by Adam Lynton
The E-class Cabriolet joins the recently revised mid-size Mercedes-Benz lineup as an all new model and features the latest available luxury and safety technologies. Styling-wise the cabriolet retains a folding soft top and adopts the smooth and classy design language of the sedan and coupe.
A modern and minimalistic design is dominated by a wide rectangular infotainment screen that extends across the left of side of the dashboard. There is a feeling of opulence in the cabin that is a step above the E-class' obvious competitors and the sculpted front seats offer a superb level of comfort, the airscarf neck warming feature is a real boon with the top down on cold days. Buttons and controls all look and feel like quality items and no area of the interior feels like it has been built down to a price.
The rear seats require a bit of contorting to get into, it's a lot easier with the roof up, once in there is enough space for adults although head room is restricted.
The interior has numerous areas to store your oddments although the trunk space is slightly below the class average.
This new convertible is far sportier than before and the standard suspension setup offers a good balance between solid handling capabilities and an absorbent ride. Opting for larger alloy wheels does not unduly upset the balance and the available air body control further improves the cars ability to absorb rough road surfaces.
The well-insulated fabric roof offers a similarly quiet cabin as found in the coupe variants and only tire noise makes itself heard on coarse roads.
The 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 in the E400 Cabriolet offers up 329 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque over a wide rev-range, a 9-speed automatic transmission is paired to either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
Both variants post respectable 0-60 mph acceleration times, 5.5-seconds in the case of the RWD model and a slightly quicker 5.3-seconds for the AWD car, not quite as quick as the BMW 4-series but in practice there is not much in it.
The V6 engine may not emit the same sort of guttural bellow that the V8 powered models have but it is superbly smooth and suits the character of the E400 cabriolet rather well.
The E-class Cabriolet is available with one engine option and either RWD or AWD configurations, there is one trim level that offers a large range of standard features.
Notable items include power front seats with memory and heating, Airscarf neck heating, multi-color ambient lighting, power-folding side mirrors, electric trunk partition, 12.3-inch central display, infotainment system with smartphone compatibility and navigation, voice control and Bluetooth audio streaming.
LED headlamps and taillamps, active brake assist, rearview camera, sport suspension with adaptive damping, crosswind assist, auto-wipers and dynamic cornering assist are all part of the standard safety systems.
Numerous leather colors and design details offer an added level of customization while three premium packages offer a selection of additional luxury and safety items, noteworthy extras include a Burmester surround audio system, hands-free access, head-up display, magic vision control (convertible specific windshield washer system), air suspension and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
The impressive array of additional safety systems such as active steering assist, active speed limit assist, active parking assist and active cruise control are all on offer too.
A range of individual items are available such as a heated steering wheel and armrests, soft-close doors and multicontour front massage seats. An AMG Line package adds some AMG body styling details as well as unique 18-inch alloys.
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet is a classy soft top with design features and safety systems that elevate it above its competitors.
The sublime ride and comfortable interior are complemented by commendable performance levels, if you are in the market for a luxury mid-sized convertible this newly launched Mercedes should be near the top of your shopping list.