Mercedes Benz CLC

C-Class coupe returns, rebodied and renamed

Evo rating
Price
from £24,280
  • Better than expected
  • Old dog, new tricks

CLC. That’s a Mercedes letter combination we haven’t seen before. It’s a coupe, but a small one. And it can’t be CLK because there’s one already.

The car is familiar, though. It’s the old C-class Sports Coupé, M-B’s one-time Golf GTI rival, in a new disguise to match the latest C-class, even if it lacks that car’s new underpinnings. Only doors and roof remain of panels past – there’s now a bluffer nose and a squarer tail – while underneath we find revised suspension and steering bushings for a crisper drive.

The engines are current-spec too, right up to the CLC350’s hefty 268bhp V6, Mercedes dismissing the GTI-rival notion almost as if it never existed. Matched to a six-speed manual, it makes an unexpectedly engaging driving machine, though unfortunately the UK gets the auto only. OK, so try the CLC230, also a V6 (with 2.5 litres and 201bhp) and lively enough if less smooth than a straight-six BMW.

Better-quality plastics and bolder colour schemes liven up the cabin, but you shouldn’t have to sit so high in a coupé. This is no hot hatch, but that’s not the idea. Rather it’s meant to draw buyers into the brand and turn a hefty profit. The accountants will love it.

Specifications

EngineV6, 2496cc
Max power201bhp @ 6100rpm
Max torque181lb ft @ 2900-5500rpm
0-608.4sec (claimed)
Top speed149mph (claimed)
On saleJune 2008

Most Popular

Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar shown in new images
Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar
Peugeot

Peugeot 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar shown in new images

Peugeot Sport’s new wingless Le Mans racer gears up for its competition debut later this year
18 Jan 2022
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2022 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring eCoty – front tracking
Porsche 911 GT3

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring 2022 review – pairing the magnificent 992 GT3 experience to a more subtle audience

There are few, if any, more rewarding, engaging or intense experiences for those in pursuit of the thrill of driving
7 Jan 2022
High performance Aston Martin DBX to be ‘most powerful luxury SUV’ on sale
Aston Teaser
Aston Martin DBX

High performance Aston Martin DBX to be ‘most powerful luxury SUV’ on sale

Aston’s high performance DBX to be revealed on Feb 1 and pack a whole lot more power
18 Jan 2022