First Drive: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
You can't deny the fact that the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe is a hugely good looking bit of kit.
AOL Cars gets behind the wheel to put it through its paces.
What is it?
Since time eternal, Mercedes-Benz has been churning out rather large, yet attractive and refined coupes. The SEC from the 1980s instantly springs to mind here, and showcases the German manufacturer's knack for making an eye-catching car.
The new E-Class Coupe continues this trend, and right from the outset it makes a strong case for itself. It's gorgeous to look at, and boasts an impressive array of the on-board technology Mercedes has become known for. After putting it to the test in Spain earlier this year, we've now had the chance to find out how it deals with Britain's less-than-perfect road network.
What's under the bonnet?
Our test car came equipped with Merc's capable 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, which was paired with a nine-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. With 191bhp on tap, the E-Class is capable of completing the benchmark sprint from 0-60mph in a respectable 7.2 seconds, before maxing out at a top speed of 150mph. The engine is quite impressive, with plenty of power for around town driving and a brilliant amount of refinement at motorway speeds.
Despite the car's considerable size, efficiency is also commendable. Mercedes claims that the 2.0-litre unit will manage 61.4mpg on the combined cycle, and while our mix of rural and motorway driving didn't quite manage to match this figure, we still were able to achieve a respectable 54.3mpg. CO2 emissions stand at 119g/km.
What's the spec like?
There is only one trim level available on the E-Class Coupe – AMG Line. Prices start at a rather considerable £40,135, and for your money you get standard equipment such as a full bodykit and LED high-performance headlights. That said, though, the options list is extensive and often expensive.
The car that we had on test benefitted from a premium sound system, as well as heated front and rear seats to name but a few optional extras. All in, this hiked the price of the car up to a hefty £51,914. However, the car's premium image and solid build quality do justify the price tag, so it's unlikely that you'll feel as though you've been ripped off.
Not many manufacturers make a high-end two-door coupe of this size. The BMW 6 Series Coupe would likely be the E-Class Coupe's closest rivals, although prices for this model do start at a considerable £61,080. The Audi A7 Sportback is another potential rival. Although it has four doors, it still boasts the classic sweptback roofline that coupes are known for. Prices for the A7 start at £48,045.
What's it like to drive?
The £1,495 optional air suspension that was fitted to our test car dramatically improves the manner in which the Mercedes rides over the standard model. With the drive mode set to comfort, it deals with UK roads in a superb fashion, absorbing lumps and bumps in the road while still staying relatively level through the corners.
As far as the steering set-up is concerned, there is a good amount of weight to the controls although it does lack some feel. That said, though, it does have the effect of making the E-Class Coupe feel like a much smaller car – even on smaller B-roads. Out on the motorway, the E-Class transforms from a competent country lane stormer to a supremely comfortable long-distance cruiser that is both quiet and refined. The only niggle we had with the Mercedes was that its gearbox could be a touch hesitant at times – particularly under sudden hard acceleration or when you're pulling away from a halt.
AOL Cars verdict
Anyone who doesn't need the practicality of the full-fat E-Class saloon, but still wants a sizeable and attractive cruiser will find the E-Class Coupe an attractive proposition. Yes, it is expensive, but next to its rivals it does come across as something of a bargain. It's also considerably better looking.
Model: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe E220d
Price as tested: £51,914
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel
Max speed: 150mph
0-60mph: 7.2 seconds
Economy: 61.4mpg (combined)
Emissions: 119g/km CO2