2018 Mercedes-Benz E400, Specs, Release Date, Price – The last E-Class Coupe was not really an E-Class Coupe, since it was built on the C-Class platform. Personally, I didn’t think it looked all that good, resembling a clay model that someone left out in the sun. Thankfully, the all-new 2018 E-Class Coupe makes up for that in spades, offering everything great about the E-Class in a form that’s not only luxurious and tech-heavy, but also fun to drive.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
If the E-Class Coupe looks familiar, it should. Mercedes-Benz knocked its new coupe design out of the park with the S-Class Coupe, and it brought nearly the exact same look down to the compact C-Class Coupe. The E-Class Coupe follows the same design language, opting for a crease-free design that looks quite close to the two aforementioned models.
That might sound unoriginal, but it would be stupid to not take a wildly gorgeous look and apply it to as many vehicles as possible. Many of these elements (mostly in the rear end) are also evident in the marque’s coupe-style crossovers, but I think the aesthetic is best applied to actual cars.
The story’s much the same inside. Like the S-Class and C-Class, the E400 Coupe borrows heavily from the design of its sedan forebear, with a massive pair of 12.3-inch screens smack dab in front of the driver. The tallish center console contains buttons and a touchpad-and-dial combination for manipulating the infotainment system. The climate system’s vents are unique to the E-Class Coupe, resembling a classier version of the Sarlacc pit that claimed Boba Fett’s life in “Return of the Jedi.”
One thing I’d ditch, though, is the piano-black trim. It picks up fingerprint grease all too easily, turning the interior from an aesthetic masterpiece to a failed finger-paint job over several minutes of regular use. I wish automakers would realize that, yes, piano-black trim looks classy, but it’s also a nightmare to keep clean.
Instead of relying on the C-Class platform once again, the E-Class Coupe uses the E-Class sedan’s platform, which means it’s grown quite considerably — it’s 4.8 inches longer, 2.9 inches wider and about 1 inch taller. A good deal of the increased interior volume went to expanding rear-seat space, which was ample for a 6-foot-tall passenger sitting behind a 6-foot-tall driver, with both legroom and headroom to spare.
One variant, one engine, one very good time
While the E-Class sedan can be had with a wide variety of engines, ranging from a diminutive four-banger to a stonking V8, the E-Class Coupe is currently only offered with one engine — a 3.0-liter V6, good for 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. It hustles along with a bit of engine noise in tow, but not enough to cause a scene or irritate a driver who wants to sit back and relax.
Over the course of nine hours, I pointed this coupe down curvy mountain roads in and around Vancouver and Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. Comfort mode was sedate, meant for long-distance cruising in (duh) comfort, and it left the E400 Coupe feeling like a capable grand tourer.
Flick the mode switch to Sport, and things wake up a bit. Upshifts from the nine-speed torque-converter automatic take longer to arrive, downshifts show up at the right time with an almost preternatural ability and the engine has no problem pushing the car along with all that torque, since the car is generally sitting smack dab in the power band.
Sport Plus mode was a bit over the top. Downshifts were as common as political arguments on Twitter, upshifts waited way too long and both the steering and throttle felt way too twitchy, even when driving in a spirited manner. I’d suggest leaving it in Comfort or Sport, depending on how you want to tackle the road ahead. If you simply must maximize your MPGs, there’s an Eco mode, but it’s boring as all get-out and should only be used in the case of an “I forgot to fill up and I’m 50 miles from the nearest gas pump” emergency.
Like most other Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the 2018 E400 Coupe is not cheap — if you want all the neat, whiz-bang features, that is. It starts at $58,900 with rear-wheel drive, or $61,400 with all-wheel drive. Our testers were fully loaded, with the price tag to match, coming in between $89,000 and $91,000. You can save some dough by skipping the more expensive exterior paint palettes and interior trims, but again, you’re going to want the air suspension at the very least.
The E-Class Coupe is in a segment all its own. Competitors like the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5 stack up against the C-Class Coupe, while the outgoing BMW 6 Series (and its replacement, the 8 Series) are better aligned with the S-Class Coupe. That means the E-Class Coupe has few, if any direct competitors.
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