With our desert Southwest offering convertible weather all-year round we recently test drove the 2015 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet.
It’s the mid-sized, mid-priced offering in the brand’s convertible lineup.
And the middle ground is a nice relaxing place to be. As of now, it’s the only available four-seat convertible from Mercedes-Benz.
This is at least until the larger S-Class Cabriolet arrives. But that car is excess where this one seems by comparison, simple shoes.
They’re nice shoes at that. Ours had a sumptuous leather and wood lined interior that was hard to fault not matter now hard I tried. Sitting behind the wheel is a comfortable and coddled existence whether the top is up for down.
It is winter, so the heated and ventilated seats along with a strong wind from the climate control make for tolerating it easy. If I had anything to change in here it would be to replace the transmission selector toggle stick with a traditional shift lever. It’s just more visceral.
Luckily what it controls is quite rewarding to the senses. Our tester’s 329 horsepower turbocharged V6 has plenty of punch to make this car quick to respond. Its sound and feel while not as velvety as the inline sixes of yore, is still something you like to ask for often with your right foot.
The seven-speed automatic transmission does an excellent job of shifting smooth and quick without much drama. The auto-start-stop engine system does offer a bit of drama, but you can switch it off if you’d rather not deal.
On the road and around town over rough pavement patches I was impressed with the solid body structure. With both the top up and down, there were no creaks or shakes that made themselves an issue, which means it feels its price.
At $76,225 as tested, it might not sound at first blush like sensible shoes. But compared to the six-figure tag the larger S-Class Cabriolet will have, it is indeed by comparison. The E400 Cabriolet does start out at a more reasonable $61,350.
To be honest, reasonable and sensible aren’t things you think about when shopping for a car like this. It’s about rewarding yourself. And in that way, this is a nice piece of rich, thick Black Forest cake, that I think is worth the calories.