2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
The coupe segment is a broad one, ranging from clunky looking, reasonably-priced compacts to leather-swathed luxury barges. Naturally, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe falls decidedly on the elegant side of the spectrum. But looks only take a car so far, and it’s what is underneath that really makes you want to bring it home to mom. Replacing the CLK
in order to streamline the Mercedes-Benz lineup, the new E coupe features a V-6 or V-8 engine, both providing more than enough horses and torque for swinging around corners. Everything about the interior exudes luxury, with moderately sporty cues coming from the chrome gauge cluster and the shift knob planted on the center console. The standard feature list runs as long as the bathroom line during the Superbowl halftime show, and safety systems stay behind the scenes in case you get a bit too comfortable taking turns at 80 mph. Bring on the long-term relationship.
What's to Like
Whoa, the E550 can move. With 300 lbs shed from the sedan, the same 382 hp helps the coupe blow by slow-moving trucks. Sport seats and a tilting/telescoping steering wheel provide comfort for every size driver. New safety features are top of the line.
What's Not to Like
Coupe body styles – this one is no exception – don’t ever have enough room in the rear for tall adults. A shocking insight, we’re sure, though a standard panorama glass roof does open up the space considerably. The V-6 has a good amount of power, but it can’t hold a candle to the V-8. If you’re test-driving them, hop in the 350 first. No plans for an E63 AMG coupe makes us a little sad.
DriverSide Driving Impressions
Much more so than the sedan, the coupe’s two engine varieties provide largely different drives. The E350 establishes a good baseline in the coupe lineup by delivering strong passing power and quick acceleration, but it ultimately delivers a more subdued ride. The E350 is so polished, it can round hairpins and swoop down mountain gullies while yawning and asking whether it’s time for tea. Naturally, the E550 improves upon the E350’s already stellar capabilities, and the 5.5-liter V-8 roars down the road – not that you can truly hear it through all the sound deadening within the cabin. The sport button brings much-needed edge to the drive, quickening shifts, enhancing throttle response and tightening suspension control. 382 horses try their best to push the car to its limits, but its seven gears seem truly limitless. With the stroke dependency suspension system, hitting the speed limiter wouldn’t even jostle the car out of place. Its brakes also lend a certain confidence, as they have more than enough stopping power without feeling too stiff underfoot. Manual mode, standard on all trims, lets the driver flirt through the gears as he pleases and is overridden only if it’s forgotten during quick acceleration – easy to do when sitting comfortably in intensely bolstered sport seats with standard four-way lumbar support.
Engine and Drivetrain
The E-Class has two engines that put power to the ground through the rear wheels. Within the E350 is a 3.5-liter V-6 engine, producing 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Those wanting more heartbeats per revolution should opt for the 5.5-liter V-8 in the E550, an engine that churns out 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. Each is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission that has a manual-mode paddle shifter system. Look for the 4MATIC trim due out September 2009 for four-wheel drive capabilities.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
Some cars have so few features, we struggle to highlight any at all, a problem that will never arise with E-Class. Standard Attention Assist is the newest, and decidedly coolest, safety feature of them all. The system maps your driving techniques through steering input to determine if you are too drowsy to be driving. If it registers your resemblance to the sleepiest of the seven dwarves, it then politely tells you it might be time to pull over. Other potentially life-saving systems include the Night View Assist, which points out barely visible objects on the navi screen, and Blind Spot Assist, which illuminates a warning triangle when a vehicle is in your blind spot and sounds an audible alert if you still attempt to change lanes.
Key Technology Evaluation
The E-Class’ infotainment system hasn’t seen any changes. Its odd menu format takes a little getting used to, as do the mapping functions, but once you grasp the general idea, using the system isn’t that difficult. All E coupes come standard with excellent iPod connectivity – just stow your player away in the glovebox and control it at the center console. The surround-sound harmon/kardon audio system is worthy of mention as well, bringing deep bass and crystal-clear notes into the cabin.
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
While we can’t imagine anyone driving the E550 with enough restraint to achieve the estimated mileage numbers, Mercedes-Benz must have confidence that its 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway are indeed attainable. News gets better for the E350 at 18 city, 26 highway, numbers that border on respectable. EPA emissions ratings haven’t yet been announced.
A Closer Look: Vehicle Details
It’s understandable that the sedan would feature wood trim only, but a sport coupe is all about the sport. It’s missing spicier, eye-catching options for the interior. That said, the materials covering the cabin are all top-notch and the instrument panel fits in well with the Mercedes-Benz aesthetic. Storage space is at a premium in the cockpit, but split-folding rear seats should provide enough cargo room for all you Costco shoppers.
Not a single body panel is shared between the sedan and coupe, and it shows. Where the sedan is elegant, the coupe is downright sexy. The high beltline blends into the swooping rear taillights and the front-end features a seriously large air dam and tri-spoke emblazoned grille. Removing the B-pillar allows for increased visibility and better exterior lines, too. The E350 comes standard with 17s, while the E550 touches the ground through 18-inch wheels.
Market Segment and Pricing
The two models are almost identically priced compared to the outgoing CLK, at $48,975 for the E350 and $55,535 for the E550. The only direct competitor for the E550 is the Audi S5
, priced underneath the Mercedes at $51,400. Looking to undercut the E350 are the Audi A5
at $40,700 and $42,200 BMW 335i Coupe
. More expensive options are the BMW 650i
and Jaguar XK
. Keep an eye out for wagon, AMG and diesel models to make an appearance in the next year.
What We Think
As far as lineup decisions go, dropping the CLK for the E coupe makes a whole lot of sense. Much has been done to make sure it matches E-Class design and performance levels, but most importantly the coupe is brilliant as a stand-alone tribute to Mercedes-Benz. It has those stellar drive qualities as well as superb luxury. Pricing might be a touch high for those checking out the competition and the interior does seem a bit stuffy for a sport coupe.