The new 2018 Mercedes E 400 4Matic Cabriolet is a beautiful masterpiece of intelligence that blends “blue-sky thinking and starry-eyed dreaming.”
This sporty convertible has a 3.0 L biturbo V6 engine that delivers 329 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque and is regulated through a nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and ECO start/stop. It also features dynamic select and 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive, which makes for fun driving.
The official fuel economy rating is 20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, for 22 mpg combined. When you open it up, it will go 0–60 in 5.3 seconds.
Speaking of opening it up, just open the power soft top—now that’s excitement. It vanishes beneath the sculpted rear deck in just 20 seconds, even though you may be going up to 31 mph.
The electronic wizardry automatically shuffles around parts of the soft top and the trunk when opening or closing, and there is an obstruction sensor that can alert you if there should be insufficient room to stow the top. The acoustic soft top is tailored from fabric, offered in four color choices.
The interior butyl layer helps insulate the cabin for a natural, quiet ride and year-round comfort.
My E400 Cabriolet had a Lunar Blue Metallic exterior body color and saddle brown/black leather interior upholstery with magnolia flowing-lines wood trim (paint-trim package $2,000).
There seemed to be hundreds of chrome hexagonal pins that make up the diamond black grille. Twin flame-like LED daytime running lights redefine the “four-eyed” face that has long been an E-Class signature item.
The twin power-dome hood and wraparound tail lamps pay additional tribute to the E 400 lineage.
The standard 18-inch wheels and staggered-width five-spoke wheel design on the E 400 present a confident stance. However, my vehicle added 19-inch RTD AMG twin five-spoke wheels as a $500 optional add-on.
The interior is a prelude of satin chrome that wraps around the cockpit. The four power side windows feature their own one-touch controls. The large-size side windows and heated-glass rear window further enhance the driving experience.
The dual-zone climate control system automatically adjusts for top-down driving. The front seats are heated and furnished with Airscarf, the neck-level heating system pioneered by Mercedes-Benz. The vents below the head restraints can envelop your neck and shoulders in warm air.
Two days before my driving experience, an Arctic cold front moved from the Panhandle through Texas. Airscarf was a warm blessing. Each seat offered three heat settings and speed-dependent air flow.
Multi-contour front seats are also available, allowing precise turning of your lumbar and shoulder supports. The 2018 Mercedes E 400 Cabriolet offers most of the technology offered by other E-Class vehicles, including features such pre-safe sound and car-to-x communication. Then there is air body control, which brings ride smoothness and comfort to a new level.
A 12.3-inch widescreen display dominates the center console and houses the navigation system with map updates. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity are all included, as would be expected in this price segment.
There are many other fancy items, like the air balance system that purifies cabin air through ionization, a heads-up display (HUD), active curve illumination that swivels the beams as you steer into curves to help you see around corners, and adaptive high-beam assist that automatically switches to low beam when it senses a car approaching ahead.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing for this fine car starts at $68,800.
There are several options packages already mentioned above; however, the Premium 3 Package merits special attention. This $9,350 package deals primarily with advanced safety features like active parking assist, LED intelligent light system, cross traffic protection, emergency stop assist, and active steering assist.
The E 400 Cabriolet has agile handling and is packaged beautifully with an impressive profile. It is comfortable, offers more than adequate interior space for passengers, and has immense power to get you where you want to go—and fast—while displaying great hold-to-the-road characteristics.
When you approach a red light or pass a car, immediately, you are the center of attention. Big smiles and a thumbs-up are presented each time another driver is close by.
The 2018 Mercedes E 400 Cabriolet lets in an abundance of sunshine and moon beams.
Overall Length: 190.0″
Overall Height: 56.2″ (top up)
Overall Width: 80.9″
Cargo Capacity: 9.5 cu. ft. (top up)
Curb weight: 4,332 lb.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at firstname.lastname@example.org.