The Mercedes Benz E400 four-passenger coupe for 2018 has been completely redesigned, making it more elegant and sporty and also 4.4-inches longer in the wheelbase.
It also has a more spacious interior, with elegance to spare. The E400 sports the distinctive front end with low-positioned sport grille and the traditional grille-mounted Mercedes star, a long hood with power domes, a rearward-shifted, elongated greenhouse, and a muscular rear end with signature wraparound LED taillights.
Four frameless windows, outlined in chrome, and the absence of a “B” pillar emphasize the dynamic looks. With long-distance comfort for four passengers, E400 combines the luxury and beauty of a grand tourer with state-of-the-art technology including smartphone integration, a widescreen cockpit and the latest driver-assistance systems. In fact, the driver-assistance systems represent the next step toward semi-autonomous driving.
The pillar-free design is a class-exclusive, produced only by Mercedes Benz for over 50 years, giving the coupe its signature sweeping profile. The grille is impressive, with dozens of hexagonal “pins” tipped in chrome radiating out from the star, designed to optimize airflow and at the same time present a captivating appearance. A single crossbar is finished in chrome and anchors the star, with the entire grille set in a matte silver surround.
Two models are available, the base E400 for $58,900, and E400 4MATIC (permanent all-wheel drive) for $61,400, both with a powerful, efficient 329-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 bi-turbo engine with Eco start/stop, and a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic transmission. Dynamic Select allows the driver to control throttle response, stop/start function, shift points and more using Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual modes.
Bright white LED Daytime Running Lights in dynamic signature “twin torch” design accent the sculpted front end; near-daylight LED headlights enhance vision and visibility; and, last but not least, wide wraparound LED taillights feature a new “Stardust” reflector for an eye-catching sparkle.
My E400 4MATIC was stunning Emerald Green Metallic ($720), one of 11 exterior colors – two standard, seven for $720 (Dune Silver Metallic, Lunar Blue Metallic), designo Cardinal Red Metallic for $1,080, and designo Diamond White Metallic for $1,515.
A Saddle Brown/Black interior was an excellent match. Four colors are standard, three Nappa leather interiors add $1,370 (Macchiato Beige/Yacht Blue) and two designo Nappa interiors require additional packages and add $4,200 (Machiatto Beige/Titan Red).
Earthy Natural Grain Light Brown Elm Wood ($150) trimmed the doors, dash, and center stack. The console had Gloss Black from the dash to the armrest. Six interior wood trims are available – two standard, two for $150, and two for $1,300 (designo “Flowing Lines” wood).
A panoramic sunroof gave front and rear passengers a sky view, and could be slid back for an open-air feel. It had a power sunshade to shield from the overhead sun if desired.
Rain-sensing wipers featured Magic Vision Control, a marvelous system of laser-drilled holes along the blade, which apply washer fluid as the wiper moves across the windshield – no surge of fluid to impair driver’s vision – and the entire system is heated.
A black headliner was included in an AMG Line package ($2,500), along with AMG interior styling, brushed-aluminum pedals with rubber studs, Sport steering wheel, and AMG body styling.
The black leather Sport steering wheel had perforated, contoured side grips and a flat-bottom design, Touch Control Buttons, shift paddles, and a bezel with the AMG logo. The bolsters had improved lateral support for secure positioning in the front even during aggressive driving.
Touch Control Buttons used finger swipes, a touchpad and controller on the center console recognized handwriting, and a voice control system recognized ordinary speech. Direct access buttons controlled the air conditioning and certain driver-assistance systems.
AMG body styling is bold and muscular, yet flowing, with aggressively contoured lower bodywork, deep front apron with large air intakes with horizontal strakes, flared side sills bridging the wheel arches and hugging the road, and a rear valance outlining the exhaust tips and central diffuser with a chrome accent.
The AMG package includes staggered-width18-inch AMG twin five-spoke wheels, which were replace on my E400 with staggered-width 19-inch AMG twin 5-spoke wheels with gray-painted pockets and machined fronts, wearing high-performance tires, for $500.
The interior was inviting and sensual, with curves and slanted lines on the topstitched doors and dash, the stitching of the seatbacks, and the shape of the side bolsters.
Sporty circular air vents were finished in silver shadow and designed to resemble the look of a turbine engine with multiple “blades” dipping in to the center. LED ambient lighting around the dash, doors and rear deck offered 64 colors for any mood.
Heated and cooled seats ($450) were luxurious and also had a massage feature ($950, multicontour), offering much comfort on a long trip. A Warmth & Comfort Package ($1,050) included a rapid heating function for the front seats, heated front armrest, and a heated steering wheel.
A unique 12.3-inch widescreen instrument cluster joined the 12.3-inch high-resolution COMAND display (COMAND navigation, map updates for the first three years) under a single lens to produce an amazing cockpit that appeared to float.
Virtual instruments could be displayed in three distinct styles – Classic, Sport, and Progressive – with varying information and views. Smartphone integration was wireless, along with wireless charging in a bin under the center stack.
The infotainment system was sharp, speedy and sophisticated, with finger-swipe controls – similar to using a smartphone – on the steering wheel adding another level of convenience, the left side controlling the driver display and the right side controlling the center monitor. Physical buttons on the center dash helped bridge the tech literacy gap.
Standard technology was impressive, including lots of driver-assistance features optional on the E-Class sedan. Active Brake Assist warns the driver of imminent collision and proves braking support, also detecting pedestrians in the danger zone. Attention Assist alerts the driver when driving patterns suggest a break is needed.
Industry-leading Car-to-X Communication is the future of connectivity, allowing every E-Class vehicle to alert a central system of environmental hazards such has slippery road surfaces, which then alerts other drivers in the area with Car-to-X capability.
Crosswind Assist helps mitigate the effect of strong side winds. Two Pre-Safe technologies act before a collision to protect passengers, one by moving the driver and front passenger three inches toward the center of the cabin away from the impact point if a T-bone crash is imminent, and the other by producing “pink noise” through the stereo to initiate the body’s natural reaction to protect the inner ear and save from permanent damage caused by the loud sound of a collision.
Seven air bags are standard, including side curtains for both rows, and driver knee air bags. My E400 had Rear Side Air bags, a $420 option.
A Premium Package No. 3, for $9,350, added lots of safety and convenience features, including Active Distance Assist, Active Steering Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keep, Active Lane Change, Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic, Congestion Emergency Braking, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Surround View, Pre-Safe Plus, and Head-Up Display – most of which are designed to help the driver avoid or mitigate the effects of a collision or even a single-vehicle accident.
My E400 Coupe was elegant, sporty and extra-spacious, with seats and lots of leg and shoulder room. The rear seatbacks folded to open up more space for hauling, and a power trunk lid (opened by gently pressing the top of the star on the lip) made loading easier.
A Burmester High End 3-D Surround Sound System added $5,400, and gave excellent sound reproduction.
My E400 was fun to drive, as I took care not to greatly exceed the speed limit; it was agile on curvy country roads, and very attractive.
With $21,240 in options, and $995 destination charges, my 2018 E400 Coupe 4Matic delivered for $83,635.
The automotive columns of Emma Jayne Williams have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 2007. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.