2016 Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe Review

Still Stunning After All These Years

Sometimes a car just speaks to me.

It possesses every quality I want in an automobile, without being burdened by anything it shouldn’t have. It’s the perfect blend of what I would hope for in a daily driver. The 2016 Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe is almost just that.

I’ve always been a fan of the current E-Class since it debuted in 2009, especially those with a V8 lurking under the hood. It’s so darn good at melding style, comfort, luxury and performance.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E550 4Matic Review

A new E-Class sedan has been introduced for 2016, but the rest of the body styles soldier on with the old platform for at least one more year. That includes the coupe, which can now be had as an E400, E400 4Matic or E550. After seven years on the market, is Mercedes-Benz’s mid-size coupe as good as I remember?

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Sweetheart of an Engine

Due to my love of V8-powered E-Classes, I of course had to opt for a E550 coupe. It comes equipped with a 4.7-liter turbocharged V8 that produces 402 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. That is quite a bit of power. In fact, that’s more than a 2002 Mercedes-Benz E 55 AMG.

Like most Mercedes cars, gear changing duties are handled by a seven-speed automatic that in the E550 sends power to the rear wheels. Mercedes claims this is good for a zero-to-60-mph times of 4.9 seconds, but it feels much quicker in practice. Acceleration is surprisingly brisk, as the engine produces so much power early on. It unleashes a mountain of torque at low rpms and there are no peaks or valleys in the power band. There’s so much torque that even seventh-gear passing maneuvers on the freeway are completed effortlessly.

The 4.7-liter turbo makes a nice subdued V8 rumble. It’s very low-key but adds a nice background soundtrack. Even under full throttle, the engine note is never that intrusive, yet it lets occupants know that a powerful V8 is at work. Still, I wish there was a way to get a bit more of an exhaust note inside the cabin. I realize this this isn’t an AMG model, but there is no AMG E-Class coupe currently, and being a sportier body-style, the option for more V8 goodness would be appreciated.

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The Sport-Comfort Equation

Standard on the E550 Coupe are electronically controlled shock absorbers that can be set in comfort or sport mode. Although there is a noticeable difference between the two modes, neither is overly stiff. Sport mode just adds a bit more control over body motions and quickens some of the vehicle’s controls.

SEE ALSO: Mercedes E350 Cabriolet Review

Handling is what should be expected from a vehicle in this class and price point. It’s not a sports or performance car, so body control and cornering grip aren’t exceptionally high. But the E550 is still more composed through the twisties than the average car. Plus, stability control can be mostly disabled, turning the coupe into a tail happy, sideways slider.

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Cramped Coupe

Measuring in at 185 inches in length, the 4,134-lb E550 Coupe is smaller and lighter than the BMW 650i Coupe. It’s actually a fraction of an inch shorter than the Lexus RC F as well. This leads to a rather intimate interior that offers up just 36.8 inches of front headroom. Anyone near six-feet tall will find it cramped up front and it’s the No. 1 issue I hope gets addressed with the new generation E Coupe.

Rear seat occupants have even less headroom at just 35.5 inches. Rear seat legroom is decent for a coupe though, with 32.6 inches on tap. Trunk space is also decent allowing 13.3 cubic feet of cargo to be stored back there.

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Hardtop Style

Even if the interior is a bit confined, the lovely hardtop design at least allows for a lot of sunshine to filter into the cabin. With no B-pillars, the front and rear windows of the car can both go down, offering up a huge opening on either side for fresh air motoring on a warm summer’s day.

Rear seat occupants can actually control their rear windows and that window can go up and down independently of the one in the front. Other benefits of having no B-pillars are terrific sideways sightlines and the ability to better load items into the rear seats when the windows are down.

Besides looking fantastic on the outside thanks to the hardtop styling, the interior is gorgeously appointed as well. I love the dark ash wood trim that came equipped in my test vehicle; one that had virtually every possible option box ticked off. That brings the base price of the E550 from $61,255 after destination charges to a more substantial $74,980 as tested.

Included in that price are the multi-contour sports seats, which proved comfortable over long periods behind the wheel, and Mercedes’ latest suite of safety technology including automated emergency braking and active lane keep.

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The Verdict: 2016 Mercedes-Benz E550 Coupe Review

The E550 coupe may be showing its age in some regards, like the smaller center display screen and swarm of buttons below it. But even on the verge of being replaced, the 2016 E550 Coupe is still fantastic – a rare feat these days for a vehicle in its seventh year of production.

Discuss this on our Mercedes-Benz E-Class Forum

  • Bruce Wayne

    That number pad on the dashboard NEEDS TO GO. It’s so ancient. A nice large touchscreen surrounded by shortcut buttons for audio, navigation, phone etc would be better.