We test the new four-seat Cabriolet on sunny Irish roads
Pros: Roof-down refinement, spectacular interior, more spacious than before
Cons: Not particularly engaging to drive, no hardtop option
Although Ireland’s weather is often unpredictable, convertible cars remain a popular choice. This is the all-new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet and it follows in the footsteps of the new E-Class Saloon and Estate, which arrived on the scene in mid-2017. Combining style and sophistication with a quick-folding soft-top roof, it is an interesting new option in the niche four door cabriolet segment. While the previous generation model was based on Mercedes’ smaller C-Class platform, the new model boasts the same underpinnings as the popular E-Class Saloon, which means it is considerably larger than the car is replaces. But the killer question remains, is the new E-Class Cabriolet as good to drive as it looks?
What is it like?
The new E-Class Cabriolet has grown significantly and it has more road presence as a result. Longer, wider and taller than its predeccesor, it demands attention out on the road and especially with the roof down. The folding fabric roof can be specified in a variety of different colours, however there isn’t a hard top option available. Our test car is a high specification AMG Line model, which boasts 19-inch alloy wheels, AMG body styling and a twin exhaust system. That’s not to mention the optional Designo Hyacinth metallic red paint paint scheme, which is an acquired taste.
The E-Class Cabriolet’s cabin is classy and it looks spectacular when the roof is down. The dashboard design is exquisite with integrated infotainment, eye-catching air vents and premium-level materials throughout. The cabin is much more spacious than before, which means it can seat four adults comfortably and it is certainly practical by convertible standards. The roof folds down at the touch of a button in under 20 seconds, and at driving speeds of up to 48km/h. The Cabriolet also has front heated seats and neck-level heating as standard for those colder roof-down days.
The engine range comprises of a 184bhp 2.0-litre petrol (E200), a 194bhp 2.0-litre diesel (E220d), and a range-topping 258bhp 3.0-litre diesel (E350d). We drove the powerful and economical E220d diesel, which is likely to be the top choice in Ireland. It gathers momentum quickly with 0-100km/h taking 7.7 seconds, and it cruises well at higher speeds too. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard issue with levers behind the wheel for manual changes if needed. While performance isn’t the Cabriolet’s main party piece, it is an accomplished and refined cruiser. We covered over 1800 kilometres around Ireland during our test, and averaged 6.8 litres/100km in fuel economy. Annual motor tax for this model is listed at €270.
Out on the road, the E-Class Cabriolet is best-enjoyed with the roof down and in a relaxed manner. Those seeking driving thrills would be better served by the BMW 4 Series Convertible however. That said, the E-Class Cabriolet is composed through corners and there is a choice of different driving modes including Eco, Comfort and Dynamic. It is incredibly refined on the move, soaking up road imperfections with aplomb. The cabin and roof is well insulated which means noise is impressively low at motorway speeds with the roof in place too.
Prices for the new Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet start from €56,995, and there are two trim levels available. The entry model boasts leather upholstery, customisable ambient interior lighting, Garmin navigation, heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels and various infotainment and technology amongst other features. The step up to AMG line specification adds 19-inch alloy wheels, AMG interior and exterior styling, a parking package and other tech upgrades. Our E220d Cabriolet AMG Line test car has a list price of €63,308 with optional metallic paint adding to the premium.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet scores higher than most other four-seater cabriolets in terms of desirability, practicality and refinement. It is more spacious than before and it ultimately sits closer to the firm’s range-topping S-Class Cabriolet in terms of style and finish. The canvas roof is quick-folding and it doesn’t impact on cabin refinement either. Keen drivers will find the E-Class Cabriolet specialises in comfort over handling however, and some will be dissuaded by the lack of a hard-top option. That said, the E-Class Cabriolet is undoubthedly one of the most well-rounded cars in its class.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet AMG Line