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
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."