Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe Review - White Lion

 

The top rung of the E Coupe ladder is this, the E 400 4Matic, costing $151,900 (+$2400 for Edition 1). It’s for couples interested in style primarily.

Words: Peter Louisson   |   Photos Tom Gasnier
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There’s a certain amount of shock and awe when you first behold the vehicle. Think Gandalf the White, resplendent in its robe of white satin paint, missing only a magical staff (Comand controller instead, in black). It manages to create mobile magic of its own, however, lapping up sustained highway cruising in the best of GT traditions.

Coupes don’t ooze practicality but the new E400 isn’t just a couples-only vehicle thanks to a stretch in wheelbase and length of 113 and 123mm, respectively. That’s on account of it’s now riding on the E- rather than C- platform.

There’s much more passenger space as a result, enough for four adults to ride in comfort, and their gear (425L in the boot which features a powered lid). We had a 2.5-hour trip back to Auckland during a heat wave recently, ferrying a couple of foreign friends to Auckland Airport.

The proceedings were considerably delayed by a crash near Paeroa so it was a crawl through the Karangahake Gorge, the dual zone climate air working at full strength to keep nervy occupants cool, staving off panic. Not to worry, I reassured them. This thing’s capable of doing the quick business.


Don’t think that quite had the desired effect. Still, the active cruise control proved invaluable, with its stop and go function, and after the hold up we took to various back roads and made the destination with time to spare. Driving the show, a 3.0L biturbo V6, good for 245kW and 480Nm, directed by a nine-speed auto and drive apportioned to all four wheels.

That provides decent if not quite neck-jarring acceleration, taking 5.2sec to the legal open road speed, and a bit over 3sec for an overtake. If you need to up the ante there’s a Sport and Sport+ mode for added vim, or an Individual setting where you can opt for more or less drive, steering heft or suspension firmness.

We used Comfort mainly, Sport or Sport+ for the twisty stuff. Both the latter options mixed better roll control with only a slightly firmer ride.

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There’s not much left for the options list here; standard fitment includes a powered panoramic sunroof, heated electric seats, comfort entry, keyless go, driver’s belt presenter, 360-degree camera, digital screens for instruments, a head-up display to keep speed in check and active cruise when that fails, along with Comand controller and four, scratch that, five different drive modes.

Waft along in Comfort and silence enjoying the top flight Burmester sound system that’s connected to 13 drivers, the air suspenders soaking up all perturbances beneath.

Fittle compares really, BMW’s 640i apparently no longer available, while the S5 and 440i are not as accommodating, though are less expensive.

For those wanting something most neighbours won’t have we imagine this imposing machine would fit the bill handsomely.

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