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19-inch five twin-spoke alloys, Active Brake Assist, Agility Control suspension, LED headlights and tail lights, Parking Pilot including parking sensors and reversing camera, 8.4-inch infotainment screen (upgradable to 12.3-inch) with Garmin sat-nav, split folding rear seats, Artico and Dinamica upholstery with heated front seats
Petrol: E300, E400 4MATIC, Diesel: E220d
9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic
Mercedes have a new E-Class coupe. But, unlike its predecessor, which required the same introduction as a sundried tomato - you know what it is and how's it's been made - this latest model deserves so much more than merely being known as the two-door variant of Mercedes' executive range.
This, then, is the next chapter in the 50-year history of Mercedes perennial 2+2 coupe and it's been completely revamped, inside and out. It also boasts a roomier interior with more backseat passenger space, better fuel efficiencies, a virtual cockpit and an autonomous self-driving system.
Ignore what the badge says
You approach the E-Coupe with a mix of familiarity and admiration: it does look like a scaled-down version of the S-Class Coupe, but it's no less handsome for that. The AMG Line, the sole trim level offered when it goes on sale later this month, adds a suitable amount of muscle tone and emphasises a presence of understated exclusivity that belies its £42,715 price tag.
Defines a new era
Frankly though, it could look like a jar of sundried tomatoes on the outside and people would still want to get in, because the interior is on a higher plane than anything seen before in this sector. The quality is truly outstanding. From the subtle mood lighting to those dual 12.3-inch screens, sitting so sublimely behind a single sweeping vista of glass, this coupe feels very grand indeed.
It'll cost extra to make it as good as our test car - a £2k upgrade for the Command online infotainment system and nearly £4k for the Premium Plus Package that includes a glass roof and a 13-speaker Burmester surround hi-fi - yet there's still enough kit included in the standard package to make you think twice before ordering these additional flourishes of luxury.
And for those seated in the rear, they needn't feel like the bridesmaids, either. In actual fact, they gain the most from the E-Coupe's larger external dimensions. It's now 123mm longer (143mm in the AMG Line) and 74mm wider than its predecessor and that means an additional 74mm more of legroom for backseat passengers (it's a proper 2+2, not a 2+two kids like before).
The boot has grown in size, too - up from 400 litres to 425 litres - plus, the rear seats fold flat to give a clear, unobstructed pathway through into the cabin, for golfing paraphernalia and suchlike.
Invited to be driven
Of the three engines on offer, it's the new 194hp 2.0-litre diesel found in the E220d which makes the most sense. Historically, the E220d has always been the best seller, and there's little reason to doubt it won't be this time around as it's more efficient (61.4mpg, 119g/km) and quicker (0-62mph in 7.4 seconds).
If, however, you're after something a little more compelling and driver-focused, then there are two petrol alternatives to choose from. The 242hp 2.0-litre in the E300 or the E400 with its 328hp biturbo V6 do deliver the sort of performance its sleekly styled bodywork suggests, but neither can match the low running costs of the oil-burner in the E220d.
The future comes as standard
All models feature a version of Mercedes' fully autonomous self-driving system. As in the four-door saloon, it too uses onboard cameras and radar to adjust the speed according to traffic conditions. And, once you've handed over control, it'll even steer itself around a corner. Ask it to overtake the car in front and it'll do that too.
However, it does take a massive leap of faith to trust its piloting skills are as good as yours. Switch off the autopilot, take back control, and this new E-Coupe is equally as accurate under human guidance. Opt for the £1,495 air suspension and you'd be hard-pressed to find any 2+2 coupe, even those costing twice as much money, which would soak up long-distance miles so effortlessly.
The difference between good and really good
There's something else you need to understand about this car, the thing which makes it so special. Yes, it's predictably well-built and luxuriously appointed (it's a Mercedes, first and foremost) but unlike previous generations, which simply ticked the box marked 'executive coupe', this one encapsulates the life-affirming and spirit-soaring qualities of the S-Class range. It truly is a gift of a car which will keep on giving. And that's reason enough for it to be considered far more than just a new E-Class Coupe.
P11D Price: £42,715
On sale: March 2017
Residual value: 43.54%
Service, maintenance & repair: £3,741
Fuel consumption: 61.4mpg
CO2 (BIK Band): 119g/km (23%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £164/£327
Boot space: 425 litres
Engine size/power: 1950cc/194hp
Don't bother with the S-Class Coupe, buy this instead and save yourself £50k
Information overload from the digital display can be a tad daunting