The Auto Trader expert verdict:
The Mercedes E-Class Coupe not only offers all the usual Mercedes luxuries, it also offers impressive value for money.
Reasons to buy:
- Classy interior
- Impressive range of engines
- Good value for money
How good does it look?
“The single-headlamp face is based on that of the E-Class saloon”
Mercedes has a heritage of producing two-door coupes and the Mercedes E-Class Coupe takes over the mantle from the Mercedes CLK. From the arrow-shaped front to the muscular rear, via the B-pillar-free middle, Mercedes has been successful in creating a car which references the past while appearing very modern. The single-headlamp face is based on that of the E-Class saloon. For an even smarter look, go for one of the AMG Sport models, which have larger (18 inch) alloy wheels and a unique AMG styling pack inside and out.
What's the interior like?
Everything about the E-Class feels grown-up, classy, substantial and stylish – expensive, too. The dash is classic Mercedes, with familiar touches like the analogue clock in the centre of the dashboard. The transmission-mounted infotainment controller makes controlling the sat-nav, audio and more a breeze, although the system does have a few quirks and some may find the similar systems from Audi and BMW easier to operate.
How practical is it?
“Some practicality is sacrificed due to the sloping coupe roof and two-door body”
There’s plenty of space and comfort for a couple of six-foot adults in the front seats, while getting into the rear seats is no problem thanks to easily-tilted front seats. Some practicality is sacrificed due to the sloping coupe roof and two-door body, and there are only two rear seats. Even so, we transported two adult rear-seat passengers happily enough and the car still has plenty of cabin storage and a 540-litre luggage capacity. It’s certainly one of the more practical coupes on the market.
What's it like to drive?
Adaptive damping, enhanced steering and an adaptive braking system contribute to a smooth ride which lives up to expectations of Mercedes luxury. There’s fun to be had behind the wheel though this is an area where other German rivals hold the aces. The E-Class coupe works best when the driver isn’t trying too hard – swift, but easy progress is the order of the day. Rivals such as the BMW 3 Series Convertible and Porsche Cayman are more sporting and involving, but the Mercs feel best when you ease them down the road and sweep through the bends rather than blasting round them. As you would expect from a sporting car, there’s a firm edge to the ride, but it’s perfectly acceptable in a car like this, and its long-distance comfort is a big strength.
How powerful is it?
“The flagship E400 is a very quick bit of kit”
There’s a wide choice of engines, and the range kicks off with the familiar 220 and 250 CDI diesel models, both of which give very acceptable performance. An even better bet is the 350 Bluetec, another diesel engine, but with six cylinders and the largest amount of torque of any engine in the range. It will get the E-Class to 62mph in less than 6.5 seconds, but rather than flat-out performance, it’s the flexibility at low revs that impresses and perfectly suits the car’s character. Of the two petrol-engined models, we’re yet to drive the E200 model, but the flagship E400 is a very quick bit of kit. It hits 62mph in just over five seconds, but we think it’s a less sensible car to buy that the E350, as it costs several thousand pounds more and needs working harder for similar performance.
How much will it cost me?
Blueefficiency is Mercedes’ name for a raft of fuel economy and emissions-reducing measures which include making the Mercedes E-Class Coupe one of the world’s most aerodynamically-efficient production car. Given how fast it will go, the E400 returns impressive fuel economy 37.2mpg but the E350 returns 49.6mpg and the E220 CDI improves this to a credit-crunch-friendly 60.1mpg. On the road prices represent excellent value and if you choose your model with care – opt for one of the diesels, in other words – you will recoup a decent chunk of those costs further down the line. The diesels will also reward with a cheaper tax bill.
How reliable is it?
Mercedes is widely seen as a manufacturer returning to form by concentrating on its core values, one of those being the ability to build very robust, reliable cars. This is still a relatively new model, but the signs are good for trouble-free ownership.
How safe is it?
Seven airbags are standard (with up to eleven available), but that’s just the start of a superb list of safety kit. Attention Assist, designed to detect and alert the drowsy driver is also standard, as are Collision Prevention Assist and Neck-Pro head restraints. Anti-lock brakes, brake assist and electronic stability program are linked to the pre-safe system which enables safety devices including seatbelts and airbags to respond more quickly to a potential accident both in front of and behind the car. Adaptive high beam assist, also a standard fit, automatically chooses the best headlight setting, removing the need to dip for oncoming traffic, while the options’ list includes many more systems (such as Distronic Plus, Pre-safe Brake, Blind Spot Assist and Active Land Keeping Assist) in the Driving Assistance package.
How much equipment do I get?
“Standard equipment includes DAB radio, the Comand online infotainment package and alloy wheels”
SE and AMG trims are available, although SE is confined to the cheapest E220 CDI model. Nevertheless, this is no cut-price budget special, and the standard equipment includes DAB radio, the Comand online infotainment package, alloy wheels, adaptive damping, leather upholstery and part-LED headlights. AMG Sport models add larger alloys, upgraded brakes and a unique AMG look inside and out. At the top of the range, AMG Sport Plus (exclusive to the E400 models) adds 19-inch alloys, a dynamic handling package, the intelligent light system, leather trim on top of the dashboard and an uprated stereo. There are plenty of optional extras to test your budget, but generous standard equipment complements a keenly-priced car.
Mercedes has pulled off the trick of combining a premium car with a surprisingly affordable price.