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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe 2021 review: E300

The E300 Coupe is more practical than it looks - just don't tell anybody that.
EXPERT RATING
7.8
The E 300 Coupe has been updated along with the rest of the E-Class range, but forget about those other cars, this two-door is one you can truly call your own.

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
Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency8L/100km
Seating4 seats
Price from$117,400

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

The E300 Coupe lists for $117,400, which is a smidge less than its E300 sedan sibling. Aside from not having as many doors, the E300 Coupe is equipped with the same standard features as the sedan. 

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.

Inside are two 12.3-inch displays for media and the instrument cluster. Inside are two 12.3-inch displays for media and the instrument cluster.

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.

The E300 wears 20-inch alloy wheels. The E300 wears 20-inch alloy wheels.

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.

Is there anything interesting about its design?   9/10

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 'AMG Line' package is now standard across the E-Class range. The 'AMG Line' package is now standard across the E-Class range.

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 is a fairly large and sleek looking animal. The E300 Coupe is a fairly large and sleek looking animal.

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 'Saddle Brown' leather upholstery is a no-cost option. The 'Saddle Brown' leather upholstery is a no-cost option.

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.

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

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.

There's decent leg and headroom in the back seat. There's decent leg and headroom in the back seat.

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.

The cockpit is spacious. The cockpit is spacious.

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.

Boot space is rated at 405 litres. Boot space is rated at 405 litres.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

The E300 Coupe has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine making 190kW/370Nm. Shifting gears is a nine-speed automatic transmission sending drive to the rear wheels.

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.

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

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.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   9/10

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.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   8/10

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.

What's it like to drive?   7/10

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. 

The low-profile, 20-inch wheels affect the ride. The low-profile, 20-inch wheels affect the ride.

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. 

Verdict

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.

Apart from being able to say the E300 Coupe is "mine", it's also unique in that it doesn't have a direct rival from the BMW or Audi brands

Pricing guides

$173,650
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$96,900
Highest Price
$250,400

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
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
EXPERT RATING
7.8
Price and features8
Design9
Practicality7
Engine & trans7
Fuel consumption7
Safety9
Ownership8
Driving7
Richard Berry
Senior Journalist

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