E400 Coupe Reminds You What Mercedes Has Always Done Best
Big, comfy coupes. They are what Mercedes has done better than just about anyone else, starting with the 1927 400 K. Their latest offering is the 2018 E400 coupe.
E400 Coupe Exterior
This coupe is as much about style as it is about comfort, so I’ll start on the outside. At first glance, especially from the front, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re looking at a C-class coupe.
But look more closely. For starters, this car is bigger. Way bigger. Deceptively larger. It takes up almost the whole space in most parking lots. The C won’t do that. The side profile is subtly elegant. The curves in the doors are hinted at more than actually there.
Then there’s that greenhouse. The E-class coupe is a pillarless hardtop. Roll both windows down and there’s nothing but roof from the A-pillar to the C-Pillar. Almost. There’s a tiny bit of glass spoiling the line, but it’s still gorgeous. And nothing else in this price range offers the hard-top look.
Then there are the smaller details. Look closely at the illuminated LED taillights. They look like they sparkle with crystals instead of a plastic lens. And the diamond block grille, with dozens of small chrome nubs setting it off.
Not cool enough? Take a peek at the windshield washer jets. If you have an all-wheel drive model (or tick the option box on rear-drive cars) you get laser-cut holes in the wiper arms. The washer fluid is distributed evenly along the entire length of the wiper. Now that’s luxury.
Open the door and gaze at the exquisite stitching on the saddle brown seats. Then the turbine-style air vents. Letting you know you’re in the E, not the C, there are four in the center instead of three. Like I said, this car is big. Those vents sit in your choice of a wide swath of wood trims, including open pore dark ash wood.
In front of the driver is a massive panel that holds two 12-inch screens. One is optional for the instrument panel and the other standard for the navigation and info display.
After style comes luxury and comfort. Well-padded seats offer heat, ventilation and massage. You can also get the E400 coupe with a heated steering wheel, but you can get that on a Kia Rio these days. Here, the E400 ups the heat game. The seats warm your pants, the wheel warms your gloves, but what about your elbows? The leather of the armrest in the center and on the door is cold too, isn’t it? Not here. Almost everything you touch in normal driving is heated.
Close the door and the seatbelt is presented to you, no need to reach awkwardly rearwards here. If you want to put passengers or your briefcase in the back seat, the front powers forward to give you access.
Those backseat passengers will find real room too. For their knees at least. Headroom can be at a premium due to the low roofline. But this isn’t the kind of car that would sacrifice that roofline for a touch more rear space. My favorite touch? The driver is able to adjust the passenger seat position and heat level using the driver side controls.
Many of those features are on the extensive options list, but picking the best options for you is a big part of the appeal of a big touring coupe like this. You’re building the car you want, with the luxuries you want and forgetting the ones you don’t.
Under the Hood
The E-class coupe is offered with just one engine choice, a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. That engine offers up 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.
It’s nearly silent in operation and delivers and effortless shove across the rev range. It’s connected to a nine-speed automatic that shifts smoothly and seamlessly. The E400 comes with Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system that shifts power for grip, but not to reduce understeer.
My test car had the Airmatic air suspension. It gives a ride that is very soft but can be a little floaty on highway undulations. Tab the E400 into sport mode and the ride firms up appreciably.
The ride and handling of this car are clearly set up for ride comfort and composure. This is a car that you could spend the day driving and arrive totally relaxed. Or, spend the evening around town and look effortlessly elegant to everyone who sees you.
If you want to set lap times on your favorite back road, take a step down the MB size ladder to the C43 AMG. Want more performance, then SL or S-Class coupe are always available.
If you want to look good, be comfortable and get transported effortlessly from place to place? Choose the E400 coupe.