07 May 2021 | 09.18 am
Roadtest: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé
Just the ticket for cruising on the Riviera
07 May 2021 | 09.18 am
If you need a luxury car for cruising around the Riviera this summer, look no further than the E-Class Coupé or Cabriolet, writes Mark Gallivan
Mercedes-Benz has face-lifted the E-Class Coupé and Cabriolet three years after its launch in Ireland. The mid-lifecycle tweaks include fresh exterior and interior updates, electrification on both petrol and diesel engine options, and a refreshed infotainment system with improved driver assistance aids.
Seven variants are available, all with a choice of four or six-cylinder engines. Choose from the entry level E-200 Coupé two-litre, four cylinders in-line version (as tested), right up to the €122,060 six-cylinder E-53 4Matic. At that price level the E-Class Coupe is now a few grand less expensive than the flagship Mercedes S-Class saloon in base trim.
Of the bunch, the E220d model is the best all-rounder for business and fleet buyers. Its four-cylinder diesel is refined and easily returns 50mpg. For private buyers with reduced mileage, the petrol-engine E200 Coupé should be considered. The unleaded engine is smoother than the diesel and at low speeds it better matches the car’s gearbox set-up and low-geared driving dynamics.
The most notable exterior design updates are at the front of the car. The grille and front headlamps appear smaller and flatter, incorporating LED functionality through the entire range. Mild electrification is deployed from the integrated starter-alternator in the transmission. We tested the EQ boost function in the E-Class 300de saloon, and the initial surge when accelerating is effective.
Other facelift features include a new steering wheel with revised fingertip controls. The MBUX multimedia pack gets two 10.25-inch screens as standard that span the full width of the dashboard. Options include bigger versions, with 12.3-inch screens also available. The right screen is used primarily for main instruments and the left screen in the centre of the dashboard displays a touchscreen to access the media system. Improved, yes, but BMW’s iDrive is less fiddly to use.
Safety systems have also been improved. The new steering wheel monitors the steering movement via electronic sensors embedded into the rim. If a driver does not have their hands on the steering wheel a warning is activated. If that is ignored by the driver, the car’s Emergency Brake Assist function is activated. The system is also activated when a driver inadvertently turns onto an oncoming lane.
The boot space extends to 425 litres and will be useful for two suitcases. It remains restricted by the low set boot lid aperture from the flowing coupe. If luggage access is a deal breaker then the saloon or estate is the E-Class version to consider. You can lower the rear seats in the Coupé but the loading area remains awkward. Rear seats will fit two adults but getting in is difficult.
As for driving, the coupé sets out to relax the driver and concertina the mundane hours of driving behind the wheel. In the entry-level petrol or diesel models, the accent is on hushed cruising composure. Only when you sample the higher powered six-cylinder engines does the E-Class have a proper spring in its step.