There is a definite satisfying symmetry to a three-by-three grid. Think of the solved edge of a Rubik’s cube, your Instagram top nine, or the tied-up terminus of a round of tit-tat-toe with your nephew when the board is finally full and you do not have to play anymore. Like the remaining of the big German automakers, Mercedes has long had a 3-tiered technique to sedan manufacture, in ascending sizes from small to medium to large.
The C-, E-, and S-Classes are stalwarts, the occupants of the left-hand vertical column of a standard Benz three-by-three square. However the brand has recently been busy proliferating its car lineup in an almost metamorphic way, filling in the rest of the boxes in this four-door/two-door/convertible matrix. Now it’s finally releasing the vehicle that occupies the middle of the middle – the middle row of the middle column.
And any Hollywood Squares fan knows you cannot win the game without the center square. This car is the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe, which will be part of its sedan brother this summer (a new convertible will join the lineup later this year.) The easy answer to what differentiates this car from its sibling is that it lacks rear doors, also as the barriers between the front and rear windows and any framing surrounding them.
Mercedes Benz E-Class Coupe – Description
What this implies is that the coupe contains a lower point of balance, and a rather too sporty look than the sedan, and that folks of normal size will ride in the carefully carved back seat without feeling like the trash during a compactor. The aforesaid frameless, retractile windows help bring in the light and air, as does the giant retractable panoramic glass roof.
Also brightening up the interior is the sole dashboard discriminator from the sedan, a row of stylish HVAC vents, the design of that is sort of intricate however bears an unfortunate resemblance to a silver anatomical sphincter. Our seat-of-the-pants assessment of the coupe on the twisty and picturesque mountain and village roads around Catalonia did little to confirm the slightly additional sporting nature of the coupe over the sedan.
That is in part because the difference is probably negligible, however more thus because it’s irrelevant. This E-Class coupe isn’t a hardcore two-door curve carver like the AMG GT or C63 S coupe, it’s more of an elegant boulevardier aligned with the S550 coupe, controlled and in control, but never harsh. This is in no way meant as an insult. A Mercedes-Benz two-door – particularly one powered by the 329-horsepower/354-pound-foot twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that motivates much of the rest of the E-Class line of cars and crossovers – is one of life’s more adult pleasures.
It’s thrusty and properly boisterous when needed, and otherwise just absolutely competent and seamless in its delivery, even across the 9 gears in the 9-GTRONIC transmission. One glimpse at the W114, W123, and W124 coupes that the Benz Classic Center had parked in front of our Spanish hotel reminded us of the desirability of this handsomely impassive heritage.
Mercedes Benz E-Class Coupe – Performance, Price
These are classy stylish cars, never showy, however always just right, and the latest new E coupe is more just right than it has been in decades. With this nine-car grid, Mercedes might just have the best-looking current OEM lineup, even perhaps rivaling the Benzes from the Bruno Sacco era in the Seventies and Eighties to that they pay modern homage.
When it goes on sale here in the summer, expect it to emulate the pricing of the outgoing car, which implies around the mid-$50,000 range to start and another $2,500 for 4MATIC all-wheel drive. We would get the starter-performance AMG E43 with 396 power unit at some purpose in the future, but do not expect a 603-hp AMG E63 S coupe.
Just in case you haven’t noticed, Americans are generally trading away their cars for more utilitarian crossovers, and they are fleeing from stylish however impractical coupes even quicker. We admire Benz’s dedication to the two-door category, although selecting a top nine from the brand’s myriad offerings has simply become more difficult than ever.