Another newbie from M-B is the E-Class Coupe, tested here in E 200 guise.
It’s unusual to have a base model power option in the coupe line-up, which usually appeals to flashy, go-fast types, but with the changing demographic of the luxury buyer in New Zealand, the E 200 will appeal to those wanting the show more than the go.
The 2.0-litre turbofour makes 300Nm of easy flowing torque but with just 135kW, it doesn’t really kick on. However, those disinterested in all-out speed will find the E 200 a shrewd buy as it’s well specified, yet it’s $20k cheaper than the E 300 which adds herbs (180kW/370Nm), 20-inch wheels, air springs and LED lights. The saving can be reinvested in options. This tester looks tastier on its 20-inch alloys ($1400) and black detailing ($900), though we’d forgo the Vision Pack (glass roof, head-up display and Burmester sounds – $4990) and buy the air suspension ($3990) as we we’re fond of the E 400 sedan’s progress on air. The E 400 coupe is $151,900, and there will likely be an E 43 version but apparently it’s a nein to an E 63 model.
How does the 200 go? Given the berries on the test loop there’s enough feel from the chassis and steering to coax the big Coupe along and it never feels heavy or cumbersome. The roll is kept in check, though the bumps do make their presence felt on these larger wheels, which is why we’d think about the air option. In Sport mode, the nine-speed auto maximises the outputs, shifting swiftly and smartly, while it’s a refined operator in traffic. We thought the powertrain sufficed and at worst we saw 12L/100km with low nines a more realistic overall average.
Why buy this E over the C Coupe? The E 200 has more tech on board as well as more room with a larger boot, while the increased dimensions bring better proportions to the styling. For a coupe there’s adequate room for two in the rear, and the front seats motor forward quickly for better access. Being a coupe, the roofline and seating position are lower, and the door is big; it could do with another grab handle to help save it swinging out too wide in the car park. The rear vision is restricted by the chunky C pillar and small rear screen but the excellent 360 degree camera compensates. The E 200 has progressive steering for ease of parking, even a self docking function for those who really struggle. And it has all the safety features too, though some reckon most of these are a have. But I’ll take as many safety features as I can get. The Merc’s active cruise is easy to activate, a simple tap of the wand sorts it and with the active lane keeping, it will help maintain your place on the road if you let yourself get distracted. It will even help you change lanes, but some would say if you can’t do that, you shouldn’t have a licence. It’s all about easing us into a world of self drive cars, which is a topic that really riles some sorts. If you want a sporty coupe go for the Audi S5, if you want more elegance, comfort and to spend less, try the E 200 Coupe.
|Model||Mercedes-Benz E 200 Coupe||Price||$102,900|
|Engine||1991cc, IL4, T/DI, 135kW/300Nm||Drivetrain||9A, RWD|
|Fuel Use||6.8L/100km||C02 Output||154g/km|