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The 2019 Audi A7 45 TFSI model is the entry-point to the second-generation large luxury hatchback range.
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Do you know what the Mercedes-Benz E300 Coupe says to everybody else on the road? It says: “Mine!”
Yup, “Mine!” Because even though it’s a large, swooping, beautiful beast it has just two doors, and that means you’re not running a chauffeur business, you’re not dropping 14 children off at school, and you’re definitely not lending it to your brother who needs to pick up a chest of drawers. They’ll just have to find a friend with an E-Class sedan.
Yes, there’s something gratuitously wonderful about a large two-door prestige car like the E300 Coupe and now there’s even more to wonder at with the entire E-class range recently being updated.
Read on to find out more – oh, and they could probably fit those drawers in the large boot, but they don’t need to know that the E300 is more practical than it looks. Just don’t let them read this review.
|Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2021: E300|
|Engine Type||2.0L turbo|
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded Petrol|
This includes two 12.3-inch displays for media and the instrument cluster, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, heated front seats, open pore black ash wood trim, proximity key and push button start.
The 'AMG Line' package is also standard and that adds sporty cosmetic enhancements I’ll talk more about in the design section below.
Just so you know this is all available standard on the E200 Coupe entry-grade for $85,680. What stepping up to the E300 Coupe brings is leather upholstery, air suspension, 20-inch AMG alloy wheels, metallic paint and 'Multibeam' LED headlights with adaptive high beams.
At this price the value is good – there’s a tonne of features here and the air suspension and leather upholstery make the experience even more luxurious and comfortable.
Our test car you can see in the images was fitted with the optional $1300 'Innovation Package' which adds the 'MBUX' assistant and augmented reality sat nav, and the $6600 'Vision Package' which brings a panoramic sunroof, head-up display and Burmester stereo.
The update to the E-Class saw the addition of the AMG Line package as standard across the range. The pack adds the chrome-studded grille, the tough-looking front and rear bumpers and the bulging bonnet with its ridges. Inside, the pack adds sports seats and brushed stainless steel pedals.
The E300 Coupe was already a fairly large, sleek looking animal but now it really looks ready to eat anything which gets in its way.
The E300 Coupe is not overly large though at 4835mm end-to-end, 1860mm wide, and just 1430mm tall.
The E300 Coupe’s cabin with its giant bank of screens stretching halfway across the dash, the open poor wood trim and the soft, thick leather is stunning and modern looking.
The 'Saddle Brown' leather upholstery you can see in the images is a no-cost option and lifts the interior more than the standard black, which tends to hide all the craftsmanship that’s gone into the design of the seats and trim. That interior is also surprisingly functional.
The E300 update also saw the introduction of a new steering wheel. This one has two ‘blades’ which house the multi-function buttons from volume to cruise control with the media and instrument panels accessed through tiny swipe panels.
I think my favourite part of the E300 Coupe’s design is that it has no B-pillar and with all the windows downs it looks open and expansive all under a floating canopy.
It’s not going to come as a big shock to anybody that the E300 Coupe isn’t as practical as its four-door sedan sibling. But as a father who chauffeured his six-year-old son to school every day in it I can tell you, if you ever need to sit anybody in the back seats, child or adult, there’s plenty of room.
Even for me at 191cm (6'3") tall there’s more than enough space for me to sit behind my driving position without my knees touching the seat back, and headroom isn’t bad either.
The are no window switches back there though. Nope, the driver is the ruler of the back windows, but there are directional air vents for the second-row dwellers and four cupholders, too.
I should point out that there are only two seats in the second row – yup, the E300 Coupe is a four-seater.
Up front, the cockpit is spacious and I felt I had enough head, shoulder and elbow room, with large comfortable and supportive seats, and I didn’t feel like I was sitting too close to the TV with those large screens.
The location of the wireless charger hasn't been as well thought through as some rivals. The tiny hidey hole made it difficult to fish my large phone out when I needed it.
Those who have owned a coupe before, know the struggle that goes with the long, heavy doors, especially on hills. Combine this with a low ride height, and like me you might find it difficult to get out sometimes.
Now that boot. The luggage capacity of the E300 Coupe’s boot is 405 litres. You can see from the images that it will easily accommodate two large suitcases with room to spare.
That’s plenty of torque and power, but while some may feel this engine is too small in size and spritely in personality for a cruiser like the E300, this four-cylinder performed well.
Mercedes-Benz says after a combination of open and urban roads the E300 Coupe should be using 8.0L/100km. My testing course took in free-flowing motorways and peak-hour city traffic and the trip computer was reporting 8.9L/100km.
The fuel tank size is 66 litres.
The E-Class scored the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating when it was tested in 2016. At the time it was one of the most advanced technologically and safest vehicles ever made. Now, four years on, the E300 is still impressive in its safety equipment.
There’s AEB with a front cross traffic function for intersections, an automatic lane change system, active blind spot warning and active lane keeping assistance, evasive steering and adaptive cruise control.
The cabin is fitted with nine airbags and for child seats there are two top tether anchor points and two ISOFIX mounts across the second row.
The E300 Coupe has run-flat tyres.
I do need to point out there was a fault with the Multibeam LED headlights on my test car. Early in my four-day loan the message: 'Right Dipped Beam' appeared on the instrument cluster. Then another saying: 'Intelligent Light System Inoperative.'
This meant the right headlight would not shut down, even after two hours. On instruction from Mercedes-Benz I disconnected the battery - luckily I'm moderately competent with a spanner and work on all of my own cars - and this finally forced the light off.
Even then, over the next few days that dipped beam message kept appearing and the headlight stayed on longer than the rest after turning the car off.
I'm putting this down to a one-off fault and it won't affect the score as I've tested many E-Class cars over the past decade as a motoring journalist and it's never happened to me before.
Nonetheless, if Mercedes-Benz is able to offer an explanation for this fault, we'll update this story with the details.
5 years / unlimited km warranty
ANCAP Safety Rating
The E300 Coupe is covered by Mercedes-Benz’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Servicing is recommended annually or every 25,000km.
Mercedes-Benz offers a three-year service plan costing a total of $2450 which will save you $500 relative to pay-as-you-go.
The E-Class Coupe looks fast and luxurious, and it is. But while the four-cylinder turbo engine provides enough oomph, it seems to work hard to do it, and that doesn’t match the effortless beauty this car exudes.
The air suspension (standard on the E300) is superb, but all of its cushioning was undermined by the low-profile tyres on my test car. The rear tyres are 275/30 x 20 GoodYear Eagles and at the fronts are 245/35 20s.
In car terms that’s like walking barefoot on a gravel driveway, and every imperfection in the road was felt and I winced over sharp speed bumps.
On the motorway (a much smoother surface) the E300 came into its comfort zone. The nine-speed auto settled into eighth-gear and 110km/h felt like 40km/h thanks to bank-vault like insulation and the wonderful ride and seats.
The E300 is far happier at this type of cruising speed but will also perform well around town as it did for me, neither being too large to park or difficult to see out from – although those raked A-pillars sometimes obscured the view at intersections.
As my father would say – a beautiful motor car, that’s what the E300 Coupe is, and at this price, the new, updated model is good value, high-tech and safe. Really, the only thing I’d change are those tyres – for Australian roads we need a bit more padding.
|E300||2.0L, PULP, 9 SP AUTO||$130,900||2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2021 E300 Pricing and Specs|
|E53 4Matic+ EQ (hybrid)||3.0L, Hyb/PULP, 9 SP||$170,900||2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2021 E53 4Matic+ EQ (hybrid) Pricing and Specs|
|E200||2.0L, PULP, 9 SP AUTO||$101,900||2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2021 E200 Pricing and Specs|
|E53 4Matic+ EQ (hybrid)||3.0L, Hyb/PULP, 9 SP||$162,400||2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2021 E53 4Matic+ EQ (hybrid) Pricing and Specs|
|Price and features||8|
|Engine & trans||7|