Vital Stats

Engine:
3.0L Bi-Turbo V6
Power:
329 HP / 354 LB-FT
Transmission:
7-Speed Auto
0-60 Time:
5.1 Seconds (est.)
Top Speed:
155 MPH (limited)
Drivetrain:
Rear-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
3,800 LBS
Seating:
2+3
MPG:
20 City / 30 HWY (est.)
Base Price:
$56,000 (est.)
In With The (Slightly) Old And The (Sort Of) New



Though the S-Class is the profit-per-unit world champion, Mercedes' stalwart E-Class is still the company's most reliable producer of profits. The latter tends to represent the model that most humans on Earth think of when they think of Mercedes-Benz. The taxi version of the E-Class sedan used in Europe and elsewhere is the usual reason given for this familiarity we all have with the E, but c'mon, it also happens to be a pretty stunning piece of work in its market segment.

Today we're trying the upgraded and massaged fourth-generation Mercedes E-Class Coupe (known internally as C207). Specifically we're driving the 329-horsepower E400 coupe that arrives in the US next summer (2014) to eventually replace – in all body variants – the current V8-powered E550. Starting price for a base E350 coupe should scare up $51,500 when it arrives a little later this year, while this E400 two-door will hit US soil at around $56,000 as a futuristic-sounding 2015 model.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe side view2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe front view2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe rear view

This E400 setup will eventually be the range-topper after the 550 is sent on permanent vacation.

BMW has found the cheap way to "expand" its product lineup by now calling its 3 Series coupe and convertible the 4 Series. Mercedes, meanwhile, put big development cash into the new W212 E-Class sedan and its wagon variant back in 2010, then took the smaller W204 C-Class-based coupe and cabriolet – formerly called the CLK-Class – and made them higher priced E-Class variants. Even now, as the recently tested midlife E-Class sedan changes pretty significantly, the coupe seen here and its cabrio sibling remain substantially similar to their 2010 counterparts. We've always found this product strategy a little fishy, and that definitely isn't going away with this midcycle updo. If we're paying for and expecting an E-Class, we'd sort of like to have an E-Class chassis, not a two-generations-old C-Class chassis.

This, however, can get into a-little-too-picky territory, because the E-Class coupe and cabrio are swell machines that don't really offend a soul among their clientele as they drive along on the elder C-Class architecture. What helped make things even better for us here is that our E400 coupe test car was dressed in AMG Sport guise – one fine trim for those who crave a lifestyle car like this. Also fitted were the optional, 19-inch, seven twin-spoke, AMG wheels and accompanying Continental ContiSportContact3 tires – 235/35 ZR19 front, 255/30 ZR19 rear. Up until now, the E-Class Coupe in America has not come with the availability of these 19s, nor with a formal AMG Sport package. At least for the E400 setup this will change, as it will eventually be the range-topper from sometime in 2015 onward after the 550 is sent on permanent vacation. (The new E-Class Coupe in Germany? Nine engine trims and eleven choices of alloy wheel design, three of which are 19-inch.)

2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe headlight2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe wheel2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe taillight2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe exhaust tip

The new M276 bi-turbo V6 is the really big story here.

The new bi-turbo V6 is the really big story here, however. It's not just the engine's 329 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, but the bundle of 354 pound-feet of torque that is on full tilt between just 1,400 rpm and 4,000 rpm. As opposed to the E400 sedan we tested earlier this year, this coupe weighs 132 pounds less, has seven inches less length to deal with, a 4.5-inch shorter wheelbase, is almost three inches skinnier and is two inches lower in overall height. Think of something close to an Infiniti G37 coupe and you're not far off. Plus, there are the added benefits of the AMG Sport pack and E-S-M mode Dynamic Handling select button for the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic gearbox, said button also altering the throttle response and standard sport exhaust of the AMG trimmings.

Though the roads we were on between Hamburg in Germany and the Danish countryside were far less than challenging for this chic setup, the nimbleness gained by the coupe's tighter packaging was occasionally felt. The standard Agility Control adaptive dampers are good tech made even better by the optional sport calibration you can order. At this slightly smaller CLK-Class dimension, the coupe provided solid overall handling as we played with the feel of the electromechanical Direct Steer via the three-spoke wheel swathed in AMG leather, our butts comfortably and firmly in place thanks to the car's multi-adjustable sport seats.

2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe interior2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe front seats2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe rear seats2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe engine

The V6 bi-turbo gets much better fuel economy than the V8 while being only 0.2 seconds slower to 60.

In US market terms, again, you could cross-shop this E400 coupe with the Infiniti G37 coupe or, a little smaller still, an Audi S5. The feeling from behind the wheel and sense of substance are quite different between the less-expensive Infiniti and the Merc. Meanwhile, the S5 is set to stay about $6,000 below the E400 coupe in pricing, and offers quattro traction and a six-speed manual as standard kit if you don't want the automatic setup. Despite its many upsides, therefore, the E400 coupe is going to have a difficult time competing with the more powerful and less expensive Audi S5, which still offers more interesting variety to us. But, hold on, this battle for a relatively small US niche could shift soon; this year we'll have the freshened Merc coupe as an E350, E350 4Matic and E550. Then in the middle of 2014 comes this E400 and also an E400 4Matic. Infiniti already has the three setups of G37 coupe – basic Journey trim, the all-wheel-drive model and Sport with six-speed manual – at much lower price points.

After what became nearly 350 miles on northern German flatlands, on car trains to carry us and on car ferries to ferry us, there was no doubting that this Mercedes E400 coupe with AMG Sport package is a sweet lifestyle conveyance. With things set in the S calibration, it can also hold its own with most competitors short of full-blown performance-division models. Plus, the V6 bi-turbo gets much better fuel economy than the V8 in the current E550, while being only two-tenths of a second slower (5.1 seconds) to 60 miles per hour. And riding the v-max limiter at 155 mph for several ticks across the unlimited portions of the Schleswig-Holstein region helped put pay to the coupe's slinky coefficient of drag number of just 0.25. Then when it was time to reel things in abruptly, the augmented front brake discs that come with the AMG Sport added just that little bit of urgency to the halting process.

2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe rear 3/4 view

Besides our lingering suspicions regarding the old C-Class chassis – but, to repeat, this little E behaves very nicely all the same – one must get past the overly designed new interpretation for the LED headlamps, and the overly haunchy contour along the rear flanks. But, in the end, to each their own in this class and style of two-door, no? The E400 coupe is certainly, at the absolute least, a damned lightyear better than any taxis we know.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 94 Comments
      Eta Carinae
      • 1 Year Ago
      i love the B pillarless design mercedes has stuck with.....i can say that is one of the best design elements a coupe can have.....it gives the cars length and exagerates the design.....the E class coupe has been my favorite benz at the moment.....dont know why they didnt make an AMG of it...that was just stupid
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      The recent facelift did wonders for the coupe, it looks so much better and sharper. Can't say the same for the sedan however.
        Matthew Davis
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FIDTRO
        FIDTRO - Iappreciate all comments, but...the coupe and cabriolet were barely touched at all in this facelift apart from new headlamps. It's the sedan and wagon that got all the changes...which I personally like a lot apart from the ultra-swoop LED look up front.
      ndukyh
      • 1 Year Ago
      While I agree that it's strange they use the old C-class chassis on this E-class coupe (especially with the C-class coupe that already exists), I must ask: don't we always complain about how large cars have become in recent years/decades and the effects on driving dynamics? So why would we want this to be based on the larger E-class chassis when we have a smaller C-class based structure here with higher quality E-class interior?
        Feurig
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ndukyh
        I'm personally a little skeptical on the "based on C-class platform" part. Drive the C-coupe and the E-coupe and there is a world of difference. I thought the size was relatively the same with the E-coupe and E-sedan too.
        RetrogradE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ndukyh
        Unfortunately, car companies are competing in size, power, and amenities. The problem is, size and power aren't the end-all-be-all, but everyone is afraid of being 2" smaller than "the other guy." But yes, I agree with you.
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      That giant hood ornament really is too much. It really detracts from what is otherwise a pretty classy design (provided you don't buy the car in look-at-me red).
      brgtlm
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is definitely trying to hard to be in your face. Another MB that seems to have been committee designed.
      jasonwarreny
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like a Hyundai Genesis for 30,000 more, with a gigantic MB logo on the grill. Mercedes Benz have really lost it.
      Wally SirFatty
      • 1 Year Ago
      The front end is a mess! Why would MB do such a thing?
      Mazdaspeed6
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks amazing and is the perfect car for the bachelor, but its unviable without a manual transmission especially when the 335i, S5 and G37 offer them and it doesn't deserve to be the most expensive car in that group. No Automatic will get my money. Whose with me? At least Merc finally produces a nice V6.
        Dvanos
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mazdaspeed6
        I'm with ya but this car is going to be purchased mainly by people who just care about having and being seen in a nice car. They don't offer a manual because most of the customers will be busy talking on the phone.
        Carfan0893
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mazdaspeed6
        except that the cars you listed don't compete with this car. That's the c-class coupe' s job.
          Taint
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Carfan0893
          Consumers are easily fooled by marketing....
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mazdaspeed6
        $56k base price...easily being a $60,000 car, beyond a 335 or g37, and in company with a S5, plus the E class isn't a bachelors ride, its more of wealthy daily drivers car. The powerful engines are just complimentary but if you have ever seen these cars on the road owners almost never open them up.
      Mike Kilpatrick
      • 1 Year Ago
      How is it that Cadillacs are cleaner and more tasteful than Mercedes now? Because they are.
        MMM
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Mike Kilpatrick
        Nope. Only to blind...
      jasonwarreny
      • 1 Year Ago
      What happened to the unnderstated yet good looking styling of the old MB? This looks like a POS compared to the MB of the 80s and 90s.
      RomanM
      • 1 Year Ago
      I never like the huge logo on the grill, so tacky! I'm glad they don't do that on the S or E sedans.
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