There are certain unwritten laws about starting a family. While an infant might bring with it the obvious changes to your domestic situation such as a floor full of brightly coloured plastic things, which at 3am aren’t actually that bright but are very sharp, and the fact that you are going to step out into the world every day with at least one still-wet stain from some form of mashed up food or milk or both somewhere on your outfit. One of the most obvious of laws is that you will need to get a family car. This can take the form of a station wagon, an SUV or a people mover if you are overly law-abiding.
Nowhere in the unwritten law book (well, there’s nothing in the unwritten law book anyway) does it mention anything about a stylish luxury German coupé being an appropriate mode of transport for a young family. Well, we decided that we could live with the sleep deprivation, the repetitive, high-pitched noises from the toys that well-meaning family members give us. We could live with the nappy changes. We could live with cleaning food splatters off the ceiling even. One thing we were not going to do though is drive a people mover. Our best form of protest against this came in a spectacular pearl white sculptured form of the C 300 Coupé. Yes, coupé as in two doors. But before we get into the details of having to squeeze a baby seat in the back of a coupé, let me just explain that while there might be only two doors, those two doors are wrapped in cherry red leather and the most amazing brushed stainless steel speaker coverings known to humankind. Yes, there might only be two doors but they are both works of art.
In terms of getting a baby seat in the back of a C 300 Coupé, it’s not actually that bad. The front seats roll forward electronically, so you can juggle things while the car makes room for you. And when the front seat has finished hugging the dashboard, there is actually quite a bit of working room. You will, of course, be entering from the opposite side of the car to where the baby seat is located but along the way, you can stop for a breather on the backseat while you get the little one all snuggled away. I found this a much better option than showing off your backside to passing traffic as you would with a four door.
One of the main arguments for people movers isn’t just about the people they can move but also all the stuff that they come with. For such little creatures, infants have a lot of luggage. Our one would put a Mariah Carey entourage to shame. But we were determined to prove that we could still move an infant and the accompanying stuff while not resorting to a trailer. Luckily, the C 300 comes with a lot of boot space. We are able to fit in a pram, a travel cot, a baby bag, a suit case for myself and if my husband is lucky, he is allowed to distribute his clothes in any little spots left. The result is snug but we have everything we need.
While we are on the subject of boot space, the C 300 also comes with the very clever feature of a foot sensor boot opener. If you have your key on you but have your hands full, you can just kick your foot forward under the rear bumper and the boot will open for you. Perfect for when you are juggling a baby and shopping.
And while we are on the subject of clever innovation, my argument for the C 300 being the ideal family car centres around all of the really clever Mercedes-Benz innovation that makes it such a safe car to drive – which at the end of the day has to be the most important thing around a family car, right?
Distronic Plus is an incredible feature that will help maintain a safe distance from the car in front even while you are deflecting a projectile from the back seat. Lane Assist will even guide you back into the lane if you start drifting. The sensation is incredible and it’s kind of like have a friendly German robot, politely nudging you back into line you when you have done something wrong.
As you would expect from Mercedes-Benz, the ride is comfortable even in Sport mode, which of course, we don’t use with baby on board (much.) And the 2-litre turbo charged engine has a lot of pep and a great sound without requiring shares in an oil company to be able to run it.
So there you have it. The C 300 is the perfect family car because it is so not the perfect family car. That’s why our family is in love with it.