The Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe isn’t for everyone.
To start with, it’s not cheap. Base price is $53,350 and a reasonable collection of options will easily send it over $60,000.
And then that whole coupe thing. It only has two doors.
But while the car may not be perfect for everyone, I think just about everyone would want one. After all, what’s not to like?
Let’s start with the styling. I love the airfoil design. The car’s lines rise gently as it move from front to just past the doors and then starts a gentle downward descent, just like an airplane wing. Mercedes isn’t the only one using the concept, but the E400 coupe does it so well. Simple, but elegant in a Mercedes kind of way. I like the grille. It’s both less busy and bolder than its E350 predecessor.
Behind that grill is a 3.0 liter V6 biturbo engine. It delivers 329 horsepower. If you think of this as a luxury/sports coupe, the horsepower is perfect. It’s above the norm but below the cars that are trying to blow you away. But then the E400 isn’t about speed, it’s all about cruising. It’s perfect for a drive up to the mountains or a long trip to California. And that’s true when you check the mileage. 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway is pretty good in this class. I averaged just a shade over 26 mpg during my test week. That might be a result of the seven-speed automatic transmission mated to two overdrive ratios which give it better mileage on the highway. It also has Eco stop/start which turns off the car at stop lights, starting back up when you take your foot off the brake. One nice feature is that it can be shut off by the driver if it gets annoying.
Inside the E400 is properly elegant. There’s nothing that misses the mark. My test car had the optional red and black Nappa leather. It’s not cheap, pushing up the coupe’s price another $1,370. But I have to say it really stood out. The driver’s seat allows you to tune everything from lumbar support to the angle of the cushion at the front of the seat exactly to your liking.
The last Mercedes I tested had the display stuck on the dashboard like an afterthought. The E400 does a much better job working it into the dash. It’s controlled by a knob that sits on the center console where your right wrist lands. You use that to control the interface. The display is not a touch screen, the knob controls everything. I loved the instrument layout and the white and black motif (white outer dial and a black inner dial).The center instrument which is a speedometer has a video display supplying the driver with plenty of information.
More and more cars are getting lane keeper assist packages. Mercedes says it’s bumped the concept up a notch. It claims the Attention Assist continuously monitors up to 70 parameters of driving behavior. It will supposedly alert you if it notices any sign that you’re starting to get a little drowsy on long trips.
So what’s wrong with the car? I wouldn’t try to put anyone in the back seat. They won’t enjoy the experience. But honestly, that’s about it. One week with the car and I was hooked. Of course I’d have to swallow hard to plunk down the $66,300 price on my test car.
But back to my first point. This car isn’t for everyone. It’s fine for the upscale manager without kids, or the older successful couple in the pre-grandkid phase. It’s probably not edgy enough for the ridiculously successful millennial, but that’s their loss. Because once you accept the price tag, you’ll find the 2015 Mercedes E400 Coupe delivers mile after mile.