Ads on test: Mercedes-Benz E220 Coupe

An original E-Class coupe is one of the most elegant models ever to leave Stuttgart

Cost New £32,000 Price £19,995

T

he E-Class coupe (C124) very effectively expanded the W124 generation into sports touring territory. Thanks to a sleeker windscreen rake, longer doors and firmer suspension, the transformation was surprisingly effective. As we proved with our cover feature last month, there was a W124 body style to suit everyone yet the Coupe had a certain allure of its own.

The four-cylinder models might not have offered the smooth refined grunt of the six-cylinder cars, but they did make these expensive machines easier to live with. You'll want to live with them too, as they offer supreme levels of comfort and refinement even now in 2019.

The car on test here is being offered for sale by Kim Cairns’ Classics in Snettisham, Norfolk. The listing on Kim's website boldly states, 'if only the best is good enough, then this is the one.' It certainly makes a strong impression up close. The paint is faultless even under hard scrutiny. Its one lady owner covered just over 17,000 miles in 23 years and had the car meticulously serviced, regardless of cost, by the supplying dealer, Brunswick Mercedes-Benz and later Croydon Mercedes-Benz.

This care really shows too. We took at least half an hour walking in, out and around this car and it really is one of the finest C124s we've ever seen.

Driving this car is something of a revelation. The usual bagginess and slop that we've come to expect from a Mercedes-Benz from this era simply isn't there. The steering box feels tight and precise and the damping is taut and well controlled. The engine picks up pretty well for what it is and even gives a few semi-exciting top end thrills. More importantly for a car with this much class, it goes about making its power in totally effortless fashion.

Even on rural routes like those found around Snettisham, this C124 glides across the surface of the tarmac, never permitting the outside world to interfere. The cabin is thoroughly engineered with no annoying rattles or squeaks to ruin the opulent atmosphere.

There are faster and brasher Mercs out there but there are very few as classy or as well cared for as this C124. Go and take a look: we can guarantee you won't regret it.

MERCEDES-BENZ E220 Coupe

Year:     1996
Mileage:    17,000
On sale at:    Kim Cairns Classic Cars
kimcairnsclassics.co.uk

Specifications
Engine:     2199cc, 4-cyl, DOHC
Transmission:    RWD, 4-speed auto
Power:     148bhp@5500rpm
Torque:     155lb-ft@4000rpm
Weight:     1380kg

Performance
0-60mph:    9.1sec
Top speed:    124mph
Economy:     33mpg

Choose your JAGUAR XJ6 (X350)

1987: First shown at the Geneva Motor Show the Coupe variant becomes the third body style added to the range. Coupe variant is launched with a choice of either the 2.3-litre four-cylinder (M102) or 3.0-litre (M103) six-cylinder engines.

1989: New range-topping model added. The new twin-cam 300CE-24 makes 217bhp. From September the Sportline options become available.

1992: Four-valve cylinder heads added across the range along with more displacements. New 2.0- and 2.2-litre four-cylinder engines are joined by a 3.2-litre.

1996: Nine years' production ends with 141,498 C124s built.