Mercedes E400 Cabriolet Review
Car Tested: 2015 Mercedes E400 Cabriolet
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1.01 crores
The 2015 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet offers open-top motoring in a class of its own
The Mercedes E-Class is a chic, sophisticated sedan that takes care of both, chauffeur driven people and those who like to spend most of the time behind the wheel in great comfort and luxury. Now what if you get a two-door convertible E-Class, offering similar comfort and luxury? Not a good recipe for Indian weather conditions but that’s what we dig into this time with the new E400 Cabriolet. We spend a while with the elegant convertible in the sweltering heat of Delhi.
Motor Quest: The Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet was first launched in India in 2010 with a 3.5-litre petrol engine delivering 272 BHP of power and 355 Nm torque. The new E400 Cabriolet comes loaded with new tech and offers more power with a 3.0-litre V6 petrol motor.
Exteriors – Styling cues are undoubtedly borrowed from the executive sedan but the E400 Cabriolet has a different stance altogether. The front end is steeply raked starting from the nose to the windscreen. It has a much leaner profile when compared to the upright appearance of the saloon. The sleek design even makes it look faster while standing still. The headlights get revised detailing while the big star logo sits proudly on a large grille. The airdams are wide and integrated well on a rather sporty looking front bumper.
The side profile shows sharp and steady crease lines emerging from the front fender that meet the pronounced wheel arch, very classy to look at. The rear gets similar but restyled LED tail lamps that look gorgeous at night. There are simple touches of chrome around the window line, tail gate and the lower half of the bumper that lends a premium look to the German vehicle. It looks best with the roof down but Mercedes is also offering the soft top in four colour options – dark blue, black, red and the one we had, dark brown.
Interiors – The similarity with the regular E-Class continues on the inside as well including the three-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifts, instrument cluster and the center console. However the dashboard on the E400 has a different layout, flowing downward and having a high resolution 7-inch infotainment screen for the COMAND system. There is a controller ahead of the armrest to operate the COMAND system that has got 10 GB of inbuilt hard-disc space. It offers navigation system, DVD, USB and Bluetooth connectivity. It is paired to a fantastic sounding Harman Kardon system having 14 speakers that churn out great acoustics.
The German carmaker has recently introduced Mercedes-Benz App with COMAND Online. It provides seamless internet connectivity on-the-go through which you can access your apps via the system without touching your phone. The E400 Cabriolet comes with Parking package that displays 360 degree bird’s eye view on the screen with the help of cameras all around (front, rear & ORVMs), very useful feature to have in India. There is an automatic belt feeder system in the car, so as soon as you enter the cabin, the belt is in an accessible position. The rooftop controls hide under a panel behind the COMAND controller. Flick it up to open the soft top while pressing it down closes the roof. It takes 20 seconds to open/close the rooftop fully and it can be done while the vehicle is moving up to 40 km/hr, which is good for the sudden changes in weather in our country.
The front seats are extremely comfortable offering electric adjustment and memory package for three individuals. You can set your seating, steering and mirror positions in the memory. Driving position is comfortable and with the roof down there is minimal turbulence and draughts in the cabin thanks to the AIRCAP system. Open-top motoring is quite enjoyable in the E400 because of this system. There is an air deflector on the roof frame and draught-stop panel between the rear head restraints that stop the wind blasts. It diverts the airflow above the heads and keeps the cabin relatively calm at high speeds. The climate control also works seamlessly this way to keep you cool even if it’s sunny. Pull the lever behind the front seats and they electrically move forward for you to access the rear seats comfortably. The legroom at the rear is limited for tall passengers but quite comfortable for short people. Rooftop mechanism eats up the luggage space but there is enough room.
Performance – The 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine under the long hood is a gem of a motor that likes to rev hard in a butter smooth manner. It churns out an impressive 333 BHP of power and 480 Nm of torque at a low 1600 RPM, very quick off the mark. The E400 Cabriolet hits the ton from standstill in just 5.3 seconds while the top speed is limited to 250 km/hr. Don’t go by its humble and elegant looks, this beautiful Benz can get wild if you give it the beans. It sounds amazing too, not loud but emits very satisfying music from the V6 engine that feels best near the 6500 RPM redline.
The V6 motor gives you the kick in your pants feeling, accelerates fast
The E400 Cabriolet comes with a 7-speed G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission which is comfort oriented and does its job calmly without letting you notice the shifts if you drive in a sedate manner. The lag in shifting is only felt when you get enthusiastic with the throttle. It comes with Eco, Sport and Manual mode. Eco shifts gears early for better fuel efficiency, Sport shifts gears at high RPMs to extract optimum power while Manual lets you choose the gears though it shifts automatically after redline. The ECO start/stop system isn’t as intrusive as BMWs. It shuts off the engine silently when standstill and comes back to life smoothly when you lift off the brake pedal. Cruising at 100 km/hr finds the needle hovering over a calm 1500 RPM in seventh gear.
Driving Dynamics – As is the case with most of the Mercedes cars, the E400 Cabriolet too has a great ride and handling balance. It doesn’t have the AIRMATIC suspension but AGILITY CONTROL suspension, which automatically adjusts according to the road conditions and speed. The ride quality is impressive on our kind of bumpy roads and undulations but broken patches and sharp bumps are prominently felt due to the low profile tyres. It is rock solid at high speeds having good stability but while cornering hard you feel the typical rear heavy nature of convertibles. Handling is sharp though and the steering responds quite well to your inputs that adds to the confidence inspiring drivability. The vehicle also gets ADAPTIVE BRAKE technology that offers strong stopping power with the help of ABS, brake assist, ASR and ESP. There is a brake drying function too that removes moisture on the discs for effective braking under wet conditions.
Safety and After Sales Service – When it comes to safety, Mercedes leaves no stone unturned. First up is the ATTENTION ASSIST that warns the driver if the system detects drowsiness by the driving style and steering movement. Then there is the PRE-SAFE system that gets activated if it senses potential danger and initiates preventive measures by tensioning the driver and passenger seatbelt, automatically gets the seats upright and closes the windows. Furthermore, the E400 Cabriolet has nine airbags on its disposal as standard. Mercedes-Benz is currently present across 38 cities in India with 102 touchpoints and is growing further. The German automaker provides great peace of mind when it comes to after sales due to its comprehensive ownership services.
Verdict – There are performance centric convertibles then there are luxurious ones and the Mercedes E400 Cabriolet offers a good blend of both worlds. One can enjoy the ‘wind in the hair’ feeling while cruising on the highway and at the same time get cracking with the strong performance of the 3.0-litre V6. It looks quite elegant having great presence on Indian roads, gets attention anywhere you go. The only gripe is the extreme weather conditions in our country for this soft-top convertible. It is not a car for everyday routine but a special machine to lift your mood on those pleasant weekends.
The Mercedes E400 Cabriolet is a very appealing car that stands out of the crowd providing you a fantastic fusion of open-top motoring with immense luxury. The car has a stellar engine under the hood, which is quite fun to play with. It isn’t a car to drive on a daily basis but to swagger around at those weekend parties.
* Graceful exteriors and proportionate looking convertible car
* Top quality luxurious interiors with minimal turbulence while the roof is down
* Lots of tech on offer including the 360 degree camera and Active Parking Assist
* Fantastic V6 petrol engine with strong acceleration
* Pliant ride quality despite having low profile tyres
What’s Not So Cool
* Limited legroom for rear passengers
* Roof top mechanism hinders boot space
* Pricey and not so practical for Indian weather conditions
Mercedes E400 Cabriolet Specifications
* Engine: 2996cc, V6
* Power: 335 PS @ 5250-6000 RPM
* Torque: 480 Nm @ 1600-4000 RPM
* Transmission: 7-speed automatic
* 0-100 km/hr: 5.3 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 10 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Suspension: AGILITY CONTROL suspension with selective damping system
* Tyres: 235/45/17 Alloy
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Disc (Rear), ADAPTIVE BRAKE
* Safety: ABS, EBD, ADAPTIVE BRAKE, ESP, 9 airbags, Hill-Start Assist, acceleration skid control, HOLD function
Mercedes E400 Cabriolet Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4703 mm X 1786 mm X 1398 mm
* Wheelbase: 2760 mm
* Boot Volume: 390 litres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 66 litres
* Kerb Weight: 1845 kgs
* Turning Radius: 5.6 m
Picture Editing – Sri Manikanta Achanta