A Mercedes coupe that is exactly a coupe with two doors. It is one of four available E-class body styles, joining a traditional four-door sedan, a station wagon, and a convertible. It is an extensive lineup with a number of engine options that brings the total available models to 14, containing a thrifty 2.1-liter turbo-diesel and a big-output twin-turbo V-8 in the E63 AMG at the top of the range.
The E400 may seem a little tame compared with its AMG cousins. But 4.9 seconds to 60 is pretty darn quick, and if that isn’t quite good enough the E-class coupe also has the option of a 4.7-liter twin-turbo V-8 in the rear-drive only E550, adding 73 horsepower to the equation also about six grand to the base price of a rear-drive E400.
The seven-speed automatic, a universal E-class specialty, is nicely programmed for prompt response to the driver’s right foot in full auto mode. Response to paddle-shift inputs is relaxed but reasonably satisfying. Additionally to being handsome and luxurious, the E400 is also very quiet in operation, particularly at freeway cruising speeds.
If there are any interior demerits, they are the snug back seat fitting a couple of standard-issue adults back there requires willingness to compromise by those up front, and the close proximity of the ignition switch to the column-mounted gear lever.
The black and beige décor is punctuated by tasteful silvery trim, and a center stack with an extensive array of buttons 42 of them and one knob audio volume however manages to be both functional and attractive.
Chop off a couple of additional options and, without any real sacrifice, our as-tested price could easily be whittled down by nearly nine grand, although we consider the nappa leather and Sport-package seats to be close to indispensable. But nevertheless you spec it, the E400 coupe is a handsome car with dynamics to satisfy the discerning driver.