MERC 300E COUPÉ ON TEST – DRIVING VADER STYLE

Mercedes-Benz 300E Coupé AMG Line

The emphasis is on style in this black on black on black with a touch of red 300E Coupé

We were blessed with Darth Vader’s wheels while traveling a few weeks ago. Well that’s what at least two of the people we visited said. They’re coupled at the tote, old Darth Vader and black.

Anyway, if this Mercedes-Benz 300E Coupe AMG Line does one thing really well, it clearly looks the part. But it also does a hell of a lot else very well, too.

300E COUPÉ ACCELERATES STRONG, HANDLES WELL

Acceleration is impressive, smooth; road holding and handling involving – especially at an elevated pace. For a larger family-coupé, that is. The 190kW 370Nm turbo four-pot as a fruity exhaust note and works the chassis well enough. Although that four-cylinder noise may be a disappointment to the petrol heads expecting a V8 burble. Welcome to tomorrow, Darth Vader.

Tight, fast cornering is a pleasure and road-feel positive, if a tad noisy over rougher tar surfaces. Probably because of those tyres. Otherwise it’s silent as a ghost. The 300E Coupé reduces the effects of gnarly speed-reducing road-bumps and humps to a far smoother, more acceptable experience. We noticed a tendency to creep without notice when stopped and idling.

But there’s more to this car than just the go. It has the show in spades, too. Ours had the coolest black on black wheels and LED headlights on the outside. And if technology exists, it’s in this AMG line specced cabin.

PARTY TIME AS TECH MEETS CRAFTSMANSHIP

Our 300E possessed an impressive and immaculate party time red and black trimmed leather cabin. Red? Oh dear – don’t tell Darth. It’s an intriguing space where Mercedes tech meets craftsmanship. Unique turbine vents compete with that twin 12.3-inch widescreen in a spectacular trade-off for the most attention.

You get a kaleidoscope of ambient lighting, a reversing camera, split folding rear seats and that bigger 12.3-inch screen. Trying hard to be an IMAX cinema on wheels, with proper smartphone connectivity to boot. And Miss My Mercedes at your beck and call.

The seats are adjustable in every direction, so in spite of a lower driving position visibility is great. Add a panoramic roof and splendid 13-speaker Burmester stereo. And even a Driving Assistance pack for semi-autonomous motorway driving. It had a Lane Tracking pack, which I’d never have. I stopped to turn it off post haste. But if that floats your boat…

ROOMY FOR A MERC COUPÉ

Most of all, this 300E Coupé is sensibly roomy and without much compromise. Which is good for a Merc coupé. Four adults fit inside. All their baggage in the cavernous trunk. And those pillarless windows bring a bit of Subaru-esque je ne sais quoi, mind you.
So if looking good and driving cool is high on your agenda, this Vader-like E-Class Coupe defines Mercedes at its imperious best. Not quite the boy racer, it’s more of a sporty posh luxury sled. It away takes that driving stress, rather than piling it on.

And It’s half the price of its S-Class Coupe big bro, so maybe best without the badge. It is a serenely relaxing experience, all the same. – Mario Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Mercedes-Benz 300E Coupé AMG Line
Engine: 190kW 370Nm 2-litre turbo petrol I4
Drive: 9-speed automatic RWD
TESTED:
0-60km/h:         2.86 sec
0-100km/h:        6.28 sec
0-160km/h:        14.26 sec
400m:             14.3 sec @ 160 km/h
80-120km/h:       3.93 sec
120-160km/h:      5.82 sec
CLAIMED:
VMax:             250 km/h
Fuel:             7.3 l/100km
CO2:              164g/km
Warranty/Service: 2y unl./5y 100Kkm
LIST PRICE:       R1.14M
RATED:            8
Tagged with: