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      01-29-2013, 09:24 PM   #1
Palmnuts
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New E-Class Coupe

Following taking delivery of the SLS, collecting our new E Class the following week could have been quite a non-event, especially as I never really wanted to sell the Range Rover Sport that it replaced.

However, after buying the SLS and the initial financial outlay and expected high running costs that car will entail, there was the need for me to have something more reasonable in terms of running costs than the Range Rover, and no matter how much I liked that car, it was very expensive to run when doing the equivalent of 25k miles a year, all paid for by yours truly.

I'd been looking around for a few weeks on what to replace the RRS with and, whilst I'd only had that car a few months, such is the desirability of them (and subsequent lack of depreciation), it was financially easy to move it on without losing any significant value, despite me adding 10k miles to it On the whole, buying a 1-year old RRS in white with black leather was, financially, one of my better car buying decisions.

I considered many of the usual suspects as a potential, with the criteria of 40mpg+, top class refinement (the RRS was VERY refined) yet retaining a degree of sportiness about it, something a 'bit' special so that it wasn't too hard to walk past the SLS every morning (otherwise I know I'd just get in the SLS, defeating the object!). It had to be reasonably practical with at least 4 seats and a big extendible boot so another 'sports' car was out of the question.

I thought the new-shape 330d or C350 saloon a bit to sensible, as was sticking with Jag and getting an XF 3.0S (and the dating interior and telematics in that car are now well behind the game), an Evoque (the design of which I like a lot) was 4-cylinder only and therefore sounded too much like a diesel (and just didn't promise enough efficiency), for some reason I rarely consider Audi's or VAG group cars so no point starting now and, well, that was it. Nothing stood out so I'd almost decided to keep the Range Rover.

Then, when I was looking at the SLS, I noticed the E-coupe again, something I considered when they first came out in 2009 in E500 form (but ended up opting for my first C63 instead). I'd originally disregarded it as I thought it would be too expensive but dealers appeared to be chucking money at them (I wasn't aware of the impending facelift at that time) and a quick look at broker prices showed some big discounts to be had. I test drove the E250 and E350 CDI's and found the V6's refinement to be worth the sacrifice in economy....as long as I could get it near to 40mpg! Having driven other 3-litre diesels of similar power (335d and XF 3.0D S), I was confident it would deliver what I needed it to.

So, I walked into Mercedes of Loughborough armed with my cheapest broker price and asked them to find a car with Comand, Memory Pack, Harmon Kardon, 'real' leather and then, if they matched the broker price, I'd buy it there and then. By that point I was aware of the facelift, so knew it would be almost impossible to get that spec as it would have to be an in-stock pre-facelift car to get the deal. Unbelievably, Inchcape had ONE unregistered car in their group in that exact spec in my most desirable of colour options, Diamond White with Red Leather. They actually beat the broker price and the deal was done.

So, two weeks in, what do I think of it?

Well, for me it's probably the most stress free car I've ever had....because I think it's the best built one I've ever had! For me to say this is something but there isn't a single rattle or unwanted noise anywhere. The build quality is exceptional for a mid-range car and it feels as-well (if not better) built than my SLS, even if the actual material quality is not as luxurious.

Design
The car looks nice in an inoffensive way - it's not going to draw attention but then it's never going to offend anyone and the only change I would make is fit the 19 inch wheels - the 18's look a bit small.

Unfortunately, a set of 19's for this car is over £2k plus tyres so I'll be keeping the 18's and enjoying the superior ride comfort The Diamond White is lovely though, although I've only seen it clean twice (in the showroom on the day I collected it and for about an hour last weekend when I cleaned it). The colour combo is perfect for me.


Interior
Inside, it's super comfortable with nice seats, plenty of space and a reasonable driving position. My only complaint, if I have one, is the driving position, where I find the instrument binnacle a little too high resulting in the need to have the steering wheel slightly higher that I would normally (to avoid cutting off the top of the instruments). Still, this doesn't detract from the comfort and, after having the heavily bolstered seats in the SLS, the less extreme ones on the E make a nice change (although nothing I've sat in beats the SLS's seats, which are frankly amazing). In fact, I'm being overly harsh on the driving position because, outside of the small issue of relationship between wheel and instruments, the driving position is actually top-notch that encourages a nice legs-out, arms-bent style.

The steering wheel is really nice to hold (when did Mercedes move to using such a think rim....I love it!) and I'm loving being back in a car with a first class telematics system - the new Comand in this car is awesome and unlike the older unit in my SLS and previous C63's, it has flawless phone integration, fantastic nav functionality and graphics and the Harman Kardon audio system (!!) is all I could ask for (and ever so slightly better than the system in the SLS ) If only it was fully iPhone compatible that would allow it to have internet connection with an Apple product......


On the Road
Smooth, quiet and refined. It is exactly what I wanted, although being über critical, it's a little 'dead' in feel, not the swiftest to change direction and the brakes feel like they have to be worked quite hard. But lets be honest, this is a back to back comparison with the SLS and my previous XKR-S so the fact these are just minor observations rather than detrimental to the experience is a real result for this car. It rides nicely (and very quietly) on it's 18 inch castors, body control is good and its motorway stability is typically 'Germanic'....i.e. it tracks straight and true with no effort.

Refinement wise, it ranks as one of the quietest cars I've owned - road noise is low and wind noise practically non-existent right up to some very high speeds (I believe it's the worlds most aerodynamic production car....if so, it shows most in it's total lack of wind noise at high speed).

The engine....when did Mercedes diesels become this good? I test drove an E350CDI coupe back in 2009 (or was it a 320CDI back then?) and if I'm not mistaken, this 350 engine in my car is much improved and right up there with the BMW 335d in terms of refinement and pleasant sound qualities. Yes, I am an AMG '63 owner complimenting the sound of a diesel but it really is either very quiet and subtle under normal load or, when pushed, it creates a nice (but very distant) roar. Refinement wise, this is about as good as I could ever need a diesel to be and it's wonder how car manufacturers will progress from here to deliver perceptible improvement?

Performance wise, it is quick enough if not what I'd call fast. In reality, it IS fast but it was never going to seem as such to me! It piles on speed smoothly, if rather undramatically, and is still quicker than most cars out there. It definitely isn't as rapid as the 335d but it's easily a match for the Jaguar 3.0 S in the XF/XJ and makes a nicer sound than that engine too. I'm genuinely amazed at how this engine appears to have progressed over the last few years.


Gearbox

I think the gearbox is absolutely fine and I find it smooth, responsive and always in the right gear (what more could I ask of it?). Combined with this diesel engine, it also doesn't have too much of an elastic feeling when pulling off (I'm not sure if this is the correct term but it seems to deliver a direct drive between engine and wheels very quickly).

IMO, it has less of a 'torque converter' feel than the ZF 6-seeder that I've been used in other brands recently and after having experienced the new ZF 8-speeder in a Jaguar XF, it's as good as that in normal 'C' mode and much better in 'S' mode (probably due to the individual manufacturers programming of their Sport modes, something Jaguar haven't got right yet).

Like all Mercedes' I've tried, it's not at it's best in 'Manual' mode as the delay between using paddle and the gearbox making the change is a fraction too long. However, I tend to use it in C or S for 99.9% of the time so it's a non-issue to me, and even my SLS suffers the manual delay to a similar extent and it doesn't bother me in that.

The stop-start functionality works brilliantly - it's so fast and so smooth to restart that, even if it cuts out just as I'm reapplying throttle to move away, it's never caught me out.

Also, Mercedes seem to be the only manufacturer to employ a 'hold' function where you dab the brake quickly to get the car to hold itself in traffic. The fact that stop-start works with this (so you can sit there with the engine off and not need to have the brake applied) is, I believe a unique and superb feature. It's also a testament how quick stop-start responds - when you use the hold function with stop-start, the car only knows to restart when you apply throttle meaning it doesn't even have the split second it takes to move foot from brake to accelerator to start the car. Yet, it's still 100% seamless and the car moves instantly.


Economy
The big one for me....does it do the 40mpg I need it to?

Well, I've done 700 miles in it already and in that time, half has been town/local driving and the other half motorway. And I'm delighted....

Pinned to the outside lane of the motorway from East Midlands to London and back (moving over when appropriate, of course ), with a speeds between 70-XX.Xmph, it delivered a solid 41mpg. Around town it's doing around 30mpg and the average so far is around 38mpg. This is normal, not 'economy' driving so this could be improved upon considerably if I tried and, once the engine is run in, it should slip over the 40mpg mark. What more could I ask of a 265bhp V6 engine?


So, on the whole this car is actually delighting me. It had all the chance of being quite an unremarkable and nondescript car in comparison to the SLS but the reality is, it's not chore to use it daily and is actually proving to be one of the best (read: least 'stressful', given my OCD tendencies!) day to day cars that I've had. Interestingly, given it's a C-Class chassis, it definitely does feel more 'E" in character....refinement, built etc do seem a step up on the C so not sure how they do that when the basic car underneath is the same!

It means I can keep the SLS more for pleasure (although that's debatable at present), although, as we only have the two cars, when I need to do the work miles in the E class, my other half uses the SLS for her 4 mile commute....something she is delighted about!

Now, we all know how quickly I get fed up of cars and this could be something that I potentially get bored of quickly. But, how these things normally work with me is that rather than just get bored per se, there's normally something that annoys me about a car that drives me to want to change it. This E class is so competent and, as long as that lasts and things don't start going wrong, I can't see anything that'll annoy me. So, it's longevity is all dependant on when I actually get bored of it but then it's overall competence will make it a challenge to replace with something that is equally as good in every area. Lets give it until the end of the year when it just so happens the new Range Rover Sport is released.....


Heres a few pictures after I cleaned it at the weekend....
















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Last edited by Palmnuts; 01-29-2013 at 09:51 PM.
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      01-30-2013, 01:51 AM   #2
peterg1965
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Another great write up Andrew, by the Maestro of car reviewers! I have always liked the E Class Coupe since I first drove one in 2009. Lovely looking sleek car with decent road presence and understated looks. Yours is definitely in the best colour combo and that would have been the one I would have gone for had I bought one. Love the interior and that chunky steering wheel, the 640 has a similar really chunky and fat M Sport wheel which feels great.

I wonder how long this will last though.......

Garage is looking good too!

I can't believe I've had my 640 for nearly a year now - some form of record for me!
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      01-30-2013, 02:22 AM   #3
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Cracking looking car and once again an informative and balanced review.

I too am pleased with my E250 cdi AMG Sport convertible, you hardly no it is a convertible behind the wheel.
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      01-30-2013, 02:45 AM   #4
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That looks great!
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      01-30-2013, 02:51 AM   #5
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Will read the write-up later fella, no time right now, but the car looks great (for a Merc ). I though Vicki was getting a 'vert but obviously got mixed up somewhere. Now, stop spending your money!!!

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I can't believe I've had my 640 for nearly a year now - some form of record for me!
It's amazing how long you hold onto somethi when you are contractually forced too
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      01-30-2013, 04:20 AM   #6
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Another great write up, lovely looking car, love those seats !!
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      01-30-2013, 05:01 AM   #7
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Fantastic colour combo, looks really nice.

Red leather is very nice without being garish

Probably one of most sensible purchases you have made considering what you got it for.

A girl getting out of an SLS gullwing, thats going to turn heads. I bet she's over the moon and you are a brave man but i'm sure she is used to your OCD by now and knows not to park it anywhere risky.
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      01-30-2013, 05:17 AM   #8
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It's amazing how long you hold onto something when you are contractually forced too
There is that Roger, which I suspect is a good thing I am not looking to replace it with anything specifically for me next year either. New job starts in London in the summer and its commuting on the West Coast Main line every week for me.

Its time to start getting sensible with money.

Sorry to deviate off topic a bit!
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      01-30-2013, 05:41 AM   #9
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Love the white and red combo.

Overall the car looks great, especially the front but the rear side profile with those back arches is a bit questionnable IMHO.
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      01-30-2013, 06:26 AM   #10
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Looks great in white! Finding mine a pig to keep clean at the moment though.

An interesting write up and much of what you say is true of my C350. I very nearly went for the E Class, but the slightly more angular, sharper edges of the C appealed.

Overall I'm very impressed with the balance of comfort, (sadly lacking in my TTS), handling and power in my first Mercedes and looking forward to exploring it a little more as the weather improves. I also particularly like the hold function and the stop start is extremely smooth. So far I can't fault the build quality of mine, it is rattle free, feels well put together and from the driver's seat it seem sufficiently special inside for a mainstream coupe. DAB radio is a joy and the Harmon Kardon is excellent. Let's hope the positivity continues!
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      01-30-2013, 09:08 AM   #11
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I give it 6 months top's!!!
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      01-30-2013, 11:10 AM   #12
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Looks great in white! Finding mine a pig to keep clean at the moment though.
....don't I know that feeling !!

The grey of "our" E is much easier to keep looking clean.
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      01-30-2013, 11:37 AM   #13
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The back left seatbelt is twisted .......... how on earth can you drive a car with that being out of place
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      01-30-2013, 03:14 PM   #14
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Andrew,

Great write-up as always, I really really like that and I can honestly say I would have one. I have always liked the coupe and I really do think that Merc have come along way.

I will be interested in seeing what it's like in 6 months, I was put off a little when heard about some of the rattles in Merc's. Knowing how fussy you are it must be good

Like the garage as well..

Roger,

Your comment on keeping a car under contract is very true, it makes a massive difference because you just don't think about selling it . Would look at another lease when mine goes back (our Audi was a CC lease)
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      01-30-2013, 03:16 PM   #15
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The back left seatbelt is twisted .......... how on earth can you drive a car with that being out of place
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      01-30-2013, 03:29 PM   #16
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Fantastic write up as usual


I was interested to read about the minimal depreciation on the Range Rover Sport.


A friend off ours purchased one Brand new and it lost £20k in its first year ,Im sure I posted on here about it as he went straight out and bought a new x6 ,I thought that could be even worse but he still has it after 18 months


Is the secret buying a used RRS ?. Or has something changed in the last 18 months .
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      01-30-2013, 04:45 PM   #17
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Its funny you would think the x6 depreciates quite badly but if you can get the right deal i actually think they are quite good. The gfv is better than the X5.
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      01-30-2013, 04:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterg1965 View Post

Garage is looking good too!
Thanks - it's getting there! I've now fitted (basic) heating....consisting of two ceiling mounted fans like you'd get above some shop entrances. Warmed it up nicely even on the coldest day

And as you can see, the centre pillar is now removed (with new lintel put above the door) and nice big electric door fitted.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerxp View Post
I though Vicki was getting a 'vert but obviously got mixed up somewhere. Now, stop spending your money!!!

It's amazing how long you hold onto somethi when you are contractually forced too
No, we needed something mildly practical so I can send her to the wholesalers to buy vending machine stock. Yep....I really do delegate that lovely job to her


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Originally Posted by briers View Post

Probably one of most sensible purchases you have made considering what you got it for.

A girl getting out of an SLS gullwing, thats going to turn heads. I bet she's over the moon and you are a brave man but i'm sure she is used to your OCD by now and knows not to park it anywhere risky.
She knows not cause damage to it. She just knows! She actually craps herself given the SLS's forged wheels are £2.5k each but then she sort of likes it too. I trust her....she's very careful and for putting up with me, she deserves it



It may rank as one my 'better' purchases but not in comparison to the RRS (see below). Even with £9k discount it was still a £38k car which is just about to be facelifted. If I want out in a year, it could still drop £10k


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Originally Posted by RockIt View Post
Looks great in white! Finding mine a pig to keep clean at the moment though.

An interesting write up and much of what you say is true of my C350. I very nearly went for the E Class, but the slightly more angular, sharper edges of the C appealed.

Overall I'm very impressed with the balance of comfort, (sadly lacking in my TTS), handling and power in my first Mercedes and looking forward to exploring it a little more as the weather improves. I also particularly like the hold function and the stop start is extremely smooth. So far I can't fault the build quality of mine, it is rattle free, feels well put together and from the driver's seat it seem sufficiently special inside for a mainstream coupe. DAB radio is a joy and the Harmon Kardon is excellent. Let's hope the positivity continues!
I didn't realise there were more Merc owners on here now than Audi! Things move on quick don't they?


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Originally Posted by Sportplus View Post
I give it 6 months top's!!!
No comment


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Originally Posted by davyk31 View Post
The back left seatbelt is twisted .......... how on earth can you drive a car with that being out of place
I am actually ashamed and mortified that I didn't see that and have just popped out to correct it

How the hell I missed that in real life AND in the photo's I don't know....but then I've been in my own sorry world moping bout the SLS's speakers this week

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Originally Posted by scottc View Post
Andrew,

Great write-up as always, I really really like that and I can honestly say I would have one. I have always liked the coupe and I really do think that Merc have come along way.

I will be interested in seeing what it's like in 6 months, I was put off a little when heard about some of the rattles in Merc's. Knowing how fussy you are it must be good

Like the garage as well..
Let's hope the build stays the same in 6 months as it is VERY good. It must be for me to be so happy with it - in most cases, even brand new cars have some sort of noise or creak or click or tapping or...something, just somehting that I don't like. Not this one, not yet anyway



Quote:
Originally Posted by scooba0010 View Post
Fantastic write up as usual


I was interested to read about the minimal depreciation on the Range Rover Sport.


A friend off ours purchased one Brand new and it lost £20k in its first year ,Im sure I posted on here about it as he went straight out and bought a new x6 ,I thought that could be even worse but he still has it after 18 months


Is the secret buying a used RRS ?. Or has something changed in the last 18 months .
ABSOLUTELY! The list price on our RRS was something like £62k and I paid just over £40k after 15 months and 17k miles. So that first owner lost more than £20k, depending what discount they got on it in the first place (well, they didn't because it was a JLR management car).

The mileage was just short of 30k when I sold it (so I did 13k in 6 months in that car alone and I didn't even go abroad in it....you can see why I needed something that did more than 23mpg!). I lost £3k'ish on it which I think is a bargain considering the type of car and the use I had out of it!

So, I guess the message is don't buy a new RRS!

Must remember that. Must remember that. Must remember that
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      01-30-2013, 06:18 PM   #19
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You won't remember it because this time next year you will have the new aluminium rrs and an f-type in your heated garage
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      01-31-2013, 04:59 AM   #20
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interestin comments on the comsumption, ive toyed with an e-class estate (350cdi) but a lot of owners seem to complain about not getting more than 30mpg

i wonder if the coupes' slippery shape gives it a lot better drag co-ef than the fridge like estate
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      01-31-2013, 07:01 AM   #21
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Lovely car although I prefer them in the silver/grey colour which is similar to my space grey E92, thinking of changing my E92 for a C class coupe in around August time. A friend bought once recently and I have to say I'm impressed with both the car and the deal he received from the dealer.
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      01-31-2013, 08:57 AM   #22
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2009 335i  [4.39]
Nice write-up as usual Andrew. Always a pleasure reading your stuff.

Not that it would ever make me buy a Merc with Opamatik and red seats (my other half would kill me anyway), but it's a nice enough car. Driven in lots as a taxi passenger over here and they're nice and comfy.

Great fuel consumption too. I've only got my 330d to 40mpg when I drive like grandad, but then (see above Opamatik) maybe you do...

Are you going to remap it ?

Alpina_B3_Lux
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