Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe Review 2021 | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
Car Review

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe

£ 43,675 - £ 69,200
710
Published: 18 Jun 2021
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Looks good, lowers the heart rate and comes with some reasonably cost-effective engines. A winning combination, slightly fussy facelift details aside

Good stuff

Svelte silhouette, jaw-dropping interior, relaxing demeanour

Bad stuff

No E63 if you want proper pace. Facelift brings a fussier interior

Overview

What is it?

Mercedes currently sells seven cars with the word ‘coupe’ in their name. Over half of these are, in the strictest sense of the word, not coupes. They have four doors or, in extreme cases, the ride height of an SUV. And the visibility of a post box.

I can’t accuse the E-Class Coupe of such things…

Absolutely not. This is a two-door four-seater in the most traditional sense, with the purposeful proportions and languid character of the finest Merc coupes of old. Albeit with an absolute Santa’s Sleigh of goodies on board to make it simultaneously respectful of the past and mindful of the future; few cars in this class have as much tech and self-driving potential as the E.

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It’s the product of over 50 years of history, stretching back to 1968 and the wonderfully named ‘Stroke Eight Coupe’. And it’s Mercedes doing what it does best – luxury, space, technology and style. Sure, there’s a selfish element to choosing a coupe, but Merc has tried to ease that decision by making this new car significantly longer and wider than its predecessor. Ultimately, that means 74mm more legroom in the back and better handling, too.

What’s it powered by?

The E-Class Coupe comes with a mixture of petrol and diesel engines. The former consists of three options; the 2.0-litre 4cyl E300, the 3.0-litre 6cyl E450 and the 3.0-litre 6cyl E53 AMG, all of which happen to be mild hybrids, too. Nope, there’s no proper V8-powered E63 AMG version. Nor will there ever be.

There’s a pair of diesels, too, which may be less fashionable than ever, but they’re likely to make this a fine choice on some plusher, more accommodating company car lists. There’s the 2.0-litre 4cyl E220d and the 3.0-litre 6cyl E400d, the former being your cheapest way into an E-Class Coupe, at a whisker over £45,000, with a 34 per cent BIK rate. With a claimed 47.9mpg and 154g/km of CO2 it’s predictably the cleanest way into E Coupe ownership, with the 30.1mpg and 212g/km of the E53 AMG the dirtiest. Yet its BIK rate is 37 per cent.

All cars come with at least a layer of AMG styling trim in the UK, though, while all come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and all but the E220d and E300 come with four-wheel drive as standard.

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No rear-drive heroics here?

The E-Class Coupe’s far too classy for that. And much like the E-Class Cabriolet that’s so closely related, it lives in a bit of a class of its own. Neither Audi nor BMW have a direct rival (their coupe offerings are either smaller or notably more expensive) while occasional esoteric rivals from the likes of Infiniti (remember them?) and Lexus have all lived significantly shorter lives than the E.

What's the verdict?

Looks good, lowers the heart rate and comes with some reasonably cost-effective engines. A winning combination, slightly fussy facelift details aside

It’s not an exotic, pulse-racing choice, the E-Class Coupe. In fact, it’s (deliberately) the opposite: you buy this if you want some posh luxury that blends into the background and lowers your heart rate. And it’s exceptionally good at all of that.

There’s the E53 AMG on offer too, should you want a decent dose of performance from your E-Class Coupe. We’d still much prefer a proper V8 E63, complete with rear-drive Drift Mode, of course. But that would clash with the posh, relaxing experience just a bit too much. Embrace the maturity and roll around - pillarless windows down, if you like - at a more genteel pace.

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