They have been among the most desirable cars in decades past but there aren’t many large, premium two-door coupes around any more.
At least, not in the price realm of the Mercedes-Benz E300 Coupe.
Although the medium segment is spoilt for luxury two-door choice, the large category has seen most luxury manufacturers either offer four-door gran coupes and sportbacks, or create large and/or performance-oriented beasts which nudge into supercar territory.
And, even though the E300 Coupe is more practical than you might think, it’s also easy to see why these types of cars may only appeal to a limited buyer set.
Typically, people buy large cars — even if they’re a luxury vehicle — for logical reasons: they need decent rear leg room and cargo space, for example.
However, the E300 Coupe is a four-seater and while rear legroom is impressive, the same cannot be said for headroom in the back — not aided by the test car’s sunroof.
And while the 425-litre boot is handy enough, it has a narrow opening and is well down on the E-Class sedan’s 540 litres.
Plus, there’s the whole lack of rear doors thing. Getting into the back will be a hassle for most, while the front doors are big, heavy, and often awkward in carparks.
Credit to Merc, however, as unlike coupe-styled SUVs which cost more than their conventionally styled counterparts despite being less practical, the E300 Coupe is $500 less than the E300 sedan.
And there is another reason to go big: the E-Class coupe has a commanding road presence, long, low and a combination of menacing and stylish.
There’s plenty to like up front. Mercedes’ interiors are excellent at the moment, with extensive tech accessed by twin side-by-side 10.25-inch screens.
However, we felt the new steering wheel controls were a tad more fiddly than those on other Mercs.
Unlike many sporty-styled cars, there’s also good storage for personal items.
In fact, despite its sporty styling the E300 Coupe feels it has the heart of a languid GT: the suspension is comfortable and the cabin quiet.
Dynamically, it stays nicely flat in bends. Comfort mode feels most natural for it, but you can have some fun in Sport and Sport Plus modes.
Unfortunately, this is where the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol falls a tad short. Make no mistake, it’s an impressive engine and has more than enough poke, but you can hear it working hard.
Maybe it’s just what we’re used to, but a car like this feels like it should have the thrum and easy acceleration of a six-cylinder unit, rather than the higher-pitched hyperactivity associated with smaller cars.
You can go for the bigger-engined AMG E 53 Coupe instead, but you’ll have to fork out a far heftier $162,400.
The E300 Coupe offer serious comfort and style, though those looking for practicality may prefer the sedan and those looking for thrills may pine for a bigger engine.
- Price $117,400
- Engine 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol
- Outputs 190kW/370Nm
- Transmission Nine-speed automatic
- Fuel economy 8.0L/100km