2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe
2-door coupes have long sold at a fraction of the pace compared to the sedans they are usually based on. But, if German brands have their say, they are not likely to go away anyway soon. Over the years, they have perfected the art of the luxury sport coupe. And, now Mercedes-Benz adds fuel to that tradition with the new C300 coupe.
While the compact chassis that underscores this 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe now carries all kinds of vehicles, this 2-door is by far the most dynamic looking of the bunch. Certainly more agile and muscular looking than its sedately appearing sedan stablemate.
The Coupe’s hood and grillwork are the same as the Sedan, but everything else is unique, including a lower roofline that makes almost one complete arch from A-pillar to tail.
Those hindquarters have much more in common with the larger S-class Coupe than the C-class Sedan; and due to sportier tuning, it sits about ½ and inch lower.
It’s a great-looking sculpture, clearly designed to be a true Coupe from the beginning and not a 2-door step child of a 4-door saloon.
The available Sport Package features a host of AMG add-ons for both the interior and exterior, and 19-inch AMG wheels can replace the standard 18s.
The ubiquitous German 2.0-liter turbo-4 handles power delivery, sending 241-horsepower and 273 lb-ft. of torque to the rear wheels, or all four if you chose to go the 4MATIC route.
It’s easily one of the better turbo-4’s out there right now, feeling more powerful than many V6s. Benz’s 7G-TRONIC 7-speed automatic transmission is your only route but it’s a good one.
Base suspension is equivalent to the Sedan’s sport setup, and ride quality is on the sporty side of comfortable; not harsh, and with just enough roll to keep it from feeling like you’re in a race car.
Still, smooth and steady are the themes here, more than quick and deadly. Upgrade to AIRMATIC suspension and you get sportier settings for even more aggressive maneuvering. Anything more, and you’ll have to wait for the AMG versions which are obviously on the way.
Most everything in the front compartment is straight C-class sedan, which is a good thing. There’s a great looking twin bezel gauge cluster, and lots of real knobs and buttons on the center stack; and a tacked on-style tablet just above.
The screen does look awkward, but it functions well through the COMAND controller.
There are minor trim updates, to go along with the obviously larger door panels.
Front “sport seats” are unique to the Coupe, and are very comfortable with plenty of adjustments. Rear seat space and access are pretty much standard Euro-coupe. Its tight getting in, and only set up for 2 moderately-sized physiques. So you might want to just fold them down to expand a very tight 10.5 cubic-ft trunk.
In track tests, despite a hefty feel, the C300 Coupe proved easy to point and shoot through the cones. Understeer became a problem as we pushed harder, but the rear didn’t so much as slide out as bounce around; as there always seems to feel like there’s some kind of electronic intervention present.
Steering was super-quick, but also a bit numb. Still, both that steering and overall performance felt sportier than the last BMW 4 series we sampled.
There’s also plenty of power to keep you satisfied; good thrust down low, and it keeps it up pretty well down the whole track. We hit 60 in 6.4-seconds.
Shifts happen very quickly and firmly; but better enjoy it while you can, Benz’s 9-speed will probably be coming shortly. All-in-all the car feels sneaky fast, quicker feeling than our 14.9-second ¼-mile time at 94 miles-per-hour.
A 120-foot average stopping distance from 60 is certainly acceptable. Pedal feel was nice and firm, and the car very stable.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings with all-wheel-drive are 23-City, 29-Highway, and 25-Combined. So, our 27.2 miles-per-gallon average of Premium was pretty good. But it only rates an average Energy Impact Score of 13.2-barrels of yearly oil use with 5.9-tons of CO2 emissions.
C300 Coupe prices start at $43,575; only a couple hundred dollars over a BMW 4 series Coupe, and we think well worth it. Add 2-grand more for all-wheel-drive.
In the past, owning a C-class Coupe or any C-Class really, clearly felt like you were settling for less than Benz’s best. Not anymore. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe is a fantastic, sporty coupe; that, like the C-Class Sedan, now stands ready to take on all comers.
- Engine: 2.0 liter
- Horsepower: 241
- Torque: 273 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 14.9 seconds @ 94 mph
- EPA: 23 mpg city / 29 mpg highway,
- Energy Impact: 13.2 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 5.9 tons/yr
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined