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BMW 335i, Mercedes E 350 CGI and Audi A5 FSI in the comparison test

Rosson Gargolov
Audi A5, BMW 335i, Mercedes E 350 in the test
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I ntensive flavors like Bitter chocolate, espresso without sugar or whiskey are usually only available to older people. A coupé is also part of the later enjoyment - when you have worked your way up to a high salary class, think of chauffeuring grandchildren when transporting people and golf club bags when carrying out transport tasks.

The Mercedes E 350 CGI is the most expensive coupé in the test

Coupés become a special temptation when at least six cylinders whisper under their front hood Torque from at least three liters of displacement surges. Then the two-door models are so expensive that they remain dream cars for medium-sized companies and only enrich the reality of the upper class. Daimler's new coupé stands out from the automotive delicatessen not only visually, but also in terms of price: For a Mercedes E 350 CGI Blue Efficiency (292 PS) calculated Mercedes at least 51,408 euros. Audi offers the A5 3.2 FSI (265 PS) with Multitronic from 45,350 euros, BMW the 335i Coupé (306 hp) including automatic transmission from 48,250 euros. (Mercedes E 350 CGI in the driving report)

From a traditional past, Mercedes knows: Above all, a coupé has to leave its passengers alone, they have to look after them unobtrusively, like a discreet valet. Only when it comes to optics does Mercedes abandon its restraint: the automotive double-breasted suit has become a jacket with a striking lapel. It attracts curious looks - from atypically young admirers. The cell phone generation is surrounding their new photo object.

Cabrio feeling in the new Mercedes E-Class Coupé

But soon after the smooth drive off, calm and balance return to the Mercedes E-class coupe. The automatic converter automatically decides on the right gear, leaving the four-seater inas high as possible of the seven steps. The driver can relax and does not even have to fear that he will miss a traffic sign - as soon as there is a change in speed, the sign recognition (351 euros) briefly imports the respective value into the cockpit. And if fatigue threatens to undermine concentration during a long journey, a large coffee cup within the speedometer should remind you to take a break (standard).

What sounds like supervision is actually a nice gesture and an offer because that Mercedes E-Coupé never annoys you with intrusive beeps or flashes. However, the effect of cocooning, of retreating into uninvolved privacy, does not materialize, especially when you lower all four frameless windows: Without a B-pillar, almost as much landscape flows in as in a convertible - almost without drafts. That is unique in this comparison. In the Audi and BMW (both with B-pillar), the rear windows are firmly anchored. (Audi A5 Cabriolet 3.2 FSI Quattro in the individual test) In general, the two-door E-Class shows an astonishingly intense bond with the road; driving is anything but decoupled - Mercedes has contoured comfort and tuned the coupé to be more agile than the E-class sedan.

The Audi A5 causes irritation

The Audi chassis wants to be sporty and comfortable at the same time. In contrast to Mercedes, the adaptive shock absorbers cost an extra charge (300 euros) and can be adjusted using buttons on the center console - just like the power assistance for the steering. The driver can choose between the Comfort, Automatic and Dynamic settings or, as a fourth option, save his or her preferred setup under the Individual button - for example, combine the smooth steering with the tight suspension setting. So you actively deal with the Audi A5 while it is stationary. When driving overland, you even have to endure a certain amount of hyperactivity. Agile? Unlike the previous front-wheel drive A5 with 17-inchers, this one with 18-inchers is mostly restless. Bumps upset him, with the sharp steering, which is susceptible to drive influences, the line is difficult to correct, depending on the damper position, the Audi looks fluttery or stubborn.

The continuously variable Audi transmission causes irritation; it initially causes the V6 to respond with a delay and then keeps it at a constant speed despite acceleration. The positive thing about the Multitronic is the wide spread of the ratio and the very low speed level when cruising. The Audi does not undercut the consumption of the more powerful Blue Efficiency Mercedes.

The BMW 335i is an alternative to the BMW M3

The most consumption-intensive BMW in the test shows what a kick-off passion should look like. Once you get used to the stiff steering, you will appreciate the precise country road tool. Given thecrazy thrust and the sound lava of its in-line six-cylinder with double turbo eruption puts the consumption into perspective, and some customers ask themselves: Why should I actually save on the hardly faster BMW M3? The 3 Series Coupé lives out sportiness almost as a fetish.

BMW put the 335i on 19-inch option wheels for testing - in conjunction with the sports suspension (standard), all that remains is bitter and charming travel comfort, especially since there are no adaptive dampers on offer. For reasons of equality, Audi (18 inch) and Mercedes (17 inch mixed tires) were also free to choose their tires. In the driving dynamics tests, especially the quick evasive action, the evaluation goes to BMW: The 3 Series waves away from its opponents. Brand followers should cheer as a core competence of a rear-wheel drive vehicle that it pushes at the limit with the rear end before ESP forces it into line. The 335i and the A5 do not offer the same rail-like character as the E 350 CGI, which stays on track even in wet conditions.

The Mercedes conveys a feeling of security even when studying the equipment list in depth. No other offers so many extras that either help prevent an accident or mitigate the consequences. The same applies to lighting technology. Xenon does cost a surcharge unlike Audi and BMW, but if you open your wallet wide, you will not only receive the high beam assistant, but also a light distribution that varies depending on the location. It is also in the Mercedes tradition that the wallet has to go wide open when it comes to the total price.

The Mercedes E 350 CGI Coupé wins in the comparison test

That doesn't change anything in the final result in the comparison test: The new Mercedes Coupé has diligently racked up points, won the chapters on body, safety and driving comfort and is within striking distance of second-placed BMW in terms of drive and driving characteristics. In terms of the environment, the Mercedes leaves the rear Audi ahead of one point, ten in terms of costs. But that this doesn't make the difference is often another privilege of old age after a busy life.


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