Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Choice of two petrol engines and three diesels
  • All come with nine-speed automatic gearbox
  • Strong performance in larger-engined versions

What engine options are there?

The E-Class is unusual these days in offering a decent choice of diesel engines. In fact, we’ll go further – it’s particularly rare today to have more diesel options than petrols, a fact that will play well with those who like a longer-distance drive.

Petrol engines

Engine Power and torque
0-62mph time
Top speed
E 300 258hp, 370Nm 6.4secs 155mph
E 450 4Matic 367hp, 500Nm 5.0secs 155mph

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The E 300 uses a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. The deep engine note sounds far more enticing than the diesel’s at idle, but while performance is acceptable at moderate revs, it feels inadequate under harder acceleration – joining a motorway slip road, for instance – and the exhaust note thrashes unpleasantly above 3,000rpm.

The refinement of six-cylinder models feels much more in keeping with the character of this large, luxurious four-seat coupe. The E 450 4Matic’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six isn’t astounding in terms of acceleration, but it has more than enough muscle coming in one fluid surge of power, and emits a cultured, if suitably subdued, exhaust note even at much higher revs.

Select Sport Plus mode and the throttle responds almost too eagerly to small inputs, but in lesser modes it’s more relaxed without being lazy, which suits the E-Class Coupe perfectly. Keep it in Comfort, or select your own individual mode to get the most out of the E-Class’s refined, wafty nature.

All models are fitted with a nine-speed automatic gearbox, which is generally smooth and swift to react. Drivers wanting full control can change gear via the steering-wheel-mounted paddles.

Diesel engines

Engine Power and torque
0-62mph time
Top speed
E 220 d 194hp, 400Nm 7.6secs 145mph
E 300 d 265hp, 550Nm 6.4secs 155mph
E 400 d 4Matic 330hp, 700Nm 5.3secs 155mph

View full specs

The E-Class Coupe is offered with a choice of four- and six-cylinder diesel engines. The four-cylinder E 220 d Coupe turbodiesel produces 194hp, powering the four-seat coupe from zero to 62mph in 7.6 seconds and on to 145mph.

A generous rush of torque does offer easy acceleration at moderate speeds, but the small diesel strains noisily if full acceleration is required on the motorway and can feel lethargic compared to more powerful engines in the range.

The other diesel option is the E 300 d. It provides a noticeable jump in performance over the E 220 d, enabling it to sprint from 0-62mph in just 6.4 seconds. We’ve yet to drive the E 400 d Coupe, but it’s an impressive engine, which will no doubt suit this car.

Handling

  • No sports car, but composure and performance impresses
  • Supple provides wafting comfort
  • 4Matic models provide traction, grip and security

For a car that could be forgiven for being a relaxed cruiser, the E-Class Coupe handles surprisingly well. With its blend of comfort, performance and composure, the E 450 4Matic is particularly satisfying, gripping strongly and displaying an unexpected agility on twisting roads.

The 4Matic system typically feels rear-wheel drive for a more satisfying drive – though less so than BMW’s xDrive system – but the extra traction out of tighter turns means it’s both more sure-footed and significantly faster than E-Class Coupes not fitted with 4Matic.

This is all if you drive it in Sport mode, though, as leaving it in Comfort will see you bouncing around corners with quite a lot of body roll – the E-Class can feel quite a heavy car in this mode. It makes it great as a car to just potter around in, but if you want to feel more involved in the bends, you’ll need to fiddle with the driving modes.

You can dial up steering weightiness by selecting a different driving mode, but it does all feel a little artificial, making the E-Class a much better car to waft around in than really lob it into corners like you would a proper sports coupe.