Review: C123 Mercedes E300 Coupe facelift – Hey Mercedes, what happened to ride comfort?
Shaun · Mar 12, 2022 10:00 AM
Priced at RM 495k, it's over RM 100k more expensive than the sedan
Same Agility Control suspension as E300 sedan, but less comfortable
So what's the purpose of the E-Class coupe?
In the world of cars, a two-door (coupe) is the equivalent to a pair of high heels; it’s fashionable and attractive but most of the time, it’s not very comfortable nor practical and can get rather expensive.
Not comfortable you said?
I know, not every coupe is a low-slung high-performance sports car, especially not this, a Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Also, comfort can be subjective depending on perspective and tolerance.
Take this Mercedes-Benz E300 coupe facelift for example, it features the same Agility Control suspension seen in the E300 sedan but they do not feel the same, which continues my bafflement.
Well, what’s the difference?
The weakest aspect of the W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, sedan or coupe, is arguably the suspension tuning. This was most evident in the pre-facelift model.
On regular Agility Control suspension, the pre-facelift W213 E-Class felt loose over uneven surfaces with excessive body movements. It had a tendency to give motion sickness to passengers at highway speeds as it wallows over undulations.
Sure, the suspension was soft, but it wasn’t isolating the occupants from road imperfections either. Judders from nasty ruts or expansion joints on the road were still transmitted into the cabin, which is rather un-Mercedes-like.
Thankfully, the facelifted E300 sedan has sorted out the loose-feeling suspension, containing the excessive body movements without sacrificing comfort. In fact, without those wallows at highway speeds, ride comfort has improved as the passengers would not be swaying about in their seats.
And here’s the strange part, this facelifted E300 coupe feels more like the pre-facelift model. There’s just too much body movements on our typical pockmarked roads, lacking in composure that’s expected from a Mercedes-Benz.
You can imagine the discomfort when combined with the tight footwell caused by the massive centre tunnel and a noticeably offset steering wheel - being rocked about while seated in a crooked driving position.
Do you at least get used to it?
To a certain extent, yes. But this is a half-a-million Ringgit Mercedes-Benz we’re talking about here (RM 495,097 to be exact), buyers shouldn’t have to make a compromise like this.
It looks really good though
Absolutely. If this were a beauty pageant and I were the only judge, the Mercedes-Benz E300 coupe facelift would be the beauty queen. It just oozes elegance inside and out.
But what other choices do I have?
That’s the thing, there really isn’t a direct competitor for the E300 coupe in Malaysia as there isn’t any proper four-seater coupe this side of a million Ringgit.
This is likely because coupes are a dying breed. In 2020, only one in every ten E-Class sold is a coupe globally (20,500 units vs 264,000 units) and that figure is 24% drop from the year before.
Such figures would make it extremely difficult to justify continuing its existence. And it’s not just the E-Class coupe, others like the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5 saw a decline in sales as well.
Yes please. While the E300 coupe’s driving experience wasn’t the most pleasurable for me personally, I wouldn’t want to dismiss it because I do enjoy seeing them on the road.
More than a symbol of success, it’s a fashion statement, much like high heels. And who buys a pair of high heels for comfort?
At the end of the day, humans are emotional creatures; we can be as rational as we want but oftentimes decisions are made based on emotions. And the decision to buy an E-Class coupe is almost certainly an emotional one.
After all, what’s the point of all that hard work if you can’t express yourself and be silly with your money?
The quest for automotive knowledge began as soon as the earliest memories. Various sources information, even questionable ones, have been explored including video games, television, magazines, or even internet forums. Still stuck in that rabbit hole.