IF the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E 300 Coupe were a character, it would be the sophisticated gentleman who walks confidently into a bar, dressed in an immaculate suit, and orders himself a scotch, neat. No one dares cross him, but everyone wants to know him.
Oozing with confidence and class, the E-Class has historically been one of Mercedes-Benz top sellers. It may not be the fastest or sportiest in the group, but we liked the E Class for its understated personality. It has just enough style and power to fit into all situations.
Maybe this is because of its traditional background. The origins of the E-Class Coupe run back to 1968, but it got a real facelift in 2017, dropping its C-Class W204 underpinnings. It is now based on the up to date E-Class sedan.
The new coupe retains the classic proportions of the previous model and still contains its unmistakable rear quarter windows (which are tinted black), but has improved width and length, and a larger wheelbase.
It’s more sporty than before, and has new technology and safety features. For a coupe, it feels surprisingly large, with a wheelbase of 1.6m. The elongated bonnet is a lot bigger than the rest of the car, making it look like it is almost sitting back in a chair.
It comes with its distinctive Mercedes-Benz grille and famously large badge, complemented headlights that contain 84 individual multibeam LEDs, with Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, and taillights featuring LED technology.
Wheels always make the car, and it is something Mercedes does well too. The sharp 20-inch alloy wheels help it to stand out in a crowd, and branded brakes are a nice personal touch.
The E 300 coupe comes with a glass sunroof and no centre pilon (B pillar) between the front and back windows, making it quite spacious when they are all down. The two front doors are quite large and heavy as well, so brace yourself when getting out on a hill.
One nifty feature is full keyless entry. When you hold down the unlock button, all of the windows, including the sunroof, open. Hold the lock button again, and the reverse occurs.
Under the bonnet you will find a 2.0-litre four cylinder engine, pumping out 190kW and 370Nm of torque. For a car with such a big personality, the 4-cylinder seems unfortunately small and lacking the guts it deserves.
Driving the E 300 is smooth and relaxed thanks to the 9-speed automatic transmission. Even though you have the option of manual driving by using the padles, you probably wouldn’t, as it doesn’t really add anything to the driving experience.
The coupe handles great around corners, gripping to the edges, and its turning circle is surprisingly good considering its size. It is a rear-wheel-drive and has controllable air suspension. Eco, Comfort and Sport are the offered driving modes.
But it’s inside where this classy Mercedes-Benz shines, and you can tell they have spent a lot of time making it live up to its luxurious stereotype. It is like stepping into a capsule that was made for you.
The AMG Line interior is refined, and seats hug your shape every time you get in, thanks to its memory function, with three settings. The seats heat on demand and can be adjusted through the 4-way lumbar support for the driver and front passenger.
Once you’re in the seat, the first thing you will notice is the lack of clutter in front of you. The gear stick is not in the centre console but is a lever on the steering wheel.
Apparently (don’t quote us on this), it was a safety modification to lessen the risk of people getting impaled by the gearstick in a crash.
The dashboard is made of open-pore black Ash wood trim, and its sleek design seems to be only interrupted by a neat line of multi-spoke air vents and air control buttons and a touchpad – even the two cup holders are covered up.
The main focus is the large 12.3-inch touchscreen spread across the dash, which can be controlled, among other ways, using a touchpad on the centre console. This pad can be slightly difficult to get used to as it is only responsive in certain sections of the pad.
After a while, you get used to it, and there is also the option of using the touchscreen and steering wheel controls. If all else fails, you can always say Hey Mercedes for some voice command assistance.
Mercedes have made their multimedia system easy to use, intelligent and stylish. It comes with satellite navigation, 360-degree cameras, AM/FM/DAB+ tuner, advanced LINGUATRONIC voice control operation, Bluetooth telephony/audio, and USB connectivity.
It does have smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), but Mercedes encourages users to utilise their Merceded Me Connect application instead.
Other features include a wireless phone charger under the air control unit, a customisable dashboard/instrument cluster, THERMATIC dual-zone automatic climate control, and illuminated door sill panels with “Mercedes-Benz” lettering.
A Burmester surround sound system also features. The 3-spoke multifunction sports wheel, with a flattened bottom section also has touchpads as buttons (we mentioned those earlier), which again, can be slightly hard to get used to.
You can make driving at night time a whole new experience too with 64 interior lighting colours to choose from. Our pick was Purple Sky or Electric blue. Being a coupe, you expect limited rear room, but the back seats are actually quite spacious.
Accessing them from the 495-litre boot is also made easy through 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat backrests. Safety protection includes nine airbags, ASR, ABS, and the Mercedes-Benz driving assistance package.
This includes active distance and brake assists, with the latter sporting cross-traffic functionality, active lane change and lane keep assist, active blind spot assist, evasive steering assist, and route based speed adaptation.
Mercedes-Benz claims 7.7-litres/100km for the E 300 Coupe, but the best we could mange was 8.5-litres. Our test vehicle came in Designo Patagonia Red Bright Metallic, but you can also choose from 10 other colours.
These include Spectural Blue Metallic, Rubellite Red Metallic, Emerald Green Metallic, and Graphite Grey Metallic. Without extras, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E 300 Coupe is priced at $138,819 drive away.
Our test vehicle was supplied by Mercedes-Benz. To find out more about the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E 300 Coupe, contact your local Mercedes-Benz dealer.