2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe First Drive: Your new retirement cruiser

– Barcelona, Spain

The new Mercedes E-Class Coupe is most at home on fast, flowing Spanish highways. The four-seat coupe cossets its passengers in a lovely cabin; keeps road and wind noise to a minimum; accelerates, brakes, steers, and even changes autonomously; and powers away from toll booths with an ultra-smooth, torquey V6 engine. It is a first-class executive conveyance that just happens to be bundled in a very pretty two-door wrapper.

Based on the E-Class sedan we know and love, the Coupe strikes a far more evocative look. Like the C- and S-Class coupes that bookend it in the Mercedes lineup, the roofline plunges down toward a rounded rear with big shoulders above the back wheels. From behind the car, it’s noticeable just how much the greenhouse tapers toward the back of the E-Class, and also how sharply angled inward the windows are, all of which helps with aerodynamics. Clean body sides are broken up only by two subtle character lines, while the nose recapitulates Mercedes’ classic large-grille look, with smart headlights at either side that extend onto the front fenders.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe: First Drive
2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe: First Drive
2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe: First Drive
2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Coupe: First Drive

The car’s wheelbase is actually 2.6 inches shorter than that of the sedan and it has a 0.6-inch lower ride height, while the track width has increased 2.7 inches compared to the outgoing E Coupe. All that lends the car an aggressive, planted stance on the road.

There’s no B pillar, so with the windows lowered, the profile view shows an expansive opening that lends the E Coupe a serious sense ...