Car of the Week - August 20, 2001

2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Kompressor Sport Coupe

C230

A hatchback Mercedes-Benz? With cloth seats? Why not! This new 2002 Kompressor Sport Coupe with its 2.3L/190-hp 200 lb-ft supercharged I-4 will raise the eyebrows of many young urban professional men and women.

The handling is as crisp and tight as you'd imagine - riding on the same wheelbase and 205/55-16 all-season radials as the C320 sedan - but it's 143 pounds lighter. The resulting ride is much less stiff and heavy than the rest of its storied family.

Mercedes

There is no lack of safety features to be found: dual-stage front airbags, a side "window-bag" air curtain protecting the heads of all passengers, antilock brakes, and Mercedes' ESP vehicle stability system. And this coupe can carry - the two rear seats can be folded individually or together and Mercedes rates the Coupe's maximum cargo capacity at a capacious 39 cubic feet.

From the expressions of delight on the faces of those who rode and drove this new coupe, it appears that this entry into the booming competitve entry level luxury class, could come away with Rookie of the Year honors.

- Editor

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