Mercedes-Benz E Class E53 4Matic+ Premium 2dr 9G-Tronic
A huge chunk of UK buyers go for the E220d, a decision that’s hard to fault – especially given how quiet, clean and fast the entry-level (but 191bhp) 2.0-litre diesel is. With 0-62mph arriving in 7.4 seconds, it won’t give you that surplus-of-power sensation, but for floating around and enjoying the incredible refinement, supple ride (adaptive dampers standard, air suspension is a worthwhile option) and slick nine-speed gearbox, it answers all the questions.
Definitely. It costs about the same as the E300 if you’re buying privately, but the 2.0-litre turbo petrol just makes that bit more fuss when you need to work the engine hard for a quick overtake or a burst down a slip road. Diesel may not be fashionable, but it remains a decent fit here. Though we can’t help but imagine how wondrously refined an electric EQE Coupe would be…
There’s no full-fat E63 version, so the mild-hybrid E53 AMG is the answer. Combine its petrol straight-six and electric ‘EQ Boost’ and you have nearly 450bhp. Not traditional AMG power levels – an E63 saloon tops 600bhp – but more than enough in a car designed to be this serene.
It’s a mixed bag though, the E53; not softly suspended enough to be a proper luxury car, and too heavy and complex to be an out-and-out drivers’ car, but all told it’s a nice compromise between the two and a pretty beguiling place to spend time. It’ll easily average its claimed 30mpg too, which is strong in a car combining such size and speed. Think of it as a fluster-free rival to something S-badged from Audi and it’ll impress you greatly.
Then the E in general equips itself rather well, resisting roll better than its predecessor thanks to its wider track. The brakes are suitably strong for a coupe approaching two tonnes but don’t expect any communication from the steering or much adjustability in the chassis – the name of the game here is keeping all four tyres stuck to the road and chomping distance, which is why the 4Matic four-wheel drive is broadly standard fit.
Often, the latest suite of driver assistance systems that brake, accelerate and steer for you can feel frustratingly intrusive, but here, sitting back and letting somebody (or something) else do the hard work seems entirely natural. The system won’t let you keep your hands off the wheel for long – the way we like it, while this tech’s in its infancy – but it’ll give you enough time for a quick sip of water or suchlike. Overall, the E-Class Coupe is about looking good and finishing every journey more refreshed than you began. It’s Mercedes at its imperious best.
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