New Merc coupé is an E-sy rider
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.