Review: Mercedes-Benz E 300 Coupe

Review: Mercedes-Benz E 300 Coupe
Review: Mercedes-Benz E 300 Coupe

The sixth E-Class model joins the line-up

Hasn’t Mercedes been busy? It hasn’t even been a year since the new E-Class launched, and this is the sixth variant to join the saloon, convertible, All-Terrain and the others. Neatly, this is also the sixth generation of E-Class Coupé too. So what does all that add up to?

The previous generation of E-Class Coupé was actually built on a C-Class platform, but such days are gone now, with the latest coupé having as its platform the MRA – modular rear architecture – of the latest E-Class saloon and others. That change alone improves so much of the car.

Naturally the new platform liberates more space for the passengers, and that space has been put to good use. The cabin is a triumph of design and material choice. It’s utterly gorgeous, a hymn to brushed wood, leather and aluminium. The detailing is lovely. Add in the options of the two 12.3-inch digital displays, one for the instruments, the other for the infotainment, and you have about the most premium cabin imaginable in this class.

Mercedes-Benz E 300 Coupe

Price: £41,025
Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo, petrol
Power: 242bhp
Torque 273lb/ft
Gearbox: Nine-speed automatic
Kerb weight: 1685kg
Top speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 6.4sec
Economy: 61.4mpg (combined)
CO2/tax band: 160g/km, 31%

Looked at from the outside, it appears really quite similar to the S-Class Coupé, and few owners would complain about that similarity. As a styling and build exercise, this is a triumph. Notice we haven’t even started the engine yet.

This model has the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder unit, which sits between the E 220d and the E 400 4Matic Coupé. While the latter has a 3.0-litre V6, the four-cylinder here is rather more throaty and rough when you fire it up. At first that seems to be rather at odds with the rest of the car.

You can’t argue with a 0-62mph time of 6.4 seconds nor a top speed restricted to 155mph. Keep the nine-speed auto transmission in Sport Plus and you’ll be making rapid progress, with sharp gearchanges and throttle response, as well as well-weighted steering. And you’ll need to use the revs quite a lot to keep this 1685kg car shifting fast as there isn’t the torque of the diesel or of the larger petrol engine.

Which rather begs the question of why you’d get such a luxury limo and then have an engine that needs ragging to keep motoring fast. Be that as it may, keeping it in Sport Plus does tighten up the air suspension and other settings nicely, allowing you to press on. Should you want to get more into the car’s natural vibe though, you’ll shift it all back to Comfort and let it cruise.

Then this is a seriously comfy and luxurious coupé, even though perhaps there was just a hint more reaction to small road imperfections that is entirely desirable – something we’ve noticed before with this air-sprung Mercedes arrangement.

While we have to applaud Mercedes and its huge line-up of E-Class models, it must be said that this particular one wouldn’t be at the top of our list. There’s a slight imbalance between what the car appears to be and this particular engine. We’d be tempted to go for the E 220d, since it is more flexible and certainly more frugal. Or, if you have the budget, we’d go higher and plump for the E400 4Matic since it adds the refinement that the rest of the package seems to cry out for.

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