Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet (2016-2020) review
The Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet is one of the few large, luxury convertibles on sale with four usable seats. It looks fabulous and feels lovely inside but it doesn’t feel all that sporty to drive.
What's not so good
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet (2016-2020): what would you like to read next?
If you’re looking for a stylish drop top with a gorgeous interior and plenty of kit, the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet is one of the best in the business. It’s an alternative to the likes of the BMW 8 Series Convertible and can be had as a more practical saloon, a two-door coupe or a roomy estate.
The Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet looks far more stylish than its hard-top siblings, though, and comes exclusively in AMG Line trim so you get some larger alloy wheels and a set of slightly sportier bumpers as standard. Put all this together, and it certainly has the more aggressive-looking BMW 8 Series licked in the elegance stakes.
It’s a similar story inside, where the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet’s eye-catching cabin has a little more wow-factor than the BMW’s sporty – but rather predictable-looking – interior. You get a sweeping dashboard with some gorgeous unvarnished ash wood trim as standard, along with a set of lovely metal air vents, a simple row of metal toggle switches and a pair of huge digital displays which replace conventional analogue dials.
Through these whopping great screens you’ll control all of the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet’s onboard features, including the standard satellite navigation. It’s all relatively easy to use, but not quite as intuitive as the BMW’s system. Unlike the BMW, you get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
The Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet’s gizmos aren’t limited to things you can see on the screen – it also comes with plenty of electric seat adjustment to help you find a comfortable driving position. There’s plenty of space for you to stretch out if you’re tall – whether you have the fabric roof up or down – and there’s even enough space for two adults to climb in behind. That’s not something you can say of many four-seat convertibles.
The Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet is a breath of fresh air – in more ways than one. It’s a four-seat convertible which actually has space in the back for adults.
On a similar note, the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet’s boot is also a smidgen roomier than the load bay you get in the BMW 8 Series Convertible. There’s plenty of space for a few suitcases or a set of golf clubs and there’s even a fold-down flap which lets you know exactly how much space to leave if you want to put the roof down.
On the subject of roofs, the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet’s special insulated soft-top makes it impressively quiet at motorway speeds. Fold it down – which you can do in 20 seconds and at up to 31mph – and you can enjoy the wind in your hair without having to shout so your passengers can hear you. Just remember to tell those in the back to lean forward when you fancy dropping the roof or they’ll find their hair pinched in the folds of the fabric.
Cruising with the roof down is what the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet does best. It’s comfortable, quiet and a doddle to drive. It’ll carve from corner to corner on a twisty country road without leaning too much and it irons out bumps very well indeed. It’s especially comfortable if you pay extra for the adaptive air suspension.
Thankfully, you don’t have to pay extra for an automatic gearbox. Every Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet comes with a smooth nine-speed unit as standard which suits the car’s wafty image perfectly. The entry-level E220d diesel model feels perky enough and reasonably economical, but there are plenty of more powerful engines to choose from including a pair of four-wheel-drive cars and an AMG-tuned E53 model with 435hp if you’d prefer something faster.
Whichever model you pick, you’ll find it doesn’t feel particularly sporty to drive. But, if you’re more interested in chilled-out cruising with the top down than charging down country roads, the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet should be right at the top of your list.