Mercedes E-Class Coupe 250 CDi

Four-cylinder diesel powered model is the pick of Merc's new coupe range

Evo rating
  • All the E-Class you’ll need or want
  • Foot-operated parking brake is archaic

You read recently about the new Mercedes E-class saloon, a car optionally laden with so much safety gizmology and proffering so many warning beeps that it could surely drive you to distraction. Underneath it all, though, is a thoroughly good car, albeit a cosseting one rather than an involving one if it happens to be the E500. Our Ollie tried it with air suspension and he found it hard to stay awake.

Lined up next to the saloons at the Geneva motor show were the E-class Coupés. There’s a 500 here too, but strangely there is to be no AMG version even though the saloon can be had as an E63 AMG. So I tried first the E500 with sports suspension and ‘Direct Steering’, which in the UK will be available only in Sport trim complete with an AMG bodykit. It’s more engaging than the air-sprung E500 saloon and it makes good V8 noises, if not particularly vocal ones, but can it really have 382bhp? It just never feels quick enough…

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

The truth is that there’s more driving satisfaction to be had at the opposite end of the range. Move down past the petrol and diesel V6s and you’ll encounter the four-pot 250s, neither of which have 2.5-litre engines because the Mercedes naming system is now in ruins. The petrol offering, the E250 CGI, has 1.8 litres, a turbo, direct injection and 201bhp, and as this is a ‘BlueEfficiency’ engine it’s super-frugal too. It’s also torquey and good fun with the manual gearbox.

But it’s the E250 CDI (2.1 litres, turbodiesel, also 201 blue-hued bhp) that makes the most sense on every level. Its torque is considerable, its CO2 minimal (135g/km), its automatic gearbox’s ability always to be in the right gear for maximum thrust admirable. No matter that it lacked paddle-shifters in the SE trim of the car we tried; just leave the seven-speed ’box to itself and relish a front end much lighter-footed and keener to dive into a turn than even the sportified E500’s. It rides better on smaller wheels and gentler suspension; its steering has great progression and precision. It’s like a more-honed BMW 320d.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The E-class Coupé replaces the CLK and is slightly bigger but, surprisingly, slightly cheaper too. Naturally, it has pillarless side windows and a polite arm that hands your seatbelt to you over your shoulder. A proper Merc coupe, then, but this time less is more.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 2143cc, turbodiesel
Max power201bhp @ 4200rpm
Max torque369lb ft @ 1600-1800rpm
Top speed155mph (limited)
0-62mph7.4sec (claimed)
Pricec£29,000 (est)
On saleSeptember 2009
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

6 Nov 2019
Visit/audi/r8/201931/entry-level-audi-r8-v10-rwd-added-to-the-range
Audi R8

Entry-level Audi R8 V10 RWD added to the range

6 Nov 2019
Visit/bmw/m2/201929/track-only-bmw-m2-cs-racing-unveiled
BMW M2

Track-only BMW M2 CS Racing unveiled 

6 Nov 2019
Visit/volvo/v90
Volvo V90 estate

2019 Volvo V90 T6 R-design review - the great estate?

5 Nov 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/alfa-romeo/21322/alfa-romeo-to-launch-new-700bhp-8c-and-600bhp-gtv-coupe
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo culls sports car programme in wake of FCA merger

Italian’s future performance models killed off in favour of more profitable SUVs
11 Nov 2019
Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/maserati/granturismo/201792/maserati-granturismo-zeda-run-out-model-revealed
Maserati GranTurismo

Maserati GranTurismo Zéda run-out model revealed

It’s out with the old, in with the new as the final GranTurismo paves the way for Maserati’s ambitious electrified future
12 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019