From £40,1808

Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

Precisely where you sit, the seat you’re sitting in, the details of what you’re looking at and the view you have of the world outside: all these things separate the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé from its immediate siblings.

The seats are more shapely and decoratively trimmed than those of the E-Class saloon. In the coupé, they taper more as the squabs give way to the headrests.

It’s worth setting aside at least half an hour to take in all of the leather and trim combinations before you order. I particularly liked the ‘flowing lines magnolia’ veneer — very ‘antique speedboat’

The seats of our test car were quite comfortable but, in a car so singularly intended for easy long-distance cruising, they could have been more softly and thickly cushioned and a little less deeply bolstered.

Nonetheless, they adjust generously for cushion height, angle and length and squab angle, and they gave none of our testers cause for complaint over prolonged use.

Front seat heating and electrical adjustment come as standard, but if you want seat heaters for the rear chairs or memory seats, you’ll need to dig into the options list. Our test car was fitted with the £3895 Premium Plus Pack (which adds, among other things, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive LED headlights and Burmester surround audio system as well, so it’s not as bad value as it might look).

Although if you crave memory seats most, then the £2795 Premium Pack may be the better option, while the heated rear seats are also available as part of the £795 Warmth Comfort Pack, but you will need to opt for leather and the Premium or Premium Plus pack as well.

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The fascia is a sweep of leather, plastic and wood veneer that other E-Class owners would recognise. It is dominated by the twin widescreen digital displays backlit by LED strips and therefore seeming to float in front of the rest of the dashboard.

The options for customisation of the look and feel of the interior are increased by the addition of two new wood fascia trims, and by new leather upholstery combinations also unique to the coupé. But what you’ll certainly notice, regardless of your chosen trim, are the coupé’s eye-catching metallic air vents, which are not only larger than the equivalents on the saloon but also more imaginatively designed.

Few could quibble with the E-Class Coupé’s standard on either material richness or perceived quality, both of which are excellent and give the car a tangible edge over its rivals from Audi and BMW on luxury ambience.

And on usability, there’s another advantage to be enjoyed by E-Class Coupé owners. This being a relatively large car (and considerably larger even than its immediate predecessor), it’s also quite a practical one. Although access to the back seats remains a squeeze, there’s certainly enough room in them for the average adult to travel quite comfortably and with a decent view out of the side window. The boot is also usefully wide and long, although fairly shallow.

Go for either of the E400’s less powerful range mates and you’ll get Mercedes’ Audio 20 infotainment system as standard.

It features an 8.4in central display, Garmin Map Pilot navigation and DAB radio. In either car, you can pay to upgrade to the widescreen Comand Online multimedia set-up for £1495.

However, if you buy the E400 4Matic, you get the bigger system as standard. It means you also get a built-in wi-fi hotspot, live traffic information and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.

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Our test car also had Mercedes’ 13-speaker Burmester surround audio system onboard. The system costs £750 on its own or is included as part of the Premium Plus Pack.

The premium hard-drive-based navigation system is excellent, displaying mapping at a helpfully large scale and with good clarity and showing live traffic information particularly clearly. The stereo sounds very impressive as well, with powerful range and a laudable level of detail.