By Clive Funziwe
Coupes are a gift from the petrol head gods and the Mercedes Benz E200 is one that keeps on giving. Before we state what gifts we got from the E200, lets get the paperwork chores out of the way. The E200 is priced from R1,036,000 and comes with some bells and whistles that anyone buying a coupe would fancy. First on the list is a killer 13-Speaker Bermester Sound System, a Panoramic glass sunroof, leather upholstery, twin 12.3-inch driver’s display for operating one of class leading infotainment system’s today – the MBUX and a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine that pushes out 145kW/320Nm.
Space from the E200, as to be expected from a coupe, will not be swallowing up everything plus the kitchen sink – even though we found it surprisingly spacious. We managed a trip down to Mpumalanga (from JHB) and carried luggage enough for a short trip for four adults, which didn’t require a Ph.D. in Tetris or a government tender for affording the petrol bills.
This brings us back to the aforementioned gifts. We managed slightly over a thousand kilometers for our trip in one tank of fuel (managing a healthy and constant 5.2l/100km) and only had to fuel on our way back as we got closer. We used the radar-guided cruise control + lane keep assist for most of our trip and it worked well, barring an occasional misreading of the road which would then slowdown the car. Either than that small niggle, it was tranquility all the way. The ride quality is refined and quiet – creating the perfect ambiance for the sound system to do its thing, even at conversation levels – where you could hear passengers and the music without intrusion from the outside road noise.
With rear ventilation and comfortable seats all round – the E200 is easily a continent crusher ensuring that all passengers experience serenity which was made even better by the air-suspension that made it a joy to pilot the car through the placid mountains of Mpumalanga. The steering and throttle response has the right amount of directness and feedback, which balances fun and comfort. It was never going to be the last word in driver involvement, and we love it like that.
What we didn’t quite love are some scratchy interior bits, like the lower door pockets and crackly interior trims from the dash. Are we nit picking? Perhaps! We do however feel this needs to be pointed out as this is a luxury car that is knocking on the price of a small fancy apartment.
Overall, the E200 is one for the shortlist. The holistic tech that you get, modern design for both the interior and exterior, comfort, fuel consumption and that holy grail of coupe meeting practicality is achieved by many counts and not forgetting the absence of the B-Pillar – the height of coolness.
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