Driving Elegance

by Petrol Mum

The timeless lines of the Mercedes-Benz E300 Coupé are the first element that draws your attention as you approach the vehicle. The closer you get the more detail there is to admire, like the diamond grill or the front headlamps with 84 individually controllable LEDs. And once you step inside this stylish Coupé you discover the elegance of this E Class is more than just skin deep.

Nestle into the heated leather front sports seats and the E300 will hand you the seat belt over your shoulder to make it easier for you to reach. Then allow the Coupé to automatically select you driving position depending on our height. It not only moves the power adjusted seats, but the steering wheel as well. Make your final adjustments for the seat cushion extension and 4-way lumbar support then save your positon into one of the three memory settings.

The dash design pleasantly incorporates the large 12.3″ (31.2cm) digital instrument cluster and 12.3″ (31.2cm) central touchscreen. This digital display becomes your cockpit and your voice is the controller thanks to the extended MBUX multimedia system functionality with advanced ‘Linguatronic’ voice control operation. I quite like the new steering wheel design with its touch points rather than buttons to operate the various features. I also liked that the voice control button had an androgynous-looking silhouette rather than a masculine silhouette seen on many other vehicles.

Delve into the menus either using the touchpad on centre console, the touch panels with steering wheel, the central touchscreen or the MBUX Interior Assistant (part of the optional Vision package) and you will find features like seat kinetics or ambient interior lighting with 64 different colours to choose from.

The integrated media interface connects using Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto enabling you to enjoy your music of choice through the optional Burmester surround sound system with 13 speakers and 590 watts output. To keep your devices charged there is wireless charging pad for compatible devices, 12V outlet or USB c ports at the front of the centre console or under the arm rest.

The optional Vision Package ($6,600) fitted to the Coupé I drove includes a panoramic sunroof with roller sunblind and heat-insulating glass and a head-up display with virtual image windscreen projection. Further augmented reality is included with the optional Innovation Package ($1,300) for navigation by connecting the virtual world with the real world with graphical navigation instructions and traffic information converted into live images on the infotainment screen.

Your new E Class also comes with access to three years subscription to Mercedes me connect that offers services like locating your parked vehicle, live traffic information, vehicle tracker, Mercedes-Benz emergency call system, maintenance management, telediagnostics, accident recovery and breakdown management. Mercedes me can even remotely lock and unlock your car or use geofencing or speedfencing to restrict the vehicle.

Select from one of the four drive modes; Comfort, Sport, Sport+ or Individual and enjoy the comfortable ride quality thanks to the Air Suspension system, which also enables you to raise and lower the height of your E300. Power is supplied from an in-line four cylinder, 2.0 litre petrol engine that produces 190kW and 370Nm. This drives the rear wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission and will propel the E300 from 0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds. The official combined fuel consumption is 8.0L/100km and for my week I used 10.5L/100km.  

To access the two rear seats you use the lever on the shoulder of the front seat and gently move the seat forward. There is enough space for an adult to step into the rear seats and the leg room was adequate for me to sit back there and the seats are comfortable. Head room was limited though because of the sloping roofline and the transmission tunnel is wide. If you are fitting a child seat using the two IOSFIX/rear tether restraint points you may find it difficult if that seat is tall. There are three rigid cup holders between the two seats and the rear windows can be opened from the front and rear passengers get central air vents and under these there are two USB c ports.

The boot has gesture open and close and can also be opened and closed using the key fob or by pressing the Mercedes-Benz emblem on the boot. The boot is large and would fit a small pram and the weekly shop or if you need more space the rear seats have a 40:20:40 split folding mechanism. There is no spare tyre under the boot floor but you do get a foldable shopping basket that you could take into the shops and carry back items to your car, in case you forget your shopping bags.

All E Class variants (except the E 350 mild hybrid) have a 5-star ANCAP safety rating (2016) with an Adult Protection rating of 36.3 out of 38 (95%) and a Child Protection rating of 44.6 out of 49 (90%). The Coupé has nine airbags including front, pelvis for driver and front passenger, window bags, sidebags for rear occupants and kneebag for the driver.

I found the driving assistance package on the Coupé is easy to live with. It comprises Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC (adaptive cruise control), Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, Route Based Speed Adaptation and Pre-safe Plus. The rear view camera has a split view with the 360o view on the right hand side of the screen and the reversing camera on the left hand side with multiple views to choose from. In addition to displaying on the screen the 360o sensors also display on the head-up display.

All new Mercedes Benz passenger vehicles sold in Australia come with a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty that includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The service intervals for E Class  variants is one year or 25,000km whichever comes first and new car buyers can select to purchase an upfront service plan that covers the first three services for their vehicle. For the E300 Coupé this costs $2,450, saving $550 over the standard capped price servicing cost or if you choose to cover your new vehicle for the first five services this would cost $4,800.

Prices for the elegant Mercedes-Benz E300 Coupé start at $117,400 excluding dealer delivery and on-road costs. As tested with designo Patagonia Red Metallic paint ($900), the Innovation Package ($1,300) and the Vision Package ($6,600) the Coupé I drove was $126,200 excluding dealer delivery and on-roads. Visit your preferred Mercedes-Benz retailer to experience the E Class range for yourself.

Elegant exterior and interior designNo separate temperature control for rear seat passengers
Comfortable rideService costs are a little expensive
The MBUX infotainment systemWide transmission tunnel in rear foot well

Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.

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