Mercedes-Benz E 400

4MATIC AMG Line

Coupe

Mercedes E Class coupe, front
Mercedes E Class coupe, front
Mercedes E Class coupe, front
Mercedes E Class coupe, front
Mercedes E Class coupe, front
Mercedes E Class coupe, side
Mercedes E Class coupe, side
Mercedes E Class coupe, interior
Mercedes E Class coupe, interior
Mercedes E Class coupe, rear
Mercedes E Class coupe, rear
Mercedes E Class coupe, interior

BUYING a large engined up-market coupe is a decision you make as much with the heart as with the head.

After all, in sheer practical terms a saloon or even an estate would be more sensible than a two-door model.

And in the case of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe there are both saloon and estate alternatives available.

But a large coupe comes with an element of glamour and sportiness that four and five door cars can only aspire to.

And you could argue that as the E 400 Coupe 4MATIC, driven here, is a spacious four-seater - albeit with the need for an element of agility to get into the rear - this coupe is a totally practical car anyway.

It's certainly a striking car both inside and out and I couldn't help thinking it should be cruising along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in it rather than battling with heavy traffic on Midland motorways.

The long bonnet, swept back roofline and huge three pointed star set in the centre of the grille give it plenty of visual appeal.

It's an appeal that's carried over to the inside too with a interior which confines the idea of functional rather than showy Germanic design to the dustbin.

Black leather sports seats with vivid red panelling and matching red panels on the doors make this a car which is anything but bland.

Add to that silver air vents - designed to look like the face of jet engines - set into a black, wood grain dashboard and a panoramic 12 inch wide display screen and it's clear this coupe is no shrinking violet.

As you take your seat behind the steering wheel a mechanical arm from behind reaches out and hands your seatbelt to you and it tightens automatically the moment you fasten the clip.

Unlike most other manufacturers Mercedes uses a column shift to operate its nine speed seamless gearbox, although there are paddles behind the steering wheel for when you want to liven things up a little.

Use the gearbox in automatic and you'll be surprised just how quickly it skips through the first seven gears, ensuring the car is always on low revs and therefore saving fuel. Which is a good idea when you have a 3.0-litre, 333bhp engine - which is theory should be very thirsty - under the bonnet.

In practice - thanks partly to the gearing - it's quite easy to average more than 25 miles per gallon.

A rotary switch on the transmission tunnel gives you the option to scroll between Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus with each step up altering the steering, suspension and performance of the car.

The most responsive mode is Sport Plus which not only dramatically firms up the suspension and steering but ensures the car holds onto each gear for much longer to give you better acceleration.

But whichever mode you opt for this relaxed super smooth engine delivers the power in a beautifully refined manner so the cockpit stays silent and the occupants relaxed.

And with the added bonus of all-wheel-drive the E400 4MATIC gives you that added security when taking bends and corners at speed.

One of the optional extras fitted to the car was Mercedes-Benz's multibeam intelligent lighting system which virtually turns night to day.

Each headlamp has 84 individually activated high performance LEDs which light the road ahead without dazzling other cars. The affect is stunning and is by far the best I have come across.

FAST FACTS

Mercedes-Benz E 400 4MATIC AMG Line Coupe

Price: £50,820

Mechanical: 333bhp, 2,996cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via nine-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 5.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 33.6

Insurance Group: 41

C02 emissions: 189g/km

Bik rating: 36%

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