2012 Mercedes C250 Coupe Review – Video

For those who value a Mercedes badge more than value itself

2012 Mercedes C250 Coupe Review – Video

Performance. Luxury. German. These are three of the top qualifications for anyone looking to purchase an “entry-level” luxury sports coupe. One that isn’t likely to pop up, however, is “value.”

Shoppers more interested in a brand identity than in getting the most out of each dollar will undoubtedly flock to the conventional models from Munich, Stuttgart or even Ingolstadt and pay for the privilege of driving a European machine.


1. An all-new model for 2012, the C-Class Coupe comes standard with a turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder making 201 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque.

2. Important stats include a 7.1 second 0-60 time and fuel economy of 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

3. Compared to the sedan the coupe weighs 100 lbs more and loses 1.5-inches of headroom.

4. C250 Coupe pricing starts at $37,220.

Taking into account the first three qualities, the new Meredes-Benz C250 Coupe is a solid competitor. With a broader perspective and a more open mind, however, it’s hardly the wisest choice.

Powerful it can be, with an optional 3.5-liter V6 engine that now sports direct injection and makes 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Our test car, however, is the C250, which sports an all-new, turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine.


Despite a modest 201 hp the C250 can still hit 60 mph in 7.1 seconds and when pushed feels faster thanks in part to 229 lb-ft of torque at just 2200 rpm.

It also has a nice exhaust note when revved out, though it’s considerably less appealing during the sort of normal driving most Merc buyers will do. In fact, it sounds a good bit like a diesel engine thanks in part to the direct-injection system and overall, the coarseness of the 4-cylinder is simply unacceptable for a car wearing the three-pointed star badge. That’s not to say a Mercedes shouldn’t have a 4-cylinder engine, just not this one.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

2012 Mercedes C250 Coupe Front Left Low

Around town the mixture of a turbo and the standard seven-speed automatic transmissions (no manual is available) makes for quite a delay in power delivery. The standard Economy drive mode program is to blame here too. Push the Sport button and the C250 is decidedly more entertaining. In fact, we’d suggest you hit that Sport button every time you get behind the wheel.

Improved fuel economy is the obvious upside to this efficiency-minded engine. While the V6 gets a 19/28 mpg rating and 22 mpg combined, the C250 achieves 21/31 mpg or 25 mpg combined.

Hampering both fuel economy and performance is an odd statistic, with the coupe measuring in at 100 lbs heavier than the sedan.


2012 Mercedes C250 Coupe Center Console

Behind the wheel things get considerably less coarse, with soft leathers and the choice of wood or (preferably) aluminum trim. An all-new model for 2012, the Coupe is introduced with same cabin that is an update on the sedan.  Included in that is a 4.5-inch color display between the main gauges to show trip info and other vehicle details, while a 5.8-inch screen sits atop the dash and allows for control of numerous vehicle functions from the audio system to Bluetooth using either voice commands, the COMMAND control knob, or steering wheel mounted controls.

As a whole, the cabin is undeniably premium, though at the same time stops short of any wow factor. Plus, due to a lower roof height than the sedan, it can feel cramped. A standard full glass roof, which does pour plenty of light into the cabin, does help to make cramped headroom less apparent.

Adding to the luxurious experience in our test model is the $1,750 full leather seating package and the $1,995 Premium Package with heated front seats, an upgraded Harman Kardon audio system, SiriusXM radio and an iPod interface. Taking it an expensive step further is a $2,790 Multimedia package that adds a backup camera and Navigation in a larger 7-inch display screen. Additional extras include an $850 lane-tracking package with blind spot assist and lane keeping assist, while a keyless access system with push button ignition (two things that should be standard on every Mercedes product) will run you $650.

Delivering the max level of driving enjoyment in this model is a $1,400 Dynamic Handling Package including a stiffer steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and an upgraded suspension with adjustable damping shocks that firm up when you press the sport button.

2012 Mercedes C250 Coupe Interior

While quite the handling package, it’s a first for Mercedes and those who place priority on performance driving should also stick to stereotypes and buy BMW. What the Mercedes does best is deliver a smooth and quiet ride, though even the typically silent Mercedes interior can’t mask the unbecoming 4-cylinder. Once it’s up to speed though, the four settles in and like a true Mercedes the C250 Coupe will remain calm and relaxed on the highway, masking the fact that it thinks the speed limit sign reads 50% higher than it does.


Those who see it fly by will undoubtedly follow its sleek lines lustfully, much unlike the cutesy and unsuccessful C-Class SportCoupe (axed in 2005). While by all accounts identical to the sedan head-on, the low coupe profile is a handsome one and looks particularly smart in the Lunar Blue Metallic of our test car, contrasted with just enough brightwork, some appropriately sized 17-inch wheels and perhaps most importantly, that big grille and Mercedes-Benz logo.

That badge is an important one on the C250, helping cover up the rather un-Mercedes 4-cylinder while justifying the rather steep asking price.

Nicely equipped models can run up to the $45,000 mark, though the C250 Coupe starts at a more reasonable (or so it seems) $37,220.

2012 Mercedes C250 Coupe Front Left

Compared to the BMW 328i Coupe it’s not far off, and the engine certainly has its fuel economy advantages over the six-cylinder Bimmer. Still, a new 3 Series two door is on its way (reportedly badged as the 4 Series) and as it’s all but guaranteed to share its engines with the sedan, look for similar fuel economy numbers with plenty more power — around 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque.

Those who can put aside their brand snobbery and who can take a shine to the stylings of Infiniti will be shocked at the results. In place of performance, luxury and German is performance, luxury, value… and more performance.

As impressed as your neighbors are certain to be with the new Benz in your driveway, for an additional $580 it’s possible create a much larger feeling of satisfaction by buying an Infiniti G37 Coupe – a car that boasts 129 more horsepower (an increase of 64%).


A push by Mercedes to take on the 3 Series Coupe, the C250 is mostly well-executed from a packaging and driving dynamics standpoint. In a bid to keep up with increasingly strict fuel economy and emissions standards, however, the 4-cylinder is a dud.

2012 Mercedes C250 Coupe Rear Right

Taking a broader look at the segment (and a peak at what’s to come) reveals this luxury sport coupe is the antithesis of value and could, at least, use a solid power upgrade.

Would we recommend it to anyone looking for a luxury sports coupe? Only if their qualifications included that fact that it has to be a Mercedes.

  • JR

    You’re an idiot! Who would buy a piece of crap Japanese car over a Mercedes-Benz?

  • Eddy

    I would buy Japan cars over Benz anytime , Ben have to many problem, Jr u r an idiot to buy Benz over imports cars…

  • keepanopenmind

    I’ve on my second MB and have not had any issues so far. Mercedes are built top notch.

  • Eric Cantin

    Too funny that the license plate starts with BENZ!

  • http://twitter.com/CoolCarsHotGrls CoolCarsHotGirls.com

    I agree with JR – Mercedes-Benz is known for quality. Pricey, yes, but the quality is unmatchable…especially from a Japanese built auto. German engineering is top-notch. I’ve always been a fan of Benz interiors. They use quality leather, wood grain and pay attention to detail when it comes to gauges and the overall driving experience. The C250 will be a good competitor in it’s class. I’d recommend reading Consumer Reports to get another review.

  • wtdash

    Quality may not = Reliability, but I would never buy a used Merc out of warranty (or an Audi, BMW, VW…).

    CR Used cars to avoid-These 2002 to 2011 models have records of below-average reliability:
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class (AWD) ’11; E-Class (AWD) ’09-10; E-Class (RWD) ’06; GL-Class ’07-09, ’11; M-Class (V6) ’02, ’06-07, ’09; R-Class ’06; S-Class ’04, ’06-07, ’09; SL ’05

  • keepanopenmind

    you can find the same for japanese. your point?

  • wtdash

    Almost year-old post reply…..
    To fix a Japanese car is going to be a lot less than any German brand…plus it’ll be in the shop less, based on historical evidence.

  • Mikiejo

    I bought one of these C250 Coupes in April for my wife on our 25 anniversary. She loves it.  In town she gets about 21 MPG and on a recent trip on the interstate we got close to 20 MPG.  So I can not complain about that.  When she lets me drive it I just love the way it handles.  For an “entry level” Benz I made the right choice.

  • Mikiejo

     I meant to type close to 30 MPG on the interstate.

  • keepanopenmind

    I dont know how you get those fuel efficiency numbers. I got the AMG 18 wheels which may have something to do with my numbers but in the city my avg is 16 as this car is heavy and the tiny 4 cilinder, which loves to rev, needs to do so to keep up, acceleration is solid but not fuel efficiency. On highway I get good numbers if I stick around 55 but real highway on the southeast is 65-85 mph and then the mpg drop to 27-25 or less, which is mediocre. I used to get 27-28 on the 2010 MB C300 on the way down to FL from GA at 80 with the 2013 C250 I only got 25-26 mpg, when I should have been actually getting more since it is all flat. I love the look but I recommend anyone looking at this car to get the C350 at all cost. DO NOT GET THIS CAR BASED ON FUEL SAVINGS, THAT WAS MY ERROR.

  • Ridder64

    That Infinity is so ugly!

  • keepanopenmind

    Infinity style is indeed old and ugly.

  • Bmr335i

    I’ve owned two BMWs and a Mini, and I just bought a C250 and love it.  I enjoy the sound of the engine while red-lining it, and I don’t feel that it is unrefined at all.  I’m not sure what this guy is talking about honestly.

  • Rock Z

    I just traded in my 2009 335i convertible for a ’12 c250 fully equipped coupe and have not regretted the choice for a moment. Granted the power is less but what it lacks in horses it more than makes up for in comfort, style, technology, and fuel economy. I use it as a commuter putting about 32 miles a day on it and I don’t miss how rough the ride was in the BMW or the 6 tires I’d replace on average a year on those run flats. Cracked rims and in service regularly for things big and small. I originally was going to purchase an E350 coupe but found the C250 to look and feel better overall. Cheers MB to win a die hard Bimmer guy this round.

  • keepanopenmind

    What?! and E350 for a C250? you just did not have the money. If you said C350, then I may agree. The E350 is a real coupe

  • Fen

    I have a 4 week old c250..  Put it in sports mode every time and its an awsome car to drive! 

  • keepanopenmind

    I like it in sports mode. But do you ever get that claimed MPG? I never do get even close to MB claimed MPG. Its about the same I got with the V-6 in my 2010 C300, about 16mpg in city and 24-26 hwy tops

  • keepanopenmind

    I dont know how to get the Mercedes advertised fuel efficiency numbers unless I drive like a granny. I got the AMG 18 wheels which may have something to do with my numbers but in the city my avg is 16 as this car is heavy and the tiny 4 cilinder, which loves to rev, needs to do so to keep up, acceleration is solid but not fuel efficiency. On highway I get good numbers if I stick around 55 but real highway on the southeast is 65-85 mph and then the mpg drop to 27-25 or less, which is mediocre. I used to get 27-28 on the 2010 MB C300 on the way down to FL from GA at 80 with the 2013 C250 I only got 25-26 mpg, when I should have been actually getting more since it is all flat. I love the look but I recommend anyone looking at this car to get the C350 at all cost. DO NOT GET THIS CAR BASED ON FUEL SAVINGS, THAT WAS MY ERROR.

  • bobbyb

    As someone who considers myself a pretty car savvy guy I found myself drawn to the the new C250 for the creative and super sporty interior. I have an 2005 E55 modified out and a 2011 E350 sport sedan which I just traded in for the 2013 C250 with all the goodies. I agree with the review above and think that Merc could have done something better with the motor. For a stock mass produced car to have red seat belts and leather ‘ette’ and suede seats is just awesome. Bravo Mercedes keep up good work and for the individual who said “lets use red accents in this car” pat them on the back and give them a raise, for they will attract the BMW 3 and now 4 series sporty youthful fun and interesting person. Now with that said contact your buddies over at the AMG facility and get a 4 banger that bangs.

  • Nate Rector

    I have a 6 cylinder nitrous S Class,and when not breathing nitrous/gasoline mix,I get 29 mpg.

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked