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…

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.

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

Most Popular

MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn
MAT Stratos – front tracking
Lancia

MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn

It’s been a long time coming, but this Ferrari F430-based reimagining of the Lancia Stratos is finally here
11 Jun 2021
2021 Audi RS3 Sportback and saloon previewed – will it finally match Mercedes-AMG A45 S?
Audi RS3 manufacturer spy 1
Audi RS3

2021 Audi RS3 Sportback and saloon previewed – will it finally match Mercedes-AMG A45 S?

Audi Sport is putting the final touches on its new RS3 hot hatch and saloon
10 Jun 2021
Posaidon’s 217mph Mercedes-AMG E63 RS is faster than a Porsche 918 Spyder
Posaidon Mercedes-AMG E63
Mercedes E63 AMG

Posaidon’s 217mph Mercedes-AMG E63 RS is faster than a Porsche 918 Spyder

Three new Posaidon power upgrades are now available for Mercedes-AMG’s E63 S, bringing hypercar numbers to the four door supersaloon
9 Jun 2021
Ferrari F8 Tributo replacement mule spied – will it emulate the McLaren Artura?
Ferrari F171 spy 2021 – front
Ferrari

Ferrari F8 Tributo replacement mule spied – will it emulate the McLaren Artura?

Ferrari’s going hybrid and V6 for its next mid-engined supercar
9 Jun 2021
Tesla Model S Plaid deliveries begin – 1006bhp super saloon now reaching customers
Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Plaid deliveries begin – 1006bhp super saloon now reaching customers

The long-awaited Tesla Model S Plaid has finally come to fruition, with first US examples hitting the road
11 Jun 2021
HKS in development of a supercharger kit for new 2021 Toyota GR 86
HKS Toyota GR 86
Toyota

HKS in development of a supercharger kit for new 2021 Toyota GR 86

Japanese tuner HKS is in development of a supercharger upgrade package for the new GR 86
9 Jun 2021
2021 Alpina XD3 and XD4 update revealed – extra torque from Alpine’s quad-turbo diesel SUV
Alpina XD3 and XD4 2021 – header
Alpina XD3

2021 Alpina XD3 and XD4 update revealed – extra torque from Alpine’s quad-turbo diesel SUV

The updates to the Alpina XD3 and XD4 are largely of the aesthetic kind, but more torque and new chassis calibrations are also part of the package
10 Jun 2021
2021 Maserati GranTurismo to go EV-only – IC option ditched
2021 Maserati GranTurismo spy – track
Maserati

2021 Maserati GranTurismo to go EV-only – IC option ditched

GranTurismo coupe and its soft-top GranCabrio sibling to be reborn later this year, but controversially without the proposed combustion alternative...…
11 Jun 2021
Cheap fast cars 2021 – the best budget performance cars on the market
Cheap fast cars 2021
used cars

Cheap fast cars 2021 – the best budget performance cars on the market

If you buy right and do your research, the cheap fast car is a wonderful thing. Here are our top picks between £1000 and £10,000
25 May 2021
2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition pricing announced
2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competitions
BMW

2022 BMW X3 and X4 M Competition pricing announced

Engine upgrades, a chassis recalibration and some striking new visuals for BMW’s hot midsize SUVs
11 Jun 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals 11 June 21
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
11 Jun 2021
Best small cars 2021 – pocket rockets reviewed and rated
Best small cars 2021
Best cars

Best small cars 2021 – pocket rockets reviewed and rated

You don’t need 200bhp or more in a small hatchback to have fun – these ‘warm’ small cars are the proof
7 Jun 2021
2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost review
2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost
Rolls-Royce Ghost

2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost review

Latest Ghost gets a new platform, four-wheel steering and fresh looks, and continues to set the luxury saloon bar
5 Jun 2021
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport unveiled – elegant take on the record-breaking hypercar
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport
Bugatti Chiron

Bugatti Chiron Super Sport unveiled – elegant take on the record-breaking hypercar

Chiron Super Sport to join the 300+ with a new focus on luxury and speed
8 Jun 2021