New Merc coupé is an E-sy rider

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan

TEST DRIVE MERCEDES-BENZ E220D

very­thing about the lat­est Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé is big­ger than you ex­pect.

The car is more like a grand tourer as it is long with more than enough room to com­fort­ably seat two adults in the rear.

Most coupés I’ve driven have head room for those in the back com­pro­mised by the tra­di­tional slop­ing roof, but not in this baby, where the in­te­rior is ex­pan­sive once you get to it after ne­go­ti­at­ing the two large, lengthy doors which are my only quib­ble with the car.

If some­one parks next to you – no one in their right mind would will­ingly park this big Merc be­tween ve­hi­cles – then the doors can only open a frac­tion and it’s a bit of a wrig­gle and a wres­tle to get in or out.

This slight nig­gle out of the way, there’s a truly awe­some in­te­rior to get to grips with – the star of which is a flat screen dis­play, show­ing driv­ing in­for­ma­tion and di­als as well as sat-nav di­rec­tions and me­dia, that is all of two feet wide.

It can be set up to suit the driver with menus that can be swiped through.

It sets the hi-tech tone for a mo­tor rid­dled with gad­gets and gizmos de­signed to en­sure the £40,000 price-tag for the E220d AMG Line Coupé is money well spent.

And you can add to the “To­mor­row’s World” feel of the car – if you can bear to be parted from some more of your hard-earned – with Mercedes’ fu­tur­is­tic driv­ing as­sis­tance pack­age cost­ing £1,695. This fea­tures drive pilot – which en­dows the car with semi-au­tonomous, hands-free driv­ing fea­tures – as well as ac­tive lane change as­sist, emer­gency stop as­sist and speed limit pilot, plus ac­tive brake as­sist.

Cus­tomers can also opt for a re­mote park­ing pilot which al­lows the ve­hi­cle to be parked us­ing a smart phone.

Thank­fully, the ef­fi­cient dual-zone cli­mate con­trol sys­tem, which en­sures a pleas­ant at­mos­phere in the cabin at all times, doesn’t cost ex­tra.

Nice touches in­clude a bank of four air vents in the mid­dle of the fa­cia and an ana­logue clock set just be­low them. High-qual­ity ma­te­ri­als are in ev­i­dence through­out, with car­pets, wood and chrome giv­ing the re­quired lux­u­ri­ous feel.

The power-op­er­ated boot swal­lowed my golf clubs and para­pher­na­lia with just a squeak of protest, but the space and shape is pretty good, with 425 litres avail­able for your shop­ping and lug­gage.

It is a big mo­tor – but the E-Class Coupé is not an un­gainly one as it sports a sleek ex­te­rior with a lengthy curved roof and a big sculpted bon­net that you get the chance of ex­am­in­ing in de­tail as the driv­ing po­si­tion is quite low.

Judg­ing where the front of the car is would be tricky but the park­ing sen­sors and cam­era han­dle that chore for you.

The front end clearly iden­ti­fies the car’s parent­age, thanks to the iconic grille and badge, while the flow­ing lines and gor­geous light sig­na­tures front and rear ooze class.

Power is supplied through an ef­fi­cient 2.0-litre diesel en­gine linked to a nine-speed slick-shifting au­to­matic gear­box.

The car is driven by the rear wheels, en­sur­ing the front ones can con­cen­trate on where you are go­ing, so the han­dling is as­sured. The steer­ing is well weighted, so is light enough when you are park­ing but in­for­ma­tive when you are bar­relling down a coun­try lane.

Per­for­mance is brisk, with 62mph be­ing reached from a stand­ing start in a shade over seven sec­onds.

But it is not at the ex­pense of run­ning costs as av­er­age fuel con­sump­tion is claimed to be 61.4mpg, with car­bon diox­ide emis­sions low at 119g/km.

The sus­pen­sion is soft, en­sur­ing the many humps and hol­lows lit­ter­ing our roads do not make their pres­ence felt. In con­trast it seems cer­tain the E-Class Coupé will make a big im­pres­sion on po­ten­tial cus­tomers.

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