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Mercedes-Benz E300 Coupe | Presentable Presence

BY Azfar Hashim

What’s German, is svelte and has presence? Meet the 2-door version of the highly loved E-Class

Photos by Azfar Hashim

If you’re looking for a large coupe that has the ability to outrun a hot-hatch, look away; because that is something this new E-Class Coupe is definitely not.

Instead what it really is, is the sort of car that you want to go cruising around in, comfortably, with some company in tow. If you want something that offers a little sportiness, you’d have to look at Porsche’s 911; but at the cost of having only yourself and a travel partner. To carry extra human passengers at the back would be near impossible, even for short distances; they have to be legless. Or dwarfs. Not from this planet, in a nutshell.

Of course if your pockets are deep and you are financially able to have more than one car, the 911 is a fantastic proposition for when your significant half and yourself need to spend some alone time. When the kids need to come along, you have a trusty large MPV or SUV for the job.

But for the financially disciplined, just one car is enough. Which was why Mercedes-Benz gave us the E-Class Coupe. So here it is today, the $325k Mercedes-Benz E 300 Coupe.

I thought I should begin with its interior. And to start off, my word, I was surprised at how airy and large this cabin is; on top of the white/navy blue combo of the test car you’re seeing here, the large glass area wrapping the entire car doesn’t make you claustrophobic especially for rear-seat passengers – my mum (who rarely compliments a car) was raving at how highly comfortable the seats are, even appreciating how the rear air-con blowers do a good job of keeping her, well, cool. Trust me, no large coupe matches the E-Class Coupe in this aspect, be it the 991 911 - obviously - or even the F13 6 Series. In retrospect, the next large coupe that gave a similar feeling is something a class higher: The Bentley Continental GT.

The driver seat, although personally speaking is perfect for someone slightly bigger-sized (I’ve lost some weight over the past few months, you see), offers a host of supports to make you as comfortable as possible when you get behind the wheel. The large integrated display is brilliantly angled and clear, so you don’t have to second-guess your eyesight. A beautiful touch is the bright coloured glossy wood inlays found across the dashboard and doors; works well if classiness rates highly on your list. Oh, by the way you could also change the colour scheme of the light strips; I happen to feel ‘orange-y’ when this photo was taken.

Powering this E300 Coupe is a – cue drum roll – turbocharged 4-cylinder, 2.0-litre powerplant that’s paired to Mercedes-Benz’s 9-speed ‘9G-Tronic’ transmission. Yes, we know some of you were expecting a supercharged 6-cylinder, 3.0-litre something powerplant, but that’s the Germans for you; always confusing us with their number play…

That aside, power output isn’t too shabby. 245 bhp and 370 Nm of torque, along with a standstill to 100 km/h timing of 6.4 seconds. While there’s no denying a long list of hot-hatches are out there ready to egg on this E 300 in terms of performance, let me bring you back to the fact that this large coupe is more of a cruiser than a bruiser.

When you actually pay extra attention to the car, you will notice how it does things in a relaxing manner more so in Comfort; the steering felt light and easy, the suspension trying its best - I have to emphasize the word ‘trying’ here - to give you the magic carpet ride effect and the engine note seem non-existent. Well maybe the premium Burmester sound system did the trick; whatever it was, Mercedes definitely did a correct job of keeping any other unnecessary sound out of the car.

There is a Sport mode as well, which for once, I felt was utterly pointless here. Ok so the engine note gets a notch higher, the steering feels weightier and the throttle response sharper – but when you’re behind the wheel, you just want to take it easy.

Even when the bloke ahead is hogging the fastest lane, you don’t feel the need to intimidate him; or if the driver next to you did not check his blindspot and went ahead to cut you off, you don’t even react. In fact, you’ll wave at him like you’re the Queen of England. The slow reacting gearbox – particularly at downshifting - just reinforces the fact that indeed, you just want to take it easy. The paddle-shifter? Nah, you’ll soon forget it existed in the car…

That aside, it feels quick in a straight line, with an inspiring note coming from the hood when you floor the accelerator. And I only happened to find out because I sneezed hard and my right foot, a reflex, accidentally welded the accelerator onto the floor.

So this beautiful Mercedes-Benz E300 Coupe has not much pace to offer. That said however, it has grace, can actually accommodate people, has a useful 425-litres boot and can actually accommodate people (wait, did I just repeated myself?).

Good amount of head and legroom, and seats that hugs you snugly

Good amount of head and legroom, and seats that hugs you snugly

Plus my mum enjoyed the cross-island trip we made with it thanks solely to the high level of comfort.