Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet

The Crystal-Clear YES!

Weather was great in Dubai, the mood was set and I had the keys to an open top Merc - all mine for the weekend. Many times our test drives are useless when we get convertibles, as the temperature outside ticks above forty degrees. Fortunately, this wasn't the case when I picked up the all new Mercedes Benz E400 Cabriolet in November, the start to the Winters of Arabia. 

Driving Impressions
Let's talk about the E-class range which has an interesting history. "E" from the E-class when introduced stood for "Einspritzmotor" - a German term for a fuel injection engine. Time passed and then the automaker realized that the fuel injection feature wasn't particularly a fact to highlight, as all Mercedes cars used fuel injection at the time. The class name stayed though, reflecting the brand's everlasting luxury statement. The last heavy revamp of this class range was done in 2010. Now we get to see an even more dynamic end product.

The fascia in particular has gone through most of the changes, as was done in the entire lineup. The headlamps are a one block case on either side of the grille which evokes a feel of four lamps put together with a flowing light strip divider. It has a new bonnet with a re-designed bumper going down all the way to the flashy chrome plates - which at times made me too cautious while parking close to low pavement. The whole front end along with wide air intakes and sporty spoiler meant business in terms of aerodynamics. The pattern followed towards the rear with catchy lamps and twin exhausts. Our tester, a diamond white metallic bright, had a red soft top completing the beauty.

Many features in our convertible looked as if they were taken from the S-class. Though I never drove an S, some features on paper were quite visible in the E400. Most importantly it was the infotainment system which for me was a nice upgrade. Steering was light - a 3 spoke sports version from AMG. Oh, by the way, did I mention we had the AMG edition? That means a direct steer system, agility control sports suspension, five spoke light-alloy wheels with AMG floor mats and body styling. The temperature can be individually regulated for two or three zones. 

As we talk about a Mercedes, which for me is a synonymous term to luxury cars, I'd rather limit my words for interiors. Leather dashboard, a set of metallic "plates & function buttons" and a nice analog clock in the center looks modish - luxurious, elegant and very effective in offering comfort and a sporty feel. 

Under the hood we've got a 3 liter, V6 twin turbo engine which can shoot out up to 333 horse powers and throttle a torque close to 480 Nm at just 1400 rpm. For music, we have a Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround system which works on the command online multimedia system. The system features an internet browser and combines all audio, telephone and navigation functions. 

To open the soft top, there's a handle in a small case located in the center console. Usually in open tops, we notice discomfort related to unwanted wind flowing inside. To avoid this disturbance, here we have a system which has a wind deflector mounted on the roof frame and a special draught-stop set up placed in between the rear head restraints to divert the air flow above the passenger compartment. I must say, it was effective. Sound insulation was striking considering its tent material on top and that it still managed to avoid external noise while the roof was open. 

A smooth ride with absolute comfort was the intention and they seem to have done the job. Rear wheels get the power from the engine smoothly via a 7 speed automatic transmission system. It felt very composed passing through the urban roads of Dubai, staying on lane, occasionally with the interference of intelligent drive. This system combines adaptive cruise control with a camera in the front of the car that will keep you between lane markings. More push to the pedal and you see the nice boy E400 quickly turn bad. Twin turbo is effective and with the extra metal flab reduced due to the soft top, we see a better preposition of driving dynamics. There is minimal body roll at curves and I loved the way it stayed fair in slalom roads. Steering wheel is light and engaged well to my directions. 

The model slots in well between the E350 and the big E500. Objective was spot on and there was not a lot of competition. Quality, technology and styling have all come together with comfort. When conditions allow (we mean the bloody climate), the E400 is a definite YES. 


Year: 2014
Engine Cylinder: V6 Twin-Turbo
Displacement: 3.0 L
Power: 333 hp
Torque: 356 Nm
Transmission Type: 7 Speed Automatic
Drive: RWD


0-100: 5.4 Sec
Top Speed: 250 kph
Fuel Efficiency: 10 liters/100km

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