The 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe, which is replacing the outgoing CLK, is based on a C-Class chassis and looks to be a better, yet cheaper, car than the CLK. The coupe forgoes some of the more modest and conventional styling of the E-Class sedan, but that is by no means a bad thing.
The reason that the E-Class coupe is less expensive than the outgoing CLK is that it shares many components (though not body work) with the 2010 E-Class sedan. Also, that sharing of parts, in addition to a slightly different chassis design, makes the coupe actually less expensive than the 2010 sedan version. Only by about $500 on the base E350 and about $1,700 on the higher trim E550, but still, it bucks the previous Mercedes-Benz trend.
So why does it cost less? The answer is in the handling. The CLK used to be prime competition for the BMW 3-Series coupes, and both were able to zip around corners with glee. This new E-Class coupe has shifted its goals, however. Mercedes-Benz is in the midst of a company-wide paradigm shift back to their old motto of “built to a standard, not a price.” The E-Class coupe, which starts at $48,925, doesn’t skimp on luxuries. That is good for those who want a sporty-looking coupe equipped with all the latest creature comforts. It is not good, however, for those who want a sporty-looking coupe that drives likes a sports coupe.
The extra weight in the coupe makes it more a grand tourer than a sporty model. The ride is soft and comfortable, but there is still plenty of power from the engine (a 3.5-liter V6 in he E350 and a 5.5-liter V8 in the E550). And as long as you’re heading in a straight line, that extra power feels nice. If you’re going around a corner though, Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of inertia will make you want to lift your foot off the accelerator.
In all, the 2010 E-Class sedan looks to be a great luxury car, and the E-Class coupe looks to be a great luxury car. If you were expecting an exciting sports coupe, you would be disappointed, but if you want a car that rides nice, has two doors, and a fair amount of cabin and cargo space, then the E-Class coupe would be a good choice.