2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe is a sportscar for the super-polite

2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe is a sportscar for the super-polite

Subtle, sleek, and hesitant to make bold moves on the road, it's the perfect car for those who want to turn heads – just a little.

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe is a very demure sports car. With a long, fluted body and clean, uninterrupted lines, it doesn’t shred the road like the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, but it will still earn you nods of appreciation from the sidewalk.

Poised and polished: the 2018 E Class 400 Coupe

Its 329-horsepower V6 biturbo engine is docile, though especially good around corners. The nine-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly, with immediate and firm stopping on the adaptive, antilock brakes.

The new Mercedes E400 Coupe has a 329-horsepower, turbocharged V6 engine. It comes with five drive modes and active start/stop technology that works to conserve gasoline

And with active brake assist, congestion emergency braking, adaptive high beam assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and active steering assist, to name a few, it practically feels like a self-driving vehicle in how eager it is to take over every maneuver you might need – or not need.

What it will not do is let you rudely change lanes without notice, or practice any startling driving tactics at speed.

“It won’t allow an aggressive New York lane change,” a public relations representative told me during the press drive on Sunday in Connecticut. (He meant that the car will literally resist changing lanes—until you force it over – if it senses that other vehicles are too close for a comfortable pass.)

In this car, you’ll be as crash-avoidant as in any car on today’s market.

The E400 Coupe lacks a b-pillar, which means that the line along the side of the car is uninterrupted when you open the door

The E400 is also slower than what will likely be its biggest competitors, the BMW 3-Series Sedan and 4-Series Coupe and the Audi S5 Coupe. It’s slower even when engaging the “Sport+” version of its five total drive modes, which alters throttle response, shifting, and the available air body control suspension.

You’ll still have plenty of power to work with: Zero to 60 miles per hour takes 5.2 seconds on automatic. For most drivers, that’s plenty. Anyway, the car is fun to drive.

Around corners and in a straight line, the E400 is accurate and controlled. It justifies the middle-range US$58,900 starting price for a performance coupe, and it looks like it costs more.

The interior of the E400 is cased in ambient lighting, brushed wood, and new, natural leathers

The main selling point here, though, is how the car looks, inside and out. It’s really beautiful.

Why? The pillar-less sides (lacking the bars in the middle that help bolster a car’s roof) allow for a proper view toward and from the car. The fluid body line is offset by a sloping roof line. And the incredible three-dimensional grill, to name just a few things.

Inside, the round vents finished in metal and the real, matte wood all around the dash and windowsills makes it feel like the inside of a yacht cabin. The four (relatively) massive seats are covered in supple leather and expert stitching. This isn’t even a Rolls-Royce.

Inside are 64 color variations for the ambient lighting, along with that famous “air balance” cabin fragrance-system vial of liquid that plugs into the climate control and lightly scents the air.

Basically, you can adjust the interior to feel about as therapeutic as the lights and smells of an infrared sauna.

New technologies that come standard on the E Class include "pre-safe" sound, which works by emitting a white noise when sensors detect that an impending crash. The noise contracts muscles in your ear in order to help prevent hearing loss

For the controls – and undoubtedly in response to criticism that Mercedes cars can be over-stuffed with confusing, unnecessary technologies – the Daimler AG brand has updated its command system with an easier-to-understand icon format that shows sidebar menus on a 12.3-inch LCD screen.

New this year: the vents and design of the dashboard, as well as the buttons on the steering wheel

It still feels weird that the drive/park/reverse/neutral shifter is located on the steering column, next to where you’d flip the windshield wipers on. The shoulder belts, too, can feel placed a little too low if you have a long torso.

Where Bayerische Motoren Werke AG excels on making driving machines but can feel minimal inside, Mercedes excels at making its cabin interiors feel like a splurge.

The new generation of E Class is four inches longer, wheel-to-wheel, and 2.9 Inches wider than its predecessor, affording more space. Split rear seats allow for storage through the trunk

This is anecdotal. A moment after a friend told me, “I don’t like Mercedes,” the same person saw this thing emerge from the garage, and said: “I want that.” It’s funny but true. You may soon find yourself in the same place.

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27 Sep, 2017 07:41 am

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