What Car? says...
A car’s looks are a subjective matter, but few would argue that Mercedes-Benz’s saloons aren’t sleek and interesting to behold. Its coupé versions are often even better and we’d wager that the E-Class Coupé is one of its best designs yet.
But the term coupé is used loosely among car makers these days, with more and more four-door models creeping onto the market. The E-Class Coupé, though, is strictly that, with two doors the only option and seating for four – at a push.
Four engine options are available: the 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel E220d, the 3.0 V6 diesel E350d 4Matic, the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol E300 and the turbocharged 3.0 V6 petrol E400 4MATIC (the latter getting four-wheel drive as standard). A nine-speed automatic gearbox is standard across the range, while just one trim level is on offer: AMG Line. A performance AMG version will follow at a later date.
In terms of price, the E-Class Coupé is somewhat distanced from its rivals, because cars such as the Audi A7 and BMW 6 Series cost considerably more to buy, while the Audi A5 Coupé and BMW 4 Series are smaller and much cheaper propositions. Read on to see if the E-Class Coupé is worth considering.
Or if you have already decided you want an E-Class Coupé, don't forget to visit our new car deals, where you could find some tempting savings.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The biggest-selling engine is likely to be the E220d diesel, which feels nicely suited to the E-Class Coupé. Okay, so it isn’t the most powerful engine available, but it never feels out of breath and only becomes noticeably grumbly when pushed extremely hard. Kept at a cruise, diesel noise fades into the background.
If you like diesel economy but value refinement and want something a little swifter, the E350d is worth considering. It’s the second-quickest E-Class Coupé that’s currently available, yet it’s still capable of more than 40mpg in official testing. It’s also more hushed than the 2.0-litre diesel, if not quite as subdued as an equivalent oil-burning V6 from Audi.
With more power than the E220d but less low-down pull, the four-cylinder E300 petrol needs to be worked harder than the entry-level diesel to make the same progress. Keep the revs high and it will outsprint the E220d from standstill to motorway speeds and is less than half a second slower to reach 62mph from standstill compared with the E350d. It’s not the smoothest petrol engine, though, and doesn’t sound overtly sporty.
The E400 petrol gets six cylinders, so it’s inherently more powerful. The 0-62mph sprint takes only 5.3sec and, with four-wheel drive as standard, it gets off the line quickly almost regardless of the weather. But, more importantly than outright speed, it feels suitably punchy throughout the rev range, making the E400 a very easy-going car to cover long distances in. The problem is that extra ability comes with a considerable hike in the price tag and running costs.
All these engines come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox that does a fine job of distributing power intelligently when left to its own devices and will respond quickly to manual input at the paddles.
Two suspension types are available: steel springs with adaptive dampers, which come as standard, or an optional air suspension that can be stiffened and softened. Mercedes’ air suspension does a very good job of soaking up road imperfections at high speeds, although the occasional sharp-edged pothole or particularly rough stretch of road can throw it off. The steel springs are noticeably less compliant at all speeds, with smaller undulations sending judders through the car.
Unfortunately, the E-Class Coupé doesn’t match its good performance, quietness and comfort with agility. It rides lower to the ground than the saloon, but the coupé’s rather numb steering and body lean mean there’s little enjoyment in flinging it around tight bends. Should you push on, though, you’ll discover there’s plenty of grip and a neutral balance between the front and rear wheels.
If you require even more sure-footedness, four-wheel drive is optional on the E220d and standard on V6-powered models. While it certainly gives great traction on slippery roads, it does make both emissions and economy worse on the E220d. With that in mind, we’d think carefully before ticking that option box.
The interior layout, fit and finish
Every E-Class Coupé comes with driver and passenger part-electric seat adjustment, as well as electric lumbar adjustment. That means it’s extremely easy to find a comfortable position and the seats provide good lateral support, while there’s enough leg and head room that even the very tall won’t feel hemmed in.
By their very nature, coupés suffer from restricted rear visibility, and the E-Class Coupé is no different. Its sloping rear end may be pleasant to look at, but its relatively small rear screen and thick pillars get in the way. Happily, front and rear parking sensors are standard on every car, while the view forward is very good indeed.
Unfortunately, the visually stunning infotainment system you see in these pictures is only standard on the E400 and E350d models. The E220d and E300 versions come with an 8.4in colour screen instead, although at least sat-nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio and two USB sockets come as standard. With a rotary controller, the system is pretty simple to navigate too.
Upgrading to the 12.3in screen with the Comand Online infotainment system pictured is a considerable cost for E220d and E300 models, but it does bring more advanced sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, as well as an onboard wi-fi hotspot.
Whichever system you go for, the E-Class Coupé seriously impresses with its interior quality. Everything you see and interact with feels suitably plush – in fact, the inside doesn’t feel much of a step down from Mercedes’ S-Class.
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
There’s very good space around the E-Class Coupé’s front seats, but the real test of a coupé is how much rear space it provides. Naturally, due to its sloping rear end, space is more restricted than in an E-Class saloon, but two average-height adults will be able to fit. They just won’t want to be there for very long. An Audi A7 seats two adults more comfortably, but the E-Class Coupé is about on a par with a BMW 6 Series, and has more space than an Audi A5 or BMW 4 Series.
Boot space looks generous on paper - Mercedes quotes 425-litres. However, in reality (and this is another common trait among coupés) the space is quite flat and has relatively narrow access. However, the rear seats can be split 40:20:40 as standard and folded down to open up the space further, which is a big plus.
In the front Mecedes provides a generous cubbyhole underneath the front armrest between the front seats, and a decent-sized door pocket in each door. In the back there are a couple of cupholders between the rear seats, and an armrest one each side, but no side pockets. That the floor is raised in the middle doesn’t matter given there are only two seats.
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The E-Class Coupé looks attractively priced next to its rivals, because its starting price (for the entry-level E220d) is a fair amount lower than that of its closest rivals, the Audi A7 and BMW 6 Series (although the smaller A5 and 4 Series are quite a bit cheaper). Mercedes’ finance deals are often some of the best around, too.
Of the engines currently available, the rear-wheel-drive E220d makes the most sense. It’s the cheapest in the range to buy and, with CO2 emissions of 119g/km, the cheapest company car choice. Given its impressive fuel economy figures as well, it’s no surprise that Mercedes expects the E220d to be its most popular model.
Looking further up the range, the V6-powered E350d and E400 may seem very expensive, but you do get four-wheel drive, air suspension and the Comand Online infotainment system with a bigger 12.3in display as standard. These features account for much of the significant price gap between the four and six-cylinder models.
In terms of reliability, this new E-Class Coupé is far too new to be able to draw conclusions. Unfortunately, Mercedes as a brand didn’t fare too well in our latest survey, ranking 23rd out of 32 manufacturers.
At least every E-Class Coupé comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
|RRP price range
|£51,370 - £76,970
|Number of trims (see all)
|Number of engines (see all)
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)
|MPG range across all versions
|30.1 - 51.4
|Available doors options
|3 years / No mileage cap
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)
|£3,268 / £5,577
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)
|£6,536 / £11,153