Mercedes-benz E220d Coupé

Four-pot two-door

Auto Car (UK) - - THIS WEEK - @Gregk­able GREG KABLE

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

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