You can really fall in love with this coupé – radiator grille, headlights, flanks and proportions – simply great. An elegant two-door car for a really big appearance. At second glance, you notice that the CLE has more genes from the larger E-model than from the smaller C-Class. Compared to the E-Class predecessor, it is 1.5 cm longer, has the same width and height, while hardly anything has changed in terms of the track. So it’s not surprising that the space in the interior is more generous than in the C-Coupé and is easily at the same level as its bigger brother. The trunk has a volume of 420 liters – 60 liters more than the C- and even 5 more than the former E-Beau. The luggage compartment can be enlarged by folding down the rear backrests and, if desired, longer items can be loaded through. Seats: comfortable. Processing: top. The driver looks at a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and, a little further to the right, sees for the first time a vertical 11.9-inch central screen, which is slightly tilted towards the driver in the BMW style. The central infotainment screen uses the software that was recently introduced with the new E-Class.

At best, a coupé should not only be sporty, but also comfortable. The CLE can do both, exactly as the pilot wishes. The chassis is available in a standard version with steel springs, a sports version lowered by 15 mm with a hydraulic damping system and a third version with variably adjustable electronic shock absorbers. The latter is always accompanied by a steering rear axle, in which the rear wheels turn by up to 2.5 degrees. This ensures agility in the city and calmness at higher speeds. The three-liter in-line six-cylinder of the Mercedes CLE 450 4matic is currently the ideal configuration under the hood, as the 280 kW / 381 hp and the maximum torque of 500 Nm give the two-ton all-wheel drive a powerful boost. From a standstill it goes to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, the top speed is limited to 250 km/h and you can drive as confidently as you would expect from an elegant luxury-class coupe. Like the smaller four-cylinder, the top model has a 48-volt starter generator, whose small electric motor contributes 17 kW / 23 hp and 205 for starting and as a boost, which noticeably reduces real consumption in particular.

Confident sound, quick response from low speeds and a lot of steam up to high speeds – that’s the 450. The steering – derived from the C-Class and GLC – has been tuned more directly and provides atmospheric feedback from the road surface via the 245 tires at the front and 275 tires at the rear. Despite all the sportiness, the level of comfort is not neglected, which can be variably adjusted using the various driving programs. The little brother CLE 300 4matic shows that there is another way, as it is not really convincing when driving. The sound of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine may not suit a luxurious coupe like the Mercedes CLE and the driver constantly has the impression that the two-liter engine is making more effort than is good for him. The two cylinders and 123 hp less power are noticeable in almost every speed range. This doesn’t mean that the CLE is too slow, quite the opposite. But top speed and sprint potential from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds are not everything, because the subjective feeling shouts loudly: the 450 please! And don’t think about the CLE 200 or CLE 220d.