Mercedes-Benz E450 Cabriolet
If you are wondering, wait, didn't you try the E-class two years ago? And last year E63 wagon? You would be correct, but they were different models, and they are different from this one! In fact, in North America, the E-Class is available in four different body styles; you can also add two SUVs in the E category (GLE and GLE Coupe). So there really is an E-Class for everyone (if you have the budget for one)! Our test model had an MSRP of $99,700 and was manufactured in Bremen, Germany.
The exterior styling of the E450 Cabriolet is classy, with no crazy air intakes; overall, the look is pretty much understated, like its sedan counterpart. The 20-inch wheels look massive but nothing exuberant. The combination of the High Tech Silver on the body and the Dark Blue soft top is a nice contrast of colours and brings home this sense of calmness.
When you climb inside the car, you can appreciate the luxury of the vehicle. The front seats are incredibly comfortable and easily adjustable. Obviously, you will get heated and ventilated seats at this price point, but you also have a feature that Mercedes calls AIRSCARF. It blows hot air on your neck, so you can drive with the top down even as the leaves start changing colours in the Fall. The interior looks elegant and feels pleasant to touch. The steering wheel, the climate controls, the MBUX touchscreen have an inviting feel, and the contrast of the Macchiato beige and Yacht blue Nappa leather with the Dark wood make for a refined interior.
The steering wheel has a nice gripping feel. There are no physical buttons to raise or lower the volume; you will need to swipe your finger on the middle part of the lower right branch with the other media controls. We aren't sure if it is a step in the right direction, but it sure looks cleaner. Then you will find the other 12.3-inch fully digital cluster screen. The advantage here is that you can personalize how and what you want to see in a number of ways.
The rear seats are less impressive; they are easy to access with the metallic levers located on the front seats; the problem is the seating position and room available. They are upright, younger teenagers or shorter passengers, in general, could sit. However, this is more of a 2+2 configuration rather than a true 4-seater car. You can install a car seat since the ISOFIX ports are quite easy to reach, but the rear anchor isn't accessible unless you unlatched the backrest. Also, because of the upright position of the seat, not all car seats may fit. A quick word on the trunk, large golf bags can fit for a casual Saturday morning trip to the golf course or a compact stroller and diaper bag for travels with the family. You might need to pull down one of the back seats if you need to carry bulkier items.
Regarding the electronic goodies found in this vehicle, the 12.3-inch MBUX touchscreen is one of the best in the business. Responsive and easy to use, you can use it with the touchpad next to the center armrest or, like said earlier, with your fingers. Our only complaint about the infotainment system would be the lack of wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Speaking of the center armrest, you will find the button to raise or lower the convertible top next to it. This process is pretty straightforward, so you only need to pull or push it depending on whether you want to raise or lower the roof. We also liked that the climate controls are physical buttons to adjust to your desired temperature. You can also ask Mercedes to "vitalize yourself" if you're feeling a bit tired.
We can't review the E450 4MATIC Cabriolet without mentioning the driving experience; remember when we said going on a casual Saturday morning trip to the golf course? That's because this is when the car is the most at ease. The E450 is more touring-focused than sporty. Without going any further, the specifications are nothing to be ashamed of: a 3.0L turbocharged 6-cylinder engine that produces 362hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and a small generator powered by a 48-volt battery that produces up to 21hp that helps for fuel economy. This powerplant is brought to life with a 9-speed automatic transmission that delivers power from the engine to the wheels smoothly and efficiently in the city or on the highway. If you are looking for more thrill, you will need to step up to the AMG version, the AMG E53 4MATIC+ cabriolet.
The E450 is only about half a second slower than the AMG; it's mainly how the power is delivered that makes all the difference. The suspension is tuned for comfort, although it becomes stiffer in Sport+. There are also paddle shifters on the steering wheel, but once again, you will most probably be chill while driving the E-Class Cabriolet. The presence of all-wheel drive makes the car even more stable in corners and reinforces the sense of security. The only downside of our test vehicle was the run-flat 20-inch AMG-like tires and wheels. When we accidentally drove over potholes, the whole car shook, which was in stark contrast with the rest of the experience.
Fuel-wise, it isn't as bad as you might think, thanks to the mild-hybrid system. You can expect around 7.3L/100km on the highway, combined is about 9L/100km. There is also a start-stop on the engine, and when you select the Eco mode, you can achieve excellent fuel mileage.
At the end of the week, we wished we could've kept the car longer since it was such a pleasant experience. Everyone who sat in the vehicle praised how it felt like a Mercedes, which allied relaxation and enjoyment. But this all comes at a price, a steep $99,700 before taxes, so it isn't at everyone's reach.
Mercedes-Benz has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Mercedes-Benz Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above. #mercedesbenz #cabriolet #mercedesbenzcanada #familyrevoew