Mercedes-Benz is enjoying a real return to form at present, and no car embodies this more than the new E-Class Coupé.
Stylish, well equipped and beautifully built, it finally gives the three-pointed star a car rival to the Audi A5 and BMW 3 Series Coupé in a sector dominated by executive purchases.
And while it goes against perceived logic by emitting more than 160g/km of CO2, there will be no shortage of senior executives putting the E350 CDI at the top of their shortlist.
For a start, it looks fabulous with its angluar front-end and sloping roofline, while under the bonnet is a creamy smooth V6 diesel engine offering 230bhp and 398lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
It’s also a proper four-seater and has a decent boot, so it ticks the practicality boxes too.
The interior is a welcome step-up, with an angular, solid looking dashboard and a high-quality feel.
The E350 CDI Coupé undercuts BMW’s 330d Coupé SE automatic by more than £1,300 and thanks to a very strong residual value forecast (CAP books the E350 at 31% after four years/80,000 miles) it undercuts the BMW by more than one pence per mile in wholelife costs over the same fleet lifecycle.
The BMW strikes back with lower emissions and better fuel economy, and as a result is cheaper in benefit-in-kind tax terms by £275 a year (or £23 a month).
Factor in the high level of occupant safety with standard-fit Neck-Pro anti-whiplash seats and the Pre-Safe crash mitigation system and the E-Class Coupé makes a strong all-round case for itself.
And, just as importantly, it has the wow factor to make it stand out.