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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe engines, drive and performance

2009 - 2017 (change model)
Performance rating: 4 out of 54.0

Written by Dan Harrison Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

Mercedes E-Class Coupe performance, just like the Cabriolet, is taken care of by a choice of five engines – two petrols and three diesels. And it’s their mixture of refinement, performance and efficiency that really set them apart from their rivals.

Petrol Engines

There’s not much in the mid-range in terms of the petrol engines offered in the Mercedes E-Class Coupe – your choice is either the entry-level E200 or range-topping E400.

The latter replaces the old E500 from the UK line up – though this is still available in other markets – and uses a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine producing 327bhp and 480Nm. That’s enough to see the comfortable Coupe sprint from 0-62mph in only 5.2 seconds, which is only three tenths slower than the old, and less efficient, E500 V8.

On-paper the four-cylinder E200 is likely to be powerful enough for most though, with a 0-62mph time of 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 149mph. Personal preference may dictate the need for the cultured aural accompaniment of the six-cylinder E400 though.

Diesel Engines

You’d expect the diesel engines, of which there are three to choose from in the E-Class Coupe, to major on economy and emissions – and while this was clearly at the forefront of the firm’s minds, it’s surprising just how much performance they offer as well.

The range starts off with the E220CDI, incidentally the only model available with a six-speed manual gearbox, which manages to complete the 0-62mph sprint in a sprightly 8.3 seconds. Swop to the E250CDI and the figures are even more impressive, completing the same benchmark acceleration test a whole second quicker, thanks in part to the quick but smooth-shifting seven-speed automatic gearbox.

But if you really want to have your cake and eat it, then the E350 CDI is the one to have. Not only does it return near 50mpg economy, but the 0-62mph sprint takes only 6.4 seconds.

Peak torque, of which there is a monstrous 620Nm, arrives at only 1,600rpm meaning the E350CDI is never lacking in response and mid-range shove. Its smooth, refined and even slightly snarling nature (at the top end) is simply the icing on the cake.

Be in no doubt the Mercedes E-Class Coupe is not aimed at real enthusiasts; a dynamically sharp BMW 3 Series rival it isn’t. What it is, is a comfortable and capable coupe that is more exciting to pilot than the equivalent Saloon or Estate.

The main feature of the Mercedes E-Class Coupe is the Agility Control Suspension, which offers a choice of Comfort or Sport setting for the adaptive damping system. In truth the car best suits the former mode, as Sport only adds an uncomfortable fidgeting over broken surfaces with little in the way of improved response.

Choose the AMG Sport model and you can benefit from the Agility Control Sports suspension, including direct steering, though regardless of how sharp and light the helm is, it actually fails to provide any real information about the level of grip.

You can take comfort in this car’s relaxed nature though, the car’s ride quality and long-distance ability, off-setting what body roll is detectable through the bends. Certainly, in terms of covering long distances in comfort, the suspension is really rather well judged.