Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet (2017) Review
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet (2017) At A Glance
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet occupies a unique position in the marketplace. Unlike smaller rivals such as the Audi A5 or BMW 4 Series, the E-Class is a genuine four-seat convertible. Although dropping the fabric roof does remove some boot space, this is still a very practical cabriolet.
Handsome styling, a premium badge and a high-quality interior bursting with the latest technology are all major plus-points, too. Despite its impressive array of engines and the engineering under the skin, however, do not mistake this for a sports car.
Mercedes-Benz has been on a mission for many years to fill every possible gap in its model range. The result of this is the stylish E-Class Cabriolet, which slots in neatly between the smaller C-Class and extravagant drop-top S-Class.
However, the determination of the German marque to plug every hole leaves the E-Class Cabriolet with no direct competitors.
It manages to be larger than convertible versions of the Audi A5 and BMW 4 Series and, unlike those cars, it can transport four adults in comfort. Curiously, only the closely related E-Class Coupe offers any real competition.
Forget ideas of convertibles with back seats only for children, because the E-Class Cabriolet has an impressive amount of headroom and legroom in the rear. Front-seat passengers still get the best deal, avoiding the upright shape of the rear bench. Even the boot is a usable size, with the folding fabric roof only mildly affecting cargo space.
Raising and lowering the soft-top roof is a simple affair, and can be completed in less than 20 seconds. It can also be operated at speeds of up to 31mph, maximising the potential for sunshine. The clever Aircap system keeps draughts to a minimum with the roof down, and the Airscarf vents can blow warm air across your neck (like a scarf) on cooler days.
Technology is another key part of the E-Class Cabriolet’s appeal. Mercedes-Benz has stuffed the interior with the latest gadgets, with the newest cars even gaining augmented reality for the nav system. A pair of customisable display screens are used for the digital dashboard and multimedia systems, joining together to form one widescreen panel.
The interior itself is inspired by the opulent Mercedes S-Class, looking and feeling reassuringly expensive. All the elements the driver will touch are made from high-quality materials, with metal and leather both common components. LED ambient lighting allows a degree of personalisation, and gives the impression of the dashboard floating above the centre console.
On the outside, the E-Class Cabriolet also looks the part, with LED headlights and AMG-inspired styling elements delivering a bold look. A broad array of standard safety equipment is as you’d expect from Mercedes-Benz.
Later 2020 models can even detect if the driver still has hold of the steering wheel, and take avoiding action should the risk of a collision arise.
It would be hard to blame E-Class Cabriolet drivers for taking a more hands-off approach, frankly, given the laid-back nature the car exudes. Despite its sporty styling, this is very much a machine for cruising boulevards and looking cool. This even includes the rapid AMG E 53 performance model, which can deliver a serious turn of speed.
Light steering and a comfortable ride, especially on models with the excellent air suspension, cement the role of the E-Class as a luxury vehicle. The engine range includes powerful petrol and diesel options, but none will make you drive the E-Class like a sports car.
Instead, the emphasis here is firmly on enjoying the journey, and feeling relaxed on arrival.