The Mercedes E-Class is one of our favourite large saloon cars, mixing a classy interior with a composed drive and a strong range of engines. That doesn’t automatically mean we’ll love this new Coupe model, but with such a good base, what could go wrong?
We first drove the car in Spain last month, and came away impressed with the coupe’s refined, calm and cosseting character. Happily, that stands true back in the UK, even on our notoriously rutted roads. Our test car was fitted with standard springs rather than the pricey adaptive air suspension, but even on bumpy roads we found the big Merc to be very comfortable indeed.
The ride is a little firm at low speed, but push on and it irons everything out very well – even larger potholes. The E-Class does feel very big here in Britain, though, as our smaller, tighter roads start to make the Mercedes’ sheer size a bit of an issue.
That makes driving quickly in the E 220d a bit tougher, and the heavy kerbweight (1,735kg) does mean it isn’t particularly agile. The body rolls as you dip into a corner, and while the steering feels nicely weighted it isn’t as sharp as you might want from a car that looks as sporty as this.
Still, the Mercedes is composed, grippy and planted when you’re driving faster, and the low driving position gives a better sense of speed than in the saloon or estate versions. The 220d is torquey low in the rev range, which means a squeeze of the throttle is all that’s needed for a quick motorway overtake. It has just about enough grunt – 191bhp and 400Nm of torque – to enjoy on a twisty road, but those after a bit more performance might want to take a look at the E 300 or E 400 petrol models.