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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet | Video Review | CarsIreland.ie

Do convertibles make sense in Ireland? Not, really no. Is it worth it for the seven and a half minutes of sunshine where you do get to drop the roof? In the case of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet – absolutely.

“Do convertibles make sense in Ireland? Not, really no. Is it worth it for the seven and a half minutes of sunshine where you do get to drop the roof? In the case of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet – absolutely.”

  • AIRSCARF neck-heating technology

  • Refined and enjoyable to drive

  • Stunning inside and out

87%

Overall Rating

  • Premium price tag

  • Touchscreen graphics could be better

  • Boot loses a bit of space to the soft top roof

Overall Rating

Overview

There’s nothing like driving around in a shiny red convertible to make all your troubles drift away. Even if, like us, you’re driving it on a wet Irish Tuesday without much prospect of dropping the roof to feel the wind in your hair. You might feel wind alright, but you’re also at high risk of feeling the contents of the grey clouds above.

Our week with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet gave weight to the line about Ireland being a beautiful country, if only you could put a roof on it.

Luckily for the Mercedes, you can.

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Interior Gallery

Space & Practicality

In comparison to the E-Class saloon which it is based on, the Cabriolet has had to make a couple of sacrifices in the field of space and practicality.

One such area is the boot, which at 385 litres can hold about the same amount as a Volkswagen Golf, although the shape makes it a little more awkward to load. You’ll lose a few more litres with the roof down too. The narrow opening makes it a little tricky to load larger items such as suitcases, but it’s still more than capable of carrying the weekly shop (providing you haven’t got an enormous family to feed).

You wouldn’t really want to have an enormous family when it comes to the back either. Firstly, it’s a two door which means getting in there to begin with a little awkward, and it’s also strictly a four seater, with no middle seatbelt or seat. Once you do manage to clamber in, the seats are comfortable, if a little on the bolt upright side, but legroom is quite generous. Headroom is pretty good too (especially if you drop the roof).

Equipment and Safety

The front of the cabin is where the E-Class comes into its own and the fit and finish is just as luxurious as you’d expect from a Mercedes.

Everything is very classy, very nicely put together and extremely comfortable. It’s also got a much more modern feel than what you might have seen in Mercedes of old, helped by the choice of 64 different shade of ambient lighting and lashings of impressive new technology.

A particular highlight is the AIRSCARF technology – a neck heater, essentially, built to keep you warm on the days you do choose to brave the elements. Even with the roof up, a pleasant blast of warm air on the back of the neck feels positively spa-like at the end of a long day.

Aside from that extreme attention to detail when it comes to comfort, it’s also laden with other high-end features. All models get full leather, Garmin SatNav, an incredibly high-def reversing camera, and electrically adjustable heated seats.

The AMG line model adds a few upgrades – mainly styling enhancements designed to give it a sportier look, with 19 inch twin spoke alloy wheels, AMG line chrome trimmed styling around the grille and a flat bottom multifunction leather wrapped steering wheel.

Infotainment is taken care of by a touchscreen multimedia system controlled via a dial and touchpad on the centre console. It’s not the most immediately intuitive system to use but once you work it all out, it’s actually very well-executed. The touchpad will allow you to draw letters instead of faffing around with a keyboard – a clever feature when you’re trying to find a contact or destination in a hurry.

Another nice feature is the touch activated controls on the steering wheel which you can use to switch between different displays on the instrument cluster.

Performance & Running Costs

There’s a choice of three different engines available – the 2.0l petrol E200, and then two diesels in the 3.0l E350d and the smaller 2.0l E220D which powered our test car. You could argue that it’s not the most exciting one of the bunch and many more will argue that diesels and convertibles shouldn’t mix at all, but as diesels go – this one is refined, quiet and fairly energetic with 194hp available. They all come paired to a nine speed automatic gearbox so that power uptake is instant, with more of it available whenever you want it. The body control is excellent and the rear wheel drive makes it a fun companion on a windy road.

It also helps that you can switch between different driving modes with Sport and Sport Plus to aid the more spirited stuff, and a calmer, more economical Comfort mode for around town. It might not be not a white knuckle ride, but it is enjoyable in its own way – just a more elegant, relaxed type of fun.

The benefits to the diesel of course are that it is quite good value to run, with a claimed fuel economy at around 4 – 5 litres per 100km which it isn’t actually too difficult to get close to, once you keep it out of sport mode.

Reliability & Residuals

In terms of drawbacks, you might have guessed that this amount of luxury doesn’t come cheap and the starting price for the E-Class Cabrio is about €57,000. The AMG line diesel starts at €61,140 or €63,308 if you want the Designo ‘Hyacinth Red’ metallic paint of our test car because it is a (gasp) €2,168 option.

What you get for that price tag is a truly desirable car that’s enjoyable to drive, (even more so during the summer we’d imagine) and fantastic to look at – so much so that you might (as we did, many times) find yourself turning back for that one last admiring glance before you walk away, and that is quite hard to put a price on.

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Details correct at time of publication
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2018-05-28T14:30:28+00:00

About the Author:

Sinéad is our resident car tester who has the unenviable (-ok, slightly enviable) task of reviewing all the latest new cars to hit the market. You can follow her on Twitter @smcani and on Instagram @whatshedrives