Mercedes still has this niche to itself with the updated E-Class Coupe. At this price point there are few rivals, but that doesn’t stop the big two-door Merc delivering a lovely blend of refinement, technology and quality with comfort, acceptable handling and strong efficiency, not to mention lots of first-rate equipment. It’s a great, relaxing large coupe and small updates have kept it feeling fresh.
Big coupes may soon end up being extinct, which is a somewhat sad thought when they’re as good as Mercedes’ updated E-Class Coupe.
As buyers want SUVs and full electrification, with off-roader and crossover body styles naturally lending themselves towards EVs, larger two-door machines like this E-Class may not be long for this world in the grand scheme of things.
However, given the production cycles for the current E-Class, a mid-life refresh for this model means we get to enjoy the Coupe for a little while longer, with some useful updates applied as part of this facelift.
Firstly, the styling is a little tighter and sharper than before. As with the visual updates to its saloon, estate and cabriolet siblings, the E-Class Coupe’s smaller, sharper headlights are divided by a new grille – still trapezoidal in shape but now inverted compared with its predecessor. At the rear the changes are less noticeable, with a few other detail adjustments the extent of the upgrades.
Inside, the Coupe benefits from the same infotainment and tech tweaks as the rest of the E-Class line-up, including a new steering wheel design with fully touch-sensitive controls on the wheel’s spokes.
They take a little getting used to, and in corners you might sometimes activate a function you weren’t expecting, but they’re mostly ok and allow access to lots of functionality – but then so did the previous steering wheel design.
The MBUX infotainment’s pair of 12.3-inch screens are brighter and sharper than ever though, with the left-hand screen for the car’s multimedia set-up also allowing touch inputs through the panel.
Otherwise, you control it using a touch-sensitive pad on the centre console. This isn’t quite as easy to navigate around the system’s menus as a rotary wheel as in its predecessor, but it’s still responsive enough and you rapidly become used to manipulating the panel to find the function you want.
In top-spec AMG Line Night Edition Premium Plus trim, you get all the standard equipment you’d expect from an upmarket coupe. This includes that pair of screens – including a digital dash – as well as sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus wireless phone charging.
You get full LED headlights with high beam assist, full keyless operation, a panoramic roof, electrically adjustable heated leather seats, front and rear parking sensors with a 360-degree camera, cruise control, a 13-speaker Burmester stereo and lots of safety kit.
This includes autonomous emergency braking, blind spot assist and traffic sign recognition.
Large 20-inch alloys are included too, but they do affect the ride quality. At higher speed on smoother, more flowing roads the E-Class Coupe is a refined cruiser, but the large alloys mean on tighter, bumpier roads the wheels sometimes respond with a more jarring edge. However, it’s mostly comfortable and quiet – including the engine.
Despite petrol and plug-in hybrid power becoming more popular, Mercedes’ 191bhp 2.0-litre diesel will still be a big seller. It’s smooth and offers 400Nm of torque from just 1,600rpm, so combined with the nine-speed automatic gearbox which shifts ratios as imperceptibly as you’d want in a car like this, the E 220 d is happy to amble along with a relaxed gait as long as you don’t push it too hard.
Ask for more brisk acceleration and the engine becomes louder and coarser, while the gearbox’s smooth changes are just a little more pronounced.
It’s far from an issue though. Besides, while the car’s body control and steering is fine, it’s clearly better suited to a more relaxed style, even if it handles neatly when pushed harder for such a big machine.
This focus on refinement really fits with the E-Class Coupe’s elegant image as the Coupe’s proportions are great, with its long, swoopy roof; it doesn’t affect headroom in the rear too badly, while legroom is fine too.
The long doors mean access to the rear is about as easy as you’ll find in any coupe, plus the pillarless windows mean even those in the rear have a good view out. A 425-litre boot means there’s enough space for four people’s luggage and enough practicality.
The benefit of the easy-going diesel engine’s nature also means that official fuel economy stands at 47.9mpg, and we saw more than 50mpg over our time with the car over all conditions.
However, at £49,280 for this top-spec E 220 d (AMG Line Premium at £46,635 is better value) it’s still a pricey car. But then not much offers the same level of image, ability and technology at this price.