Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

The Essentials

  • Price from £32,470
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 57.6mpg
  • What is it? Stylish, two-door version of Mercedes' comfortable, safe, executive-class saloon

Great

  • Strong engines and 'pick your own' ride and handling set-up
  • Comfortable seats
  • Superb safety systems

Gripes

  • Cabin control systems are overly complex
  • Rear seats best for petite passengers
  • Why must the wipers and indicators share a stalk?
  • Drive

    Range of strong engines, plus adaptive suspension for a smooth drive

  • Inside

    Comfortable seats, but complex control system could be more intuitive and we don't like the single control for wipers and indicators

  • Safety

    If this car can prevent you having a crash, it will - drowsiness detection, a Pre-Safe system and nine airbags are standard

  • Reliability

    Owners have given the car good ratings for reliability

  • Space

    Rear headroom is tight but the doors open wide to make access slightly less undignified

  • Standard and extras

    Leather upholstery, climate control and parking assistance are standard with SE spec; Sport trim adds bodykit, firmer suspension and stronger brakes

  • What's it like to drive?

    That depends on which of the seven engines and three chassis arrangements you choose. The E-Class coupe can be anything from smooth-cruising tourer to dynamic sports coupe. We favour the smooth, strong diesel engine in the E350 CDI; watch out for the four-cylinder petrol in the E200 CGI, which is very weak, while the E250 and E350 CGI petrols need to be worked hard to get the best from them. All models feature an adaptable suspension system which reacts to the road surface to help smooth out even the roughest surfaces. The car shuts out wind noise well but there's a fair bit of noise from the tyres and from the four-cylinder engines; the E220 and E250 diesels transmit a lot of vibration into the cabin, too. The automatic gearbox isnt the smoothest.

  • What's it like inside?

    Are you sitting comfortably? It may take some time to master the complex control system and it seems illogical having the shortcut buttons on the dashboard. Mercedes' single stalk for indicator and wipers is infuriating at first, too. Save the back seats for shorter passengers - that sleek sloping roofline compromises headroom. At least the doors open wide to help preserve a little of their dignity. The shallow boot can be extended by folding the rear seats.
    SE trim has all the luxury kit you could wish for while Sport spec adds AMG bodykit and tweaked suspension and steering.

  • How reliable is it?

    Safety kit is superb, with an impressive nine airbags, stability control and driver drowsiness detection system fitted on all models. A Pre-Safe system prepares the car to protect you if it suspects a crash is imminent, and there are plenty more optional extras if you want them. The E-Class saloon scored 86% for adult protection and 77% for child protection in Euro NCAP crash tests - a little better for children than the VW Scirocco (87%/73%).
    Reliability shouldn't be a problem and the E-Class coupe was rated highly for reliability by owners in the 2012 JD Power customer satisfaction survey.

  • Should I buy one?

    The car is generously equipped and resale values should be strong. Mercedes' Blue Efficiency treatment means respectable fuel consumption and emissions, and insurance groups are reasonable too. Servicing costs could be high, however.