First Drive: 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe

– Portland, Maine

Well, this puts me in an awkward position.

For years I’ve been visiting my in-laws in the Great State of Maine, eventually earning enough goodwill to joke along with the family about the profusion (plague really) of tourists. At the trailhead, at the lake, at the corner store – typically driving European brands, with out-of-state plates – the hordes of “summer people” are easy to spot and easier still to make fun of. That thought occurs to me as I see a cool dozen of Mercedes-Benz’ new C300 Coupe lined up on a Portland street, and becomes more uncomfortable as we caravan close to where the parents live.

My Polar White Coupe may wear Michigan tags, but spiritually I’m still a “Masshole” on this trip north – at least when I’m choking traffic at a tiny coffee shop, locals shooting me daggers over fresh blueberry scones. Sorry, Mainers.

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe

 

As one Mercedes engineer put it, “The car has a great ass.”

With that apology offered, I must say that the C300 looks damn good in this setting – company event planners were on to something when crafting this junket. Gliding past rambling farmhouses and century-old stone walls, the Mercedes Coupe cuts a rakish silhouette. Cues from the ungodly good-looking S-Class Coupe abound, including sleek, round corners on a front end that has been sculpted far leaner and lower than on the blocky out-going car. From the rear, it’s clear that the Coupe has been doing squats in its transition from the existing sedan form. Flat, edgy surfa...