The New Mercedes E400 Coupe Is the Budget-Friendly S-Class You Want

More of a comfortable S-Class Coupe on a budget than a fully loaded C-Class.

The E-Class is the Goldilocks choice among coupes and sedans. Between its S- and C-Class relatives, the E-class is neither too luxurious nor too sporty (respectively); it’s just right. Usually, when car manufacturers attempt to keep those two plates spinning equally, they end up compromising the whole car. Instead, Mercedes started with a sumptuous, easy-going car and peppered in sportiness to taste. The E400 is more of a comfortable S-Class Coupe on a budget than an apex-hunting C-Class loaded with every creature comfort available. Which is a good thing.

All the semi-autonomous tech has been brought over from the E-Class sedan: lane-keeping assist, radar-guided cruise control, the whole shebang. The mood lighting, the custom interior fragrance dispenser (really), the wood-grain trim and the panoramic iPad–looking driver interface all suggest the air of riding up front in an S-Class, only at half the cost. That said, if there’s one surprise feature that boosts the E-Coupe over its rival, not-so-Goldilocks luxo-coupes, it’s actual backseat legroom. And not the “It’s pretty spacious in the back… for a coupe” variety. Out of curiosity, I left the driver’s seat exactly where I had it after driving all day, climbed my six-foot-one-inch self in the back and still had some space between my knees and the pilot’s chair. If that’s not modern luxury, I don’t know what is.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe

Engine: 3.0-liter biturbo V6
Transmission: nine-speed automatic
Horsepower: 329
Torque: 354 lb-ft
MSRP: $54,550

Driving out of Barcelona and onto the highway, cycling through all the standard driving modes (Eco, Normal, Sport, Sport+), the coupe rode smoothly enough and had enough power from the 3.0-liter biturbo V6 engine to get out of its own way. It’s not an engine that will spike your pulse with every blip of the throttle, and though it’s accompanied by a suspension that does provide a bit of entertainment through the corners, that’s not what the E-Coupe is meant for.

Get the C-Class because it looks sporty and is sporty. Get the S-Class because it’s the definition of style and luxury on four wheels. Get the E-Class Coupe because along with arriving in style, driving up won’t feel half bad either — and because you can’t justify spending another $60,000 on the S-Class.

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