The recent unveiling of the Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe was an interesting move by Mercedes. When they launched the E-Class Coupe back in 2010, this was seen to replace the old favourite CLK Class Coupe, which was based on the old C-Class. The CLK, though a good looking car, did suffer some criticism by being around 10% more expensive than it’s saloon sibling. This was in line with the pricing policy at BMW with the 3-series, but still it must have been seen as cashing in on the looks of the car – get less but pay more.
When the new C-Class was launched in 2008, the CLK remained in production until the E-Class was launched in 2009. With the launch of the E-Class came the E-Class Coupe.
Everything seemed to be progressing well until C-Class Coupe announcement last week. The target for the C-Class is not it’s slightly larger sibling, but to spoil the party of the Audi A5 and BMW 3 Series – with little competition from Mercedes since the CLK left the market.
It will be interesting to see how the C-Class and E-Class compete with each other. Will the C-Class just cannibalise the sales of the E-Class, or will it, as Mercedes hopes, not compete with the E-Class at all? It is believed that on an engine-by-engine basis there will only be about £1,000 difference between the E-Class and C-Class. The E-Class will be slightly larger inside, but the boot size will be the same. The styling is quite different as well in that the C-Class is quite graceful in a swooping way while the E-Class is more angular, less masculine and possibly takes us back to the jelly mould days of the first Sierra. When the E-Class Coupe launched it was the most aerodynamic production car.
Now that the C-Class interior has been somewhat premiumised recently, it will also provide tough competition to the E class. When the E-Class interior is compared to the BMW 5 Series or the new Audi A6 it comes off in a poor third place. The C-Class interior however seems more appealing so how this compares to the E class will also be interesting to see.
Mercedes expects that the customers of the C-Class will be in the 35 – 45 year old age range, and the E-Class to older customers.
For the sake of £1,000, which would you chose?