Expert Reviews

First drive: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

Friday 02 June 2017

First drive: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
Summary

As far as sizeable, two-door coupes go, Mercedes-Benz has had it nailed for some time now. Just think back to the gorgeous SEC from the 1980s and you know the German manufacturer knows what it’s doing when it comes to cars of this nature.

As you can see, the latest E-Class Coupe continues this trend. Not only is it a rather gorgeous thing to behold from the outside, the cabin is hugely luxurious and is packed to the brim with high-end fixtures and fittings. After first testing the E-Class Coupe on Spanish roads earlier in 2017, we’ve now had the chance to see how it copes with Britain’s often less-than-stellar roads.

Looks & Image

There’s no way around it – the E-Class Coupe is a smart-looking beast. The large 20-inch alloys that were fitted to our test car only add to the drama, and while it may come across as a bit too showy for some, the abundance of chrome brightwork will go down a treat for many.

Inside, the theme continues. Mercedes has really lifted its game over the past few years as far as its interiors are concerned, and the E-Class is no different. Our test car featured wood finishing, which we much preferred to the ‘Piano Black’ that seems to be all the rage with cars of this ilk lately. The £495 optional widescreen infotainment system is also brilliant, and really adds to the cabin’s overall appeal.

Space & Practicality

Two-door coupes such as this are never going to be the most practical cars in the world, but in honesty, the E-Class doesn’t fare too badly. There is 425 litres of storage space in the boot with the seats up, which is more than enough for a couple of weekend bags or a decent-sized food shop. Thanks to its square shape, loading heavy items is also made that much easier. The cabin boasts plenty of storage solutions as well, for odds and ends such as drink bottles, phones and sunglasses.

Although the E-Class sits rather low to the ground, ingress and egress are never too difficult. The only issue we had – and it is a rather minor one – is the fact that the small door pulls can make it a bit tricky to close the heavy doors, particularly if the wind is blowing a gale.

Behind the Wheel

With the optional air suspension fitted to our test car – a decision that will set buyers back £1,495 – the E-Class’s ride is dramatically changed when compared with the standard car. The comfort mode driver setting is perfect for the UK in our opinion. It’s comfortable enough to deal with uneven surfaces, yet isn’t so soft that the car rolls around a massive amount when you throw it into a corner.

The steering is somewhat lacking in feel, although it is nicely weighted. Because of this, the car feels much smaller than it actually is – which is certainly a welcome characteristic when you’re hammering down a tight country lane. When you’ve had your fill of B-road fun, the Mercedes effortlessly settles down into being a calm and relaxing motorway cruiser. While the gearbox can feel a bit dim-witted at times – particularly when you suddenly accelerate or when you’re pulling away from a junction.

Value for Money

An E-Class Coupe will set you back at least £40,135. In the UK, they are only available in AMG Line specification, which is no bad thing. Standard equipment includes a sporty bodykit, as well as LED headlights. However, the options list is long and at times expensive. For example, the optional extras fitted to our test car – such as a premium sound system and heated front and rear seats – bumped the price up to £51,914, which certainly isn’t cheap. That said, the build quality is fantastic, and the car’s premium image certainly won’t make you feel like you’ve wasted your money.

Who would buy one ?

The E-Class Coupe will likely appeal to those buyers who aren’t hung up on having the practicality of the saloon model, yet still want the eye-catching looks and premium image that the E-Class brings with it. Yes, it’s a pricey car, but with the 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine that was fitted to our car, it won’t cost the Earth to run.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe E220d

Price as tested: £51,914

Engine: 2.0-litre diesel

Power: 191bhp

Torque: 150Nm

Max speed: 150mph

0-60mph: 7.2 seconds

Economy: 61.4mpg (combined)

Emissions: 119g/km CO2

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