Mercedes' C180 Coupe is a sleek and gorgeous two-door with pedestrian performance
Mercedes-Benz C180 Coupe, more show than go The Mercedes-Benz C180 Coupe has sharp and quick-responding steering. PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Car-makers seem to feel obliged to make their two-doors a little sportier than their four-door siblings. Sometimes, it works. Other times, it is a needless endeavour.

The latest Mercedes-Benz C-class Coupe might be one example of the latter.

The test-car is a C180 Coupe, which has the same drivetrain as its C180 sedan sibling. But ironically, it is less fun to drive than the four-door.

It is a tad slower to the century mark, clocking 8.5 seconds versus the sedan's 8.3. Its peak velocity is 1kmh higher at 226kmh. Hardly the stuff you would have sweaty palms over.

To make matters worse, the coupe has a hard suspension and damping settings which do not respond well to, among other things, sharp turns. A hard suspension may be suitable for a car with an adrenaline-pumping performance, but for this car, it just comes across like boxing gloves on a stick figure.

To its credit, the two-door has sharp and quick-responding steering. But every quick turn you execute often comes with unpleasant after-shocks. Its dampers do not mitigate sideway rocking movements very well.

On the throttle, the C180 Coupe requires more cajoling than the sedan. More often than not, you will need to rev past 3,000rpm to accomplish things you can do with 2,000rpm in other cars. It might have been acceptable if the car made a nice sound. But it does not.

As such, it would have been far better for Mercedes to tune the car for all-round comfort. Forget about performance. Because folks who gravitate towards this car are more likely to do so because of its status and styling, above all else.

On that score, the C180 Coupe does very well. It is a gorgeous creation, with smooth flowing lines and a silhouette possible only with two doors.

Like its sedan sibling, the coupe has a well-furnished interior.

You will not miss its new steering wheel, which comes with thumb-operated controls for functions such as auto cruise, trip computer and sound system.

Like in many other cars, you can open the boot with a kicking action. And like in many other cars, it does not always work well, often requiring several attempts.

The C180 Coupe comes with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel with selectable display styles, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and 64-colour cabin ambient lighting.

There was no chance to try out the car's navigation system because the SD card required for the system to work is not included (a cost option).

Illuminated door sill panels give the two-door added cachet, setting it apart from the four-door.

Noteworthy are the automatic seatbelt extenders and front seats, which are easy to move out of the way for rear occupants and which return to their set positions without fiddling.

In the final analysis, the C180 Coupe is more show than go. And there is nothing wrong with that per se because the car is quite captivating visually.

If only it did not pretend to be what it is not.