Our test drive of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet was our first in the all-new E-Class family of cars.
Based on the new E-400 Coupe, the Cabriolet has a fully power operated cloth soft top that mimics the silhouette of the Coupe near identically. With a key fob walking up to or leaving your car, it can be opened and closed. From behind the wheel you can operate it at speeds of up to 30 mph. When down it stows cleanly under a hard tonneau cover.
Its design is sleeker and more detailed than the last generation with a lower aluminum hood with a dual power dome theme. Ours had the fully adaptive LED headlights and radar package that was well hidden behind the large Mercedes-Benz emblem.
Ours had the optional active aerodynamic system called AIRCAP which raises a wind deflector at the top of the windshield and a wind blocker just behind the rear seats. Together they reduce buffeting but as we found actually increase wind noise at speed.
As it was wintery cold during our week we found the AIRSCARF venting on the seats that blows warm air on your neck to be a blessing along with its heated seats, steering wheel and armrests.
The cabin of our tester was lined with luxurious touches and high technology starting with two-tone Nappa leather and the striped wood options. Seating was comfortable and infinitely adjustable, the materials excellent in their quality and fit, and the aroma from its leather blissful.
The dashed housed the optional wide flat screen instrument cluster that when optioned features dual 12.3-inch information screens. It allows for multiple design and information layouts you can customize yourself whether it be driving metrics, navigation or connectivity features for the audio system. It works well but in the sun has a lot of glare.
On the road, the E400 Cabriolet’s 329 horsepower 3.0-liter twin turbocharged V6 engine is quiet and powerful though not as refined in my opinion as the inline sixes of BMW. It comes mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and in our tester the 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
Drive modes allow for various personalities from the powertrain which range from Eco, to Comfort to Sport and Sport +. On the highest Sport settings the transmissions shifts become aggressive and almost rough, but remain refined on Eco and Comfort settings.
Ours also had latest generation of the Air Body CONTROL suspension which features multi-chamber air springs. Also affected by the drive modes, the ride is cushy and floating on Comfort mode as most may associate with Mercedes-Benz but does firm up well on Sport modes.
The new Cabriolet’s body structure is the tightest yet when it comes to rigidity often lost when the roof comes off a coupe. This is made possible by new bracing in the floor and cowl made of die-cast aluminum, more resistant to twisting than conventional steel stampings.
Priced at $89,735, our E400 had plenty of option on top of its $68,800 base price. While spendy, the extra luxury and panache provided were well fitting of its price.