Vehicle: 2020 Mercedes E 450 4Matic Coupe
MSRP as tested: $87,050
Specs: 3.0L bi-turbo V6 (362hp, 369 lb.-ft. torque) w/ 9-speed automatic
0-100kmh as tested: 5.0 seconds
Chop off 2 doors and the Mercedes E-Class sedan turns into the poshest luxury coupe you can get for under the $100K mark. Bold statement yes, but then again the E-Class Coupe doesn’t really any competition in this segment, since flagship coupes (i.e. BMW 8-Series, Lexus LC) are priced well above, and other smaller coupes (i.e. Audi A5, BMW 4-Series) simply can’t match the E Coupe’s posh looks and presence, luxurious ride, and gorgeous interior. Credit has to be given to Mercedes though; this could've easily been a lazy rehash of the sedan version (especially since they essentially own this niche market), but the E-Class Coupe feels distinct from the sedan in both styling and drive, and is remarkably good. So good in fact that we think it could give some rival flagship coupes a run for their money...
Comfortable, smooth, and refined, the E-Class Coupe is an absolute joy to drive on any road, whether you’re simply enjoying the serene cabin during a relaxed city drive, or opening up all 362 horses on some open backroads. Mercedes made a good decision in giving the coupe the potent bi-turbo V6 as its base engine, resulting in deceptively quick acceleration and smooth power delivery whenever your right foot demands it. While it isn't super exciting to drive, it does offer noticeably sharper handling over its sedan counterpart thanks to its shorter body and lighter weight, remaining surprisingly confident in corners despite its luxurious muted steering. When dialled in sport mode, steering becomes reassuringly weighted and precise (though still unfeeling), unlike the ultra-light vague steering found in many luxury cruisers. If you want some real excitement though, go for the E53 AMG Coupe who's 429 horsepower inline-6 feels extremely eager and responsive, and sounds absolutely ridiculous complete with crackles and burbles.
Most of the time however, you'll probably be making your daily commute or cruising on highways rather than attacking back roads, and this is where this luxury grand tourer really shines. The cabin is remarkably quiet and isolated from the road, and even those lovely V6 sounds can barely be heard except when you're really pushing it hard. During our testing, the E-Class coupe's suspension remained soft and supple in 99% of road conditions, though it doesn't handle bumps and potholes quite as well as softer luxury sedans such as the Audi A6 and Lexus ES, especially without the optional air suspension. Still, everything else feels as smooth as you'd expect from a proper Benz, delivering a relaxing luxurious driving experience worthy of its high price tag.
Mercedes is the king of gorgeous interiors, and the E-Class Coupe continues this winning streak, bringing with it a flashy, high-tech, and visually stunning cabin that could easily belong to a flagship vehicle. Interestingly, it technically shares an interior with the CLS rather than the E-Class sedan, though with that said, we couldn't spot any major differences between this and the sedan beyond the fancier air vents that glow blue or red as you change the temperature, and the reduced rear space. At night, the interior looks even more breathtaking with its colourful ambient lighting and glowing trim pieces.
Its beauty isn't just skin deep either; our tester came with super comfy Nappa leather seats, all surfaces covered in high quality soft-touch materials or solid aluminium, and a huge piece of wavy open pore wood that spans across the entire dash and centre console. The 12.3 inch fully digital instrument cluster looks high-tech and is surprisingly easy to read even in direct sunlight, all buttons and knobs feel satisfyingly premium, and a ton of tech and amenities are available (i.e. massage seats, soft-close doors, interior fragrance system), provided you're willing to pay for them. And little touches, such as the heated arm rests, machined metal Burmester speaker grilles, and the ultra-HD camera system (by far the most crisp 360 camera in the industry), really add to making this coupe's interior feel a cut above the rest.
So, flaws? We're nitpicking here, but the wood trim creaks pretty loudly when touched, a common issue found across many Mercedes interiors. The 2020 E Coupe also still comes with Mercedes's old COMAND infotainment system, which lacks a few features found in the latest Benz models and can be a little hard to use with its cluttered UI and lack of a touchpad/touchscreen (though this will be remedied very soon in the 2021 refresh). Many options aren't included either, and can get very pricey real fast if you're not careful with the options list. These are minor complaints though, and as an overall package, the E-Class coupe's interior manages to look and feel even more premium than many pricer coupes.
Ok, so perhaps we were exaggerating at the beginning; Mercedes didn’t just chop off 2 doors and call it a day. Instead, they took the care to rework the rear end with redesigned tail lights to match the slick sloping roofline, give it a sleeker side profile with longer windows and doors, and give it a few exclusive coupe party tricks including a retractable B-pillar, resulting in what's essentially giant window that spans from the A-pillar to the C-pillar (just like the flagship S-Class coupe). Unlike small sporty coupes, Mercedes stuck to a classy minimalistic design and avoided using a ton of sharp body lines, creases, and aggressive bumpers.
The result is a large luxury coupe that looks far sleeker than its sedan counterpart, while still retaining a classy minimalist look to it. On the road, the E-Class coupe looks far more substantial than the majority of smaller sporty coupes on the road, and its wide hips and sheer size gives it quite a bit of road presence. Speaking of, with its large size also comes the benefit of usable rear seats, which are surprisingly capable of housing 2 reasonably-sized adults comfortably (though getting into those rear seats is another story all together).
Recommended Build: E 450 Coupe with Premium + Intelligent Drive Package ($83,100)
Our test vehicle came pretty well equipped with the Premium Package, Comfort Package, Intelligent Drive Package, and a few other standalone options including soft-close doors and upgraded Nappa leather seats, driving the base price of $75,400 up to $87,050.
To be honest, the only packages that we would’ve sorely missed would be the Premium Package which while pricey at $5000, adds quite a few add-ons including the Burmester Surround Sound System, Keyless-Go, heated armrests and ventilated seats, power trunk, and most noticeably the 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster, without which the E-Class’s interior just doesn’t look nearly as premium. Intelligent Drive Package is also a worthwhile add-on, adding all the typical drivers assistance and safety features for $2700. Spec these two packages and the MSRP sits at a relatively reasonable $83,100 CAD, while still coming pretty well loaded and
On the other hand, most folks could probably do without the other options, but then again, an E-Class Coupe buyer probably isn’t exactly the conservative or frugal type. Comfort Package ($1900) adds massaging seats and a cabin air fragrance + purification system, Tech Package adds adaptive high beams, head-up display, and a 360 camera, and a handful of standalone options, which collectively can drive the price up over the $100K mark.
To build your E-Class Coupe, visit: https://www.mercedes-benz.ca/en/vehicles/build/e-class/coupe