LUX­URY REDEFINED: MERC AIMS TO RAISE THE BAR WITH E-CLASS COUPE

The Mercedes-benz E-class Coupe aims to of­fer all of the lux­ury and re­fine­ment found in the larger S-class Coupe. Does it achieve this? Jack Evans finds out

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - JACK EVANS

WHAT’S NEW? Here’s the lat­est car to slot into Mercedes’ ever-ex­pand­ing line-up – the E- Class Coupe. Com­ing as a smaller ver­sion of the deca­dent S- Class Coupe but larger than the C- Class Coupe, it aims to give driv­ers all of the lux­ury as­so­ci­ated with the Ger­man man­u­fac­turer’s high­est-spec­i­fi­ca­tion cars, but with a sleek, raked-back de­sign.

In­side, the E- Class Coupe uses the same in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem as the stan­dard sa­loon, but that’s no bad thing - we loved it in that car and it looks just as good here. How­ever, there are some touches that aren’t in­cluded in the E- Class. The vents, for in­stance, are com­pletely new in de­sign and they help to give the in­te­rior a be­spoke look.

The ex­te­rior is a real tri­umph. Pil­lar-less and raked, it’s ex­actly what you want in a large, ex­ec­u­tive coupe.

LOOKS AND IM­AGE As men­tioned ear­lier, the ex­te­rior of the car is a thing of real beauty. There’s just one trim – AMG Line – but that does help to keep things sim­ple. All cars come with large 19-inch al­loy wheels plus LED head­lights and tail­lights,

which help give the E- Class a dis­tinc­tive vis­ual ap­peal.

How­ever, the E- Class Coupepe doesn’t just ben­e­fit from uniqu ue styling touches. It’s also 143mm m longer than the car it re­places, asa well as 74mm wider. What does that mean though? It helps the car to look hun­kered-down and squat on the road, and cer­tainly gives it a far sportier ap­pear­ance than the pre­vi­ous-gen­er­a­tion E- Class Coupe.

SPACE AND PRAC­TI­CAL­ITY As a coupe, you’d ex­pect prac­ti­cal­ity in the E- Class to be pretty lim­ited. How­ever, those in the back get 74mm more legroom than those in the car it re­places, while head­room isn’t bad ei­ther – though very tall pas­sen­gers may have a bit of trou­ble thanks to the car’s slop­ing roofline. The boot is a de­cent size too, and can be ex­panded thanks to fold­ing rear seats.

Up front, there’s a good amount of room. The en­tire cabin has a great sense of space about it, ow­ing in part to large, pil­lar­less win­dows and the sun­roof. It’s a re­lax­ing place to be, and one that cer­tainly feels wor­thy of the Mercedes-benz badge.

BE­HIND THE WHEEL Large lux­u­ri­ous coupes such as the E- Class have a dif­fi­cult job on their hands. They need to be cossetting and re­lax­ing to drive, but in­volv­ing and sporty when you want them to be. The E- Class Coupe ac­tu­ally does an admirable job of tick­ing the vast ma­jor­ity of those boxes. On stan­dard springs, it rides very well. Yes, at slower speeds it can be a touch jostling, but when up and run­ning it soaks up bumps in the road im­pres­sively.

The 2.0-litre diesel en­gine un­der the bon­net is a cru­cial part of the Mercedes-benz range, and you can see why. It’s re­ally very re­fined, and set­tles down nicely at cruis­ing speeds. There are a few grum­bles at lower speeds and around town, but that’s to be ex­pected of a small-ca­pac­ity diesel.

A wider rear track than its pre­de­ces­sor does help the E- Class Coupe cor­ner nicely, though go into the bends too hard and it will be in­clined to un­der­steer. That’s un­der­stand­able though – it makes no claim to be an out-and-out sports car.

VALUE FOR MONEY Prices for the E 220d Coupe start at £40,135. For that, you get park­ing sen­sors and a re­vers­ing cam­era, as well as an 8.4-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen with satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion. Though it’s ex­pen­sive, we’d be in­clined to pay £1,495 to up­grade that sys­tem to Mercedes’ pre­mium Co­mand in­fo­tain­ment, which re­places the stan­dard screen with a large 12.3-inch unit. For an ad­di­tional £495 on top of that, Mercedes will add a sec­ond 12.3-inch dis­play, cre­at­ing a truly widescreen view­ing area. It’s an ex­tra that com­pletely trans­forms the in­side of the car, and one we’d pick in a heart­beat.

You also get heated front seats and steer­ing wheel-mounted touch­pads in­cluded, adding to an al­ready com­pre­hen­sive equip­ment list.

WHO WOULD BUY ONE? The E- Class Coupe is ideal for those who want a lux­u­ri­ous, well-spec­i­fied and pre­mium way of get­ting around. With three en­gine choices – and two more on the way – there should be a pow­er­train for just about ev­ery­one, while high lev­els of stan­dard equip­ment mean there shouldn’t be too many boxes to tick when the op­tions list comes out. It’s also a fine car to drive, a fine place to sit and – im­por­tantly in this class – a fine ve­hi­cle to look at.

"LARGE LUX­U­RI­OUS COUPES SUCH AS THE E-CLASS HAVE A DIF­FI­CULT JOB ON THEIR HANDS. THEY NEED TO BE COSSETTING AND RE­LAX­ING TO DRIVE, BUT IN­VOLV­ING AND SPORTY WHEN YOU WANT THEM TO BE. THE E-CLASS COUPE AC­TU­ALLY DOES AN ADMIRABLE JOB OF TICK­ING THE VAST MA­JOR­ITY OF THOSE BOXES."

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