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
2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT
It’s An SUV On A Track, Deal With It
When we started testing cars 43-years ago, hot rod SUVs like this Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT were not on our radar. Back in those days, utility vehicles were trucks and Porsches were cars. But times have changed, and the only place to make sense of it all is at a racetrack, so hop in and join us for some high-performance haulin’.
Now, most would say the high-performance SUV is a relatively new phenomenon, but we’ve been testing them for over 30-years now, going back to the GMC Typhoon. If you don’t remember that one, we’d suggest Googling it, purely for the nostalgia of it, as this 2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT is on a totally different level.
This SUV is an SUV in shape only, as a lot of its hardware as well as the driving experience are much more akin to a pure sports car… ah la the 911.
Starting with the Coupe version of Porsche’s largest SUV, which benefits from a mid-cycle styling refresh for ’24, the Turbo GT adds a carbon-fiber roof, big wing with side planes, rear diffuser, and a sport exhaust system with titanium tailpipes.
Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control is also included, making body-roll almost non-existent; and with the help of a new two-valve air suspension setup it was all traction all the time through the high-speed turns of Savannah’s Roebling Road Raceway. Though unlike last gen, if you’re aggressive enough with the throttle, you can get the rear to step out on you a little. Rear-axle steering is also included and the best praise we could heap on steering feel and feedback through corners is that it feels like a Porsche.
Tires are also wider than before: 315/35 Pirelli P Zeros in back, mounted on 22-inch GT Design wheels. The brakes behind are comprised of enormous carbon-ceramic composite discs with monster yellow calipers…
…and they truly were impressive on track, hauling this 5,000-pound, luxury-minded performance utility down from triple-digit speeds lap after lap without wavering.
This SUV is an SUV in shape only, as a lot of its hardware as well as the driving experience are much more akin to a pure sports car... ah la the 911.
Equally impressive is the powerplant that initiates those high speeds, Porsche’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 which cranks out 19 horsepower over last year for a total of 650; torque output remains the same, at 626 lb-ft. All-wheel drive is standard, as is an 8-speed automatic trans, which helps the Turbo GT get up to speed in a hurry; 3.1-seconds to 60, to be exact. That’s a couple of tenths slower than the first-gen Turbo GT we tested 2 years ago, but we’ll chalk that up to testing that one on a well-prepped drag strip versus this trip down Roebling Road’s slippery front straightaway on a 40-degree day. And it gained time back quickly, as our 11.3-second quarter-mile time was only a tenth slower, finishing at 124 mph.
Other notable changes for ’24 include a new dash and control layout for the interior. The highlight is a new 12.6-inch curved digital gauge display; it’s joined by a central touchscreen that sits higher up and is nestled into the dash more than before.
No more actual shifter in the console, as it’s been replaced with Porsche’s toggle switch gear sector which resides on the dash to the left of the touchscreen. That means a new console layout with additional storage space and new controls. While none of that helps lower lap times, it all provides a much more useful and better overall environment than before, for that time spent behind the wheel commuting or just sitting in traffic.
Front and rear seats are comfortable yet sporty feeling; and while it does do a lot of SUV-like things pretty well, the coupe body shape does limit rear cargo capacity to 20.3 cubic feet, expanding to 52.4 with rear seatbacks folded; and the central-mounted exhaust does negate adding a tow hitch.
No matter how you look at it, the Cayenne Turbo GT is an insane vehicle, but it also comes with an insane price tag, starting at $197,950. So essentially, that’s six-figures worth of high-performance hardware jammed into an already impressively capable standard Cayenne… an SUV made much better with comprehensive updates front to back for all ’24 Porsche Cayennes.
It easily remains the standard bearer for luxury-minded utility vehicles, evidenced by recently earning our Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Luxury Utility. But it’s this 2024 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT that really impresses the most as the ultimate track-focused SUV money can buy. You may not need it, but you know you want it!
- Engine: 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8
- Horsepower: 650
- 0-60 mph: 3.1-seconds
- Starting Price: $197,950
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 625 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 11.3-seconds at 124 mph