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COUPE DELUXE: Redesigned Mercedes-Benz C-Class two-door tilts toward opulence while sporty performance takes a (rather cramped) back seat

People buy coupes rather than sedans largely for the looks.

Let’s face it: Coupes offer less headroom; difficulty accessing the often-cramped rear seats; reduced visibility, particularly toward the rear; a low-to-the-road ride height; and longish doors, a hindrance in tight parking situations.

The exploding popularity of SUVs and crossovers would seem to confirm that a large number of shoppers are looking for the exact opposite of those traits.

But coupes are still imbued with a certain aura of sportiness, if not sexiness, at least to folks attracted to sleek two-doors.

Mercedes-Benz offers a number of coupe versions of its luxury sedans starting with the C-Class. With its latest redesign, the C-Class brings new levels of luxury and refinement to the marque’s most-popular model (at least in this country).

New for 2017, the C300 coupe leans toward luxury over sportiness. That slinky body may whisper performance, but unless you go all out and opt for the AMG C63 version (starting at around $70 grand), you’ll be more awed by the high-quality cabin fittings than the genteel acceleration of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

2015-c-class-sedan-gallery-013-goi-dOur test car came with all-wheel drive (4Motion in M-B-speak), driven through a perfectly well-behaved seven-speed automatic transmission.

The coupe corners confidently as it tackles twisty roads, but while its highway ride is generally smooth, the suspension is rather firm for a luxury ride. Part of the blame may lie with the optional, 19-inch performance tires on AMG alloys.

The star of the C300 is definitely the gorgeous interior. Our deep-blue tester’s saddle-brown leather seats looked – and felt – fantastic. Splashes of handsome metals, wood, and stitched soft-touch materials reek of quality.

As with all Germany luxury vehicles, options quickly drive up the bottom line. Really, though: Shouldn’t a $45,000 car include a rear-view camera these days? Here, it’s $460.

With some $8,100 of safety, luxury, convenience and appearance add-ons, our C300’s price surged to just under $58,000.

Pricey? Yes. Handsome? Quite. Opulent? Definitely. Just don’t expect to out-accelerate domestic V-8-powered pony cars.