof mechanism above, only allows for a long, low cargo bay and not the bigger, uniform shape of the coupe. Either way, Mercedes does not provide figures for the cars in this configuration. The release levers for the rear seats are located in the trunk, so they can be kept out of reach by valet-locking the trunk, preventing the seats from being folded down and the trunk from being accessed.
Cabin storage spaces are reasonable, but the door pockets aren't as large as expected, given the long doors, though they're nice and wide, making them easy to access. You also get an average-sized glovebox, a lidded under-elbow center-console storage compartment, and covered cupholders with a place to put your phone at the front end of the center console. Rear-seat passengers get cupholders molded into their center console.
|Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe||Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet||BMW 4 Series Coupe||BMW 4 Series Cabriolet|
|38.8 in. front|
37.6 in. rear
|38.8 in. front|
35.6 in. rear
|38 in. front|
35.2 in. rear
|40.6 in. front |
36.1 in. rear
|42 in. front|
32 in. rear
|42 in. front|
32 in. rear
|41.8 in. front|
34.5 in. rear
|41.8 in. front |
32.5 in. rear
|10.5 ft³||8.8 ft³||12 ft³||9 ft³|
Even at the price asked of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, you don't get leather upholstery, but the MB-Tex faux leather is convincing and of high quality. The standard interior colors are black, Silk Beige/Black, and Saddle Brown/Black. Choosing leather upholstery is a $1,620 option and you can have the real deal in Black, Saddle Brown/Black, Porcelain/Black, or Cranberry Red/Black.
As for the interior accent trim, Dark Brown Linden Wood, Natural Grain Gray Oak Wood, Natural Grain Walnut Wood/Aluminum, and Natural Grain Black Ash Wood/Aluminum cost nothing, but the last option compels either of the two AMG Line packages.
Both body styles get dual-zone climate control, an electronic trunk closer, remote opening and closing of the windows and sunroof/soft top, keyless entry with push-button start, and 64-color adjustable ambient interior lighting. The AirScarf neck-heating system is standard on the cabriolet, but the front seats of both body styles are heated and electrically adjustable, with a memory feature for the driver. You pay extra for leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.
The infotainment system is a throwback to a different era and is still the old Comand system from the previous C-Class, not the newer MBUX setup used in contemporary Mercs, but it works well enough. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is standard, and it's joined by a free-standing tablet-like 10.25-inch touchscreen on top of the dashboard that can be operated via touch or the steering-mounted touch-control buttons. The coupe has a center rotary infotainment controller, and the cabriolet gets a touchpad controller. Features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, voice control, dual USB ports, HD Radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, and a 13-speaker Burmester audio system. Optional extras include a head-up display ($1,100) and a wireless charging pad ($200). The $1,250 Multimedia package includes navigation, enhanced voice control, a year of map updates and traffic information, and the cabrio's touchpad controller.
|C300 Coupe||C300 Cabriolet|
|Power panoramic sunroof|
|Heated power-adjustable front seats|
|Ventilated front seats|
|12.3" gauge cluster and 10.25" touchscreen|
Performance lags behind that of the class leaders, but the C is nothing if not swift, smooth, comfortable, and refined, with competent, if not outright sporty, handling.
The sole engine in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe and convertible lineup is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder with 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available, but regardless of the drivetrain configuration, the transmission is a nine-speed automatic. Performance is not bad, but the A5 and 4 Series with similarly powerful engines are noticeably quicker. The 0-60 mph sprint for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe is listed as 5.9 seconds, regardless of drivetrain. The convertible goes from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds with RWD, and 6.2 seconds with AWD. In all cases, top speed is limited to 130 mph.
Ride and handling are still good after all these years, and the uniquely tuned rear suspension and low stance ensure plenty of cornering grip. The car remains unperturbed by mid-corner undulations and absorbs shocks well, even though there's a bit of small-bump patter from the rubberware, especially on the 19-inch wheels. Dynamic ability is not necessarily at the top of the wishlist for a non-AMG Merc two-door, but both the coupe and cabriolet acquit themselves well and drive with poise and composure, with a focus more on comfort than corner-carving - a trait it shares with its 4 Series and A5 rivals. There are a few more shimmies and shudders from the less-rigid convertible, and handling is a smidge less precise, but it holds it together nicely on all but the worst of surfaces. Performance is a bit underwhelming next to its rivals, but it's swift enough, and the nine-speed auto always has a gear on hand, no matter the situation.
Mpg figures for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe and convertible are now well behind the curve compared to modern rivals. The city/highway/combined EPA estimates for both the RWD and AWD coupes are 22/31/25 mpg. The heavier cabriolet achieves 21/30/25 mpg or 21/29/24 mpg, for RWD and AWD, respectively. All of these figures lag behind the gas mileage of the A5 and 4 Series, which do no worse than 26-27 mpg combined, even in AWD drop-top form.
With a fuel tank capacity of 17.4 gallons across the board, a range of between 418 and 435 miles should be possible.
|2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas|
|2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas |
|255 hp||255 hp|
|130 mph||130 mph|
|22 / 31 / 25 mpg - Coupe|
21 / 30 / 25 mpg - Cabriolet
|22 / 31 / 25 mpg - Coupe |
21 / 29 / 24 mpg - Cabriolet
|5.9 seconds - Coupe|
6.1 seconds - Cabriolet
|5.9 seconds - Coupe |
6.2 seconds - Cabriolet
Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has conducted a safety review of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe or convertible, but they've tested the previous-generation W205 C-Class Sedan on which they're based and with which they share most of their front structure. That car was given a full five-star overall rating by the NHTSA and received a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS in 2021.
It's a shame that more safety features aren't standard, and while the obligatory airbags (eight in the coupe and ten in the cabriolet), tire-pressure monitoring, backup camera, ABS, and stability control are present, the list of driver assists is rather short. You get forward-collision warning, automatic brake initiation, automatic LED headlights with auto high beams, blind-spot monitoring, exit warning, crosswind assist, and rain-sensing wipers, but all the other driver assists cost extra. These include adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, lane-keep assist, automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic parking, and a surround-view monitor, some of which are standard on far cheaper cars. You'll have to tick the boxes for both the $1,100 Parking Assistance and $1,700 Driver Assistance packages to get all of these features.
|C300 Coupe||C300 Cabriolet|
|Adaptive cruise control|
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
There are no separate J.D. Power reliability ratings for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe and convertible body styles, but only for the C-Class range as a whole. Since the new W206 C-Class has been out for two years, we have to go back to 2021 to find an assessment of the previous-generation C-Class of which the cars reviewed here form part. At the time, the range was handed a very good quality and reliability rating of 81 out of 100.
Unfortunately, the recall record doesn't look so great, and one would have expected such an old car's issues to have all been sorted out by now. The 2023 two-door C-Class models have all been recalled three times so far for an improperly secured wiring harness and for a loss of drive power that can result from either a wiring problem or from the fuel pump shutting down. All these problems also apply to the 2022 models, along with additional recalls for a steering-wheel hands-off detection software problem and moisture accumulation in the trunk that may cause a short circuit.
The warranty for the 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class coupe and convertible range is also rather average, with both the limited and powertrain warranties valid for four years/50,000 miles and no complimentary maintenance included.
The design of the coupe and cabriolet is clearly from a previous generation of Mercs and lacks the styling cues, frontal treatment, and DRL "eyebrow" style of new Mercedes models. It still looks modern and stylish, though, with a rakish profile and smooth contours. Standard AMG body styling includes defined side sills, aggressive bumpers with gaping mesh front air intakes, and a grille with a black diamond-block texture. The cabriolet's top drops away unobtrusively (it can be raised or lowered in less than 20 seconds at up to 31 mph), and it looks stunning in open format, but the canvas top doesn't have the elegance of the coupe nor its gracefully arced roofline when closed. The top is offered in three colors - black, dark blue, and red. The coupe gets a standard power panoramic sunroof.
Both body styles have all-LED exterior lighting and run on 18-inch alloy wheels. Alternative styles are available, and sizes go up to 19 inches. Various extra-cost exterior enhancements can be added on, including the AMG Line package (with or without the black-out Night package added), a choice of rear decklid spoilers, and an illuminated grille star.
The C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet still look smart and will provide you with an elegant, comfortable, and stylish conveyance in the best Mercedes two-door tradition. It still competes well in terms of in-car tech and safety, despite its age, and it's prettier than a 4 Series to most eyes. But it's old now, and its rivals are just as comfortable, quicker, and lighter on gas - the Audi A5 is very stylish and a bit cheaper too. If you're in the market for an affordable Mercedes coupe or convertible, go for it, as access to the club will become significantly more expensive from next year when the old Cs bow out and the new CLEs debut. But if the badge on the hood isn't that important and you want something a little newer, quicker, and more efficient, you'll be better off with a 4 Series - or an A5 if you can't live with the Bimmer's looks.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe: