- Clever AirCap lessens buffeting
- Excellent diesels
- Not exciting to drive
- AirCap is effective but looks ungainly
- Not cheap
Claimed not to be a direct replacement for the outgoing CLK, the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet is a comfortable four-seat convertible that harks back to the classy Mercedes models of old. Quite why the firm trys to deny this lineage is unclear, as in many ways the cars boast a clear and distinct relationship.
Even at first glance there's a similarity to the way they look, though the new E-Class cabriolet boasts far more style to its lines. Revised in 2013 the Cabriolet (and Coupe it is based on) is still proud of its rear haunches, the pontoon arches having been smoothed over on the saloon and estate models. The bold front end, with its new bi-xenon headlamps and bold new Sport grille is both more aggressive and pleasing.
The cabin's design borrows heavily from the E-Class saloon too, with a not un-attractive dashboard but one that doesn't look particularly exciting.
However, there are four usable seats in there and while full-size adults might not relish the prospect of hours spent in the rear, it's more than adequate for teenage kids.
And while they're there they can enjoy the adjustable rear headrests and wind deflector, which automatically rise upwards when the rear seats are occupied.
Up-front the AirCap also automatically rises (previously it was operated by the driver) at speeds above 25mph, sending airflow over the car rather than into it. It's an especially effective system - allowing for excellent refinement at higher speeds - but does look ungainly when in use.
Refinement remains high with the roof up too, the sound insulating acoustic roof keeping road and wind noise down to a mimimum. Available in an array of colours, the canvas top can be opened and closed in 20 seconds at speeds up to 25mph too.
The range-topping E500 has gone, replaced by a refined and almost-as-quick E400 model using a twin-turbo V6 petrol engine, though it's the diesel E350CDI that is expected to take the lion's share of UK sales. With 620Nm, 47.9mpg, 156g/km CO2 emissions and a 0-62mph time under seven seconds it's easy to understand just why it'll prove so popular.
There's more standard kit than ever, which is good as prices are slightly higher than previous models, and the E-Class Cabriolet can be specified with a dazzling array of kit. The new Mercedes Intelligent Drive consists of 11 systems, including a new 3D camera and an advanced set of lane departure and adaptive cruise control systems.
Impressive no doubt, but read our full Mercedes E-Class cabriolet review for the details on just how good it really is.
What owners say about this car
The 350 Petrol is as rare as hen's teeth on the used car market, especially with the options I... Read owner review
The roof folds away at traffic lights really quick. Read owner review
4 seats, soft top, all mod cons, 100% comfortable car with the appeal of something on a higher... Read owner review