Nine-time 24hrs champion gives the current crop some tips
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The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
For:Svelte silhouette, jaw-dropping interior, relaxing demeanour
Against:Dangerously long (and tempting) options list, no E63 (yet)
What is it?
Mercedes currently sells nine 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.
You certainly can’t accuse the E-Class Coupe of such things. 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.
It’s the product of an almost 50-year history that stretches back to 1968 and the wonderfully named ‘Stroke Eight Coupe’, 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. Just make sure your parallel parking is up to scratch.
The E-Class Coupe comes with a mixture of petrol and diesel engines. The former consists of three options; the 2.0-litre four-cylinder E300, the 3.0-litre V6 E450 and the 3.0-litre straight-six E53 AMG, which also happens to be a mild hybrid, too. Nope, there’s no proper V8-powered E63 AMG version. Yet…
There’s a couple of diesels, which may be less fashionable than ever, but are likely to make this a fine choice on some plusher, more accommodating company car lists. There’s the 2.0-litre four-cylinder E220d and the 3.0-litre V6 E400d, the former being your cheapest way into an E-Class Coupe, at a whisker over £40,000, with a 31 per cent BIK rate.
All of them come with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and all but the E300 can be optioned with four-wheel drive. The higher-powered cars, AMG included, only come with four-wheel drive. Yep, no skidding antics here. The E-Class Coupe’s far too classy for that.