Chic new Cabriolet will have plenty of appeal
You don’t have to be a big fan of the rag-top genre to find the Mercedes E-Class Cabrio a very appealing machine.
This week we test the cabrio version of the E-class and while a rag-top is not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea — especially those who truly like a car with a dynamic chassis — this one is not bad at all, and you don’t necessarily have to live on the Cote d’Azur to feel the need for something of this nature.
What you have here is a terribly well appointed — even in entry level guise — car which is also a spacious, raffish and practical four seater.
It might not be much cop as a speedster or even as something which will get you pumped every time you drive it, but it is simply terribly nice altogether.
Mercedes, for some reason best known to itself, has always had a fondness for roofless motoring and rag-tops have been a feature of company’s production for many, many years.
What is unusual in this case, is that the car pretty much has the field to itself, as such as the A5 Cabriolet or the 4 Series Convertible are much smaller, while the likes of the 6 Series Convertible is vastly more expensive.
That being so, Mercedes has done plenty enough with this design to frighten off the competition anyway by producing a car which is very sophisticated and very chic. The fact the market for cabrios is shrinking globally, seems not to have mattered much to them. The two rear seat passengers — there are only two seats — will not be discommoded unduly by the packaging of the roof as it does not impinge much on them and they will enjoy the amount of room afforded them.
There are few issues with the boot either as the roof does not appear to take up too much stowage capacity when folded and the space available for luggage is impressive.
The roof itself opens and closes in just 20 seconds and the operation can be achieved at speeds of up to nearly 50km/h.
With the roof down, the look is spoiled somewhat with the ‘Aircap’ spoiler which pops up at the top of the windscreen and the deflector which emerges behind the rear seats, but even if they are ugly, they do the job of keeping the airflow at bay.
While there are plenty of engine options, the tester was fitted with the basic two litre 220d turbodiesel with which we are so familiar these days and a fine choice it is too, what with a 194 bhp output, a 0-100km/h time of 7.7 seconds, a top speed of 237 kph and a consumption return of around 4.5 l/100 km (62.2 mpg). That it emits just 126 g/km of CO2, makes for a €270 annual tax bill.
On the road the car is not one for thrashing as it has a sedate and unfussy character. Although the ride height is lower than the saloon, the handling is not what you’d call nimble. But it’s not terrible either and the changes wrung here over the previous one have killed off at least some of the dynamic void that was there.
Beautifully made and built with precision and attention to detail (for example, the wishy-washers on the windscreen squirt down, rather than up to avoid showering the occupants) the E-Class Cabrio is everything it should be: comfortable, roomy and luxurious.
It might not be cheap at just over €63,000 for the tester, but then the majority of potential buyers don’t necessarily want cheap.
The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet.