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The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
For:Good range of engines, well-made, spacious interior
Against:220 and 250 CDI engine isn't as refined as it should be
E350 BlueTEC AMG Line 2dr 9G-Tronic
A reassuring arm around your shoulder in a world gone mad. Not the most dynamic, mind…
Fussy looks hide a car that reeks of good old-fashioned Merc values, hooked up to some radical new tech.
What we say:
An upmarket replacement for the old CLK. Expensive, but well judged
What is it?
This is a lovely, sothing, deliberately unsensational sort of car, sporting a mix of (old) C and (old) E-Class architecture underneath. Mercs are slow burners at the best of times - unless there’s an AMG badge around - but this is a seriously smooth operator (at least until it’s replaced, which won’t be long now…).
Engine-wise, the E-Class Coupe is available with Merc’s familiar 2.1-litre diesel, as a four-cylinder petrol and two six-cylinder engines; a 3.0-litre diesel and a twin-turbo 3.5 litre petrol V6.
The big diesel suits the car well. It’s silent but for a bit of wind rush around the A-pillars and door mirrors, with the engine note relegated to a distant thrum. As a motorway tool, it’s incomparable. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the petrol V6 is the one to have if it’s excitement you’re after but in truth, nobody really needs anything more powerful than the CDI.
On the inside
The E Coupe is actually based on the C-Class meaning it’s shorter than the saloon and so rear leg room is adequate at best for adults. And despite front seats that tilt and slide, getting in and out can be on the inelegant side too. The boot is capacious at 450 litres, but quite shallow.
The interior follows the same sensible layout of the E-Class saloon but it’s not an identical copy. It’s been constructed with a confidence that’s been missing from recent Mercs, as if each piece hasn’t been built by the lowest bidder. So it’s strong, solid, purposeful with all the materials feeling cm and not mm thick.
Proof that Mercedes’ preoccupations - like everyone’s - are changing comes with the news that the E-Class Coupe is apparently all about ‘exciting efficiency’. Blue Efficiency is Merc’s vaguely comical name for its package of eco measures, including reduced rolling resistance tyres, the clever aerodynamic bodywork and a system that sends power to the steering rack, the fuel pump and alternator only when needed. The best compromise is the E350d, which returns just under 52.3mpg, but can still woosh from 0-62mph in 6.2secs.