In the world of Mercedes-Benz, the S-Class is the bench mark for such exquisite extravagance that almost any other Mercedes below it would seem unrelated. However, these day’s it seems as if Mercedes wants all of their buyers to indulge in the S-Class essence without having to actually purchase one. Therein lies the new E-Class.
Often times in the German world, when a sedan is born, a coupe soon follows. However, in the case of the new E400 Coupe and E400 Cabriolet, while they share similar DNA components, they are nearly different cars. The E-Class Coupe shares completely different body panels than the sedan, a much more sexier glow, and is only available with their 329-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6. And that’s before we get the Cabriolet that loses its roof in less than 15 seconds at 30 mph – cover your eyes, this is not safe for work.
Being a Mercedes though, there is a bullet to bite, and that’s its price. The E400 Cabriolet starts at a mere $68,800, but come on… no one settles for basic. Our tester rang in a final price of $89,735. While even we may admit that the $950 Massaging seats, $1900 Air Control Suspension and $2500 AMG styling may be a bit unnecessary, but when in Rome, right? Especially when the Air Control system raises the car just as we’re about to enter for easy entry and lowers it back down once we get back in – I mean, we can’t be getting out of the car at valet looking like we already a few too many glasses of wine now.
It goes without saying that the E400 Cabriolet is astonishing piece of German engineering. The twin-turbo is incredibly quick, getting to 60 mph in just over 5 seconds. And its 9-speed transmission is so creamy smooth, it’s almost non-existent. It just manages to do everything right without fail. However, there is this DYNAMIC button, that when pushed, the comforts of a Mercedes-Benz changes within an instant. Engaging the most dynamic mode of them all, SPORT +, lowers the car, increases steering and throttle responsiveness and the gear changes become so quick and aggressive that our luxury cabriolet has turned into a back-road dominator.
But this is a Mercedes and we don’t care for the aggression or domination. The E400 Cabriolet is a lover, not a fighter, so we popped it into COMFROT mode, savored the plush ride, while getting a relaxing massage and took advantage of the 21 miles per gallon fuel efficiency. Despite whatever drive mode is chosen, the E400 is an unbelievably enjoyable car to drive. Everything is set for an easy drive without feel disconnected. The lavish ride quality and lenient steering make for a joyous weekend cruiser while still providing competent road behavior and driving mannerisms. Our E400 was also equipped with 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, a $2500 upgrade of the standard rear-wheel drive Cabriolet. The 4MATIC increases agility, power distribution and torque management system for a more controlled environment; despite some understeer activity when pushed to the edge of its screeching tires limits.
The interior of the E400; however, is where the E-Class starts to compliment the S-Class lineup. The amount of the quality, leather and use of materials is beyond luxurious of what one would expect out of an E-Class. The lines, the curves and the $1300 Designo woods and $1370 Macchiato and Espresso Brown Nappa leather is just intricately heavenly. And it’s not like this is one of those ridiculous convertibles that only fits a Gucci hang bag and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy in the back – full size adults fit comfortably with generous leg room and the inability to hear conversations in the front seat.
The E400 can seem overwhelming with its beautiful display of crystal clear screens. However it is surprisingly very simple, you don’t need a master’s degree in technological warfare to understand and operate all of its features. Its very simple and easy to navigate and customize the displays to your liking. Everything is well within control from the space ship command center on the console. And then you can turn your classy E400 into a night at the disco with over 60 color combinations to choose from that illuminates the interior like a 70’s night club.
Most cars come with some sort of expensive package and most of the time its some kind of luxury package that brings in all the features that everybody wants. In the case of the E400 and its $9,350 Premium Package, there is more than just Its upgraded LED lighting System and Advance Safety Assist Features with a semi-autonomous driving mode. First, its brings in this beautiful lite digital instrument cluster, one of the most crystal clear all-around view camera’s we’ve ever seen, and the incredible Burmester Surround Sound System. But what if you want the cabin of your E400 to smell like a “…leather armchair in front of a fire in a room lined with dark wood, a glass of cognac on a small table and a cigar?” It can pump that fragrance into your cabin. Mercedes-Benz calls that “Nightlife Mood”.
Despite its hefty price tag, quality is always going to be expensive and with the E400 Cabriolet costing close to $90,000, it’s a price worth paying to have all the extremities of an S-Class wrapped into a E-Class. Especially when an entry-level S550 Cabriolet costs $40,000 more than our highly optioned E400.
|2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC Cabriolet:||$68,800|
|As Tested (including Options & Destination):||$89,735|
|3.0-liter Bi-Turbo V-6 -329-Horsepower, 9-Speed Automatic Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±5.0 seconds|
|EPA MPG: 20/25/22 (City/Highway/Combined) – SSB Average: 16.6 MPG’s – Fuel Range: ±310 Miles|