Mercedes-benz E220d Coupé
The new E-class Coupé continues a long tradition of mid-range two-door models from Mercedes-benz that stretches back to the 250 CE of 1968. Slotting into the line-up between the smaller C-class Coupé and the plush S-class Coupé, it has been thoroughly re-engineered and closely aligned with the latest E-class saloon.
The E-class Coupé sits on Mercedes’ new modular rear architecture (MRA), which brings increased dimensions that translate to increased interior space, most notably in the rear, which gets an additional 74mm of knee room, 15mm of head room, 34mm of shoulder room and 13mm more elbow room. Compared to the previous E-class Coupé, however, boot capacity has decreased by 25 litres to 425 litres.
The E220d Coupé driven here uses Mercedes’ latest 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, which features a selective catalytic converter and a urea injection system and produces 191bhp and 295 lb ft.
The new engine is more refined than the iron block unit used in the old E220d Coupé. It’s also mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox, rather than the seven-speed unit used before. Our test car was also fitted with the optional 4Matic fourwheel drive system, which provides a nominal 45% front, 55% rear apportioning of drive.
Step-off is smooth and responsive and gear shifts are crisp and reasonably rapid, even under full throttle loads. Together with a 23bhp hike in power, the more closely stacked gear ratios result in a 1.1sec reduction in the 0-62mph time over the old E220d Coupé, at 7.4sec.
With a wildly overdriven ninth gear ratio, the new E220d Coupé is wonderfully relaxed at motorway speeds. But with a 16-litre reduction in fuel tank capacity at 50 litres, the overall range can’t match that of the old model, despite a 4.9mpg improvement, at a claimed 70.6mpg.
There’s an appealing completeness to the qualities of the E-class Coupé’s chassis, but when coupled to the optional 4Matic system of our test car, it is not exactly gushing with verve and nor is it quite as entertaining as Mercedes would perhaps have you believe. There’s always plenty of grip and purchase, and the weighting of the steering builds up nicely to provide good resistance as lateral forces increase. However, the ratio of the electromechanical set-up is clearly tuned for more relaxed handling properties, being rather less direct than one might expect in a car with such overtly sporting overtones.
The optional Air Body Control suspension, mated to optional 19in alloys here, does an excellent job. There’s a degree of lean when pushing hard in corners, but the overall body control is good, ensuring the E-class Coupé is well tied down and never ponderous.
Despite the limited sidewall of the test car’s tyres, the Mercedes delivers impressive compliance. It absorbs urban imperfections without too much shudder through the steel body, but it excels on the open road, being settled and comfortable at speed.
The interior looks great and is far roomier than before, especially in the rear, which can now accommodate two adults in far greater comfort. Bespoke touches include newly designed air vents, automatically extending feeder arms for the front seatbelts and exclusive trim panels. There are also two optional 12.3in displays for the instruments and infotainment system, the latter being operable either via steering wheel touchpads or a rotary control and touchpad on the centre console.
The new E-class Coupé is a big advance on its predecessor. You can’t doubt its style or quality, which are both very much at the root of its appeal. Just don’t expect the last word in performance or, when fitted with the optional 4Matic four-wheel drive system, much driver involvement.
Increased exterior dimensions result in usefully more space in the well-appointed cabin