Caraganza First Drive Review 2018 Mercedes E400 Coupe: This one thing is not like the others

(Mercedes)

(Mercedes)

I like being at the point in my life where I can hire others to do those nasty chores I once despised; landscaping? Hire someone. House need painted? Hire someone. AC broken? Roof repair? Yup, hire someone.  Sure, there are still some things I do, but it’s nice to know that I don’t have to.

There was a time in my life when necessity dictated that I had to pull weeds, paint the house, figure out how to change an AC compressor, fix the leak.  That was during the time when most of our money went towards keeping kids healthy, and happy. When the thought of anything in the driveway other than a minivan with cloth seats was laughable. A vehicle in those days had to resist the destruction brought on in the natural course of childhood and still be able to haul the peat moss, paint, and roof shingles.

Those kids made it to adulthood, somehow, and now I am at the point in my life where the only thing I need worry about is hauling my middle-aged girth around.

Being a former (and very bad) racecar driver, I still like fast cars. But owing to my aforementioned middle-aged girth, most sports cars nowadays are out of the question.  And a four-door sedan is for executives. That’s why my choice of cars are coupes; larger than sports cars and much less snobbish than sedans.  Yes, I’ve tried the M4 and 6, and the S5, and liked them all very much. Even the Cadillac ATS-V is a nice sporty coupe.

But recently, Mercedes sent me an all new for 2018 E400 coupe.  And now I can add that to the list. And after a week with it, it goes straight to the top.

The E-Class got a redesign last year and the coupe is joining the lineup this year.

The E400 is mechanically identical to the sedan; just drop two doors. Well the wheelbase is 2.6 shorter, but its 4.4 inches longer then the C-class giving 1.8 inches of legroom to the backseat passengers.  One thing, among many, that separates the E400 from other coupes in its class is the lack of B pillars; something akin to all Mercedes coupes. Not a big thing, but it still adds to an overall pleasing look.

Right now, all that’s offered under the hood is a biturbo 3.0-liter V-6 with 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.  There is also no AMG variant right now, although Mercedes may offer one soon.

You can add what I call the “poor mans” AMG for the E400 right now which consists of some body styling and sport wheels (although at $2500 isn’t very “poor man”), which my tester for the week had.

I also had the Premium package ($9350) with all the nanny features one could want; along with a 12.3 widescreen digital instrument cluster that adds to the 12.3 HD COMAND system, a heads-up display, and adaptive high beams.

(Mercedes)

(Mercedes)

This new E400 also has a lowered suspension with adaptive dampers and 4MATIC all-wheel drive, both of which I had for my week.

My first impression came when the E400 was delivered; it looked black. But upon closer inspection it was actually a dark metallic green; a color that changes according to the lighting.

That metallic color adorned one of the most beautiful car bodies I have seen in quite some time.  Not too skinny, not boxy, instead everything from the diamond-block grill back to the distinctive taillamps everything seems to flow logically.

That carries over to the inside as well.  Of all the others in the class, Mercedes looks to be the closest to perfection.  Yes, the COMAND system can be a bit annoying to figure out, a touch pad sort of setup; but with a bit of practice can be taught to obey, but overall if there is a better looking interior, I have yet to find one.

A new feature I have yet to see on another Mercedes (or any other luxury car for that matter), is the use of touch pads on the steering wheel.  Once I set it up, a simple swipe of the thumb changed my preset radio stations, with up and down swiping changing the stations accordingly.

The seats can be adjusted to almost perfection; and in my tester were heated and cooled and had seat massagers, an all-time favorite.

The lovefest continued on the road. The 329 horsepower may not sound like all that much, but when added to 354 lb-ft torque and when in Sport + mode, the E400 is nothing short of a snarling beast. For most drivers it’s all the power they will ever need. Combined with the all-wheel drive there is no doubt there is little the E400 can’t do for the average driver.

The 9-speed automatic transmission also shifted perfectly and effortlessly, never seeming to have a need to catch up.

There is also more room for the two rear passengers than I remember in the others and something a coupe is not known for.

My middle-aged girth had no problem getting in the front or back. And my middle-aged ain’t got no kids no more, self loved the week I had with the E400. It’s fast enough, luxurious, and looks fantastic on and off the road.

Getting older isn’t all that bad; I don’t have to paint my house, take care of my own yard and will never own another minivan. And I can appreciate the good things in life, like the Mercedes E400.

The 2018 Mercedes E400 4MATIC Coupe
MSRP: $61,400
MSRP (as tested): $84,785
Engine: 3.0L V6 biturbo 329hp @ 5,260-6,000 rpm, 354 lb-ft torque @ 1,600-4,000 rpm
Transmission: 9-speed shiftable automatic w/paddle shifters
Fuel Mileage (EPA): 20 city, 26 highway, 22 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested, mixed conditions (24 mpg)
Curb weight: 4200 lbs
Cargo Area Dimensions
Trunk Volume: ft³ 15

Interior Dimensions
Passenger Capacity:     4
Front Head Room: in     40.9
Front Leg Room: in     41.8
Front Shoulder Room: in     56.1
Front Hip Room: in     58.7
Second Head Room: in     36.4
Second Shoulder Room: in     50.3
Second Hip Room: in     52.8

Exterior Dimensions
Wheelbase: in     113.1
Length, Overall: in     190
Width, Max w/o mirrors: in     73.2
Height, Overall: in     56.3
Track Width, Front: in     63.2
Track Width, Rear: in     63.3

Warranty
Basic: 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain: 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion: 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance: 4 Years/50,000 Miles

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Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. He served in support of Operation Just Cause, Desert Shield/Storm and ended his military career in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Greg has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology.

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