Coupes should always be attractive machines. Coupe ownership lets the world know the owner has style and can afford to compromise on practicality. Not all two door versions of saloons manage to pull it off, but German carmaker Mercedes-Benz always seems to manage it.
The new E Class Coupe starts at just under €50K and there isn’t really any direct competition up against the big four seater. Mustang, although fantastic, is too in your face for many conservative buyers and the BMW 6 Series coupe is too dear in comparison. My test car, a 220d AMG Line automatic, has a base price of €53,690 but with a number of extras weighed in at €72,057. Some of the higher priced extras were the 20 inch alloys (€1,621), command online (€4,995), driving assistance package (€3,423), multibeam LED headlights (€1,954), sliding sunroof (€2,559), two tone nappa leather seats (€1,035) and the impressive looking widescreen cockpit at €1,531. While I could say the price tag was outrageous the price seems fair enough as you get a hell of a lot of car.
The coupe shares a lot with the E Class saloon but rides on a different chassis. Unlike the last E Class Coupe that used the old C Class platform there is actually room in the new car. It’s larger than the old Coupé in length, height and width. The four seater gains lots of rear passenger space and it is pretty comfortable in the back – even for large adults. The wheelbase is shorter than the brilliant saloon and overall the Coupé is 100mm shorter – but don’t be fooled the coupe has street presence. Mercedes-Benz’s ‘Hot & Cool’ design makes the E-Class Coupé an instantly likable machine. Elegant but not too falshy, the pillarless doors and striking front end help the German machine cut a dash on the street.
Inside the cabin is really well executed especially if you go for widescreen cockpit option that has a really smart looking giant twin screen display. The coupe has some lovely touches like the open pore black ash wood trim option (€613) and its beautiful air vents – no I haven’t gone mad, the beautiful air vents are stunning, inspired by jet turbines no less. All the high tech stuff is available too. Semi autonomous driving features with the driving assistance package. One optional party trick that caught my eye at car’s European launch a few months ago was the magic vision control windscreen wipers. I don’t think you could bring up a less likely talking point than windscreen wipers with friends but these feature an integrated heated water dispersal that barely leaves a drop of water on the screen when used.
The 2 litre 220d is the gem in the range for Ireland but as the Coupe is a global car there are lots of engines to choose from. Suspension can be traditional, active or air – depending on your budget. There is a silky smooth 9 speed automatic and the option of all wheel drive too for sure-footed winter driving.
Ireland gets a limited range of engines with the 220d (from €49,780) and 200 petrol (from €49,170) expected to be the big sellers. In 2016, not a single petrol powered E-Class Coupé was sold in Ireland, all sales were diesel. The improved E200 petrol should change this. The market for big Coupés in Ireland is small but MDL expects 80 sales this year and between 150-200 in 2018.
Mercedes-Benz has stated it wants to be the world’s number one premium brand and it is rapidly heading that way.