At first glance, the E 350 CDI Coupe is not quite the best example of a perfect city car, because of a number of details. First of all, the exterior design makes it look more appropriate for long distance high speed cruising. Second of all, and closely connected to the first point, the spec sheet doesn't exactly scream small and nimble.
Turns out we were half wrong, since the E-Klasse Coupe we tested can be a rather good compromise for strolling around in a busy city. The three-liter V6 oil-burner benefits from the latest Common Rail direct injection system, achieving quite a respectable fuel economy in just about any traffic situation.
The Blue Efficiency badges on the side of the car aren't there just for show, apparently, since during our test drive we managed an in-city average fuel consumption between 10 and 12 liters per 100 kilometers (US 19.6-23.5 mpg), depending on the traffic and the weight of the driver's right foot. Considering our test car was technically brand new, with only 66 kilometers (41 miles) on board, and that we encountered a lot of heavy, stop-and-go traffic, this is quite a feat.
The official numbers point to an average 8.9 liters per 100 km (US 26.4 mpg), which don't seem impossible in a city with better traffic and/or after the car has made a few thousand miles. We weren't expecting this kind of fuel economy from a car that can reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.7 seconds.
Parking maneuvers would seem a bit hard at first, mainly because of the luggage compartment's design, which flows downwards towards the rear. Thankfully, that is not exactly the case, because the rear visibility is much improved by the rather large exterior rearview mirrors. On top of that, our test car was fitted with a very helpful array of both front and rear parking sensors.
Speaking of which, the very long and pointy front overhang is adorned with no less than six parking sensors, especially useful since there's no way you can see where the front of the car "starts", no matter how tall you are. All in all, we found the Mercedes E 350 CDI Coupe to handle the role of a city car almost perfectly, despite not being firmly convinced at first. Continue reading
Hold on, Lou Cheeka would like to say something...
You know me, I just love German premium cars with diesel engines. I'm not much of a Mercedes fan, on the other hand, since my heart beats in blue and white ever since I was living in Eastern Europe. I'm a BMW person, for the non-connoisseurs out there.
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