Mercedes might have embraced a few dubious niches over the years, but, like the E cabriolet, the facelifted E-Class coupe proves it hasn't forgotten how to build the cars that made it great: comfortable, confident machines.
It shares everything - save for 110 fewer kilos - with the freshly tweaked convertible, which means predictable, soothing road manners. But the fixed-head feels better-suited to large diesel power. It's impossible to justify a 12.4mpg drop when the V6's only real pull is the noise it makes.
The six-pot's a lot more expensive, too: £3,830, to be precise. And considering M-B has ratcheted prices up by £2,000 across the board, that makes the diesel two-door a £43k car, £6k more than an A5 3.0-litre TDI. To justify the hike, every model gets £3,700 worth of extras, including part-LED headlights, 17-inch rims, DAB radio and electric, heated leather chairs. Which is all very well, but this is a style-led market, and inside there are a few questionable styling touches: chiefly, the pension-plan-freebie clock and column gear selector.
But these are piffling gripes - it's still an incomparable motorway cruiser, and a return to form for the brand.
2987cc, 6cyl diesel, RWD, 248bhp, 457lb ft, 49.6mpg, 150g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 6.4secs, 155mph, 1735kg
A reassuring arm around your shoulder in a world gone mad. Not the most dynamic, mind, but a great, traditional Mercedes-Benz.