2014 Mercedes E400 Cabriolet review

Freshened but familiar top-down cruiser from the house of solidity

By Shahzad Sheikh

2014 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

Mercedes is revamping its lineup – you can see its new swoopy signature style in the new S-Class and the, just launched in the UAE, C-Class. The whole new look extends to the interiors too with curving, floating futuristic dashboards.

2014 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

However Mercedes has a very large line up, one that continues to expand, somewhat confusingly I might add, with an SUV line-up, small hatchbacks and that distinctly German trend of saloons pretending to be coupes. So understandably it’ll take a while for the new design themes to permeate through the expansive offerings from the three-pointed star.

2014 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

The Mercedes E-Class is not yet a recipient of the next-gen Stuttgart DNA, which might surprise you considering the way it looks – particularly from the front. It’s x years through its model cycle, so its gets a refresh instead. And as product revisions go, the facelift work is quite extensive, smoothing over the stout somewhat blocky nose of the steady-selling stalwart of the range, the Mercedes E-Class.

2014 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

Move past the softer front and those rather enchanting LED-straked headlights though and you start to realise that the profile is quite familiar, right down to the muscular rear haunch amplifying the rear-wheel drive potency of the coupe and cabriolet ranges.

2014 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

It’s the latter we’re trying for this test, in E400 guise, with a 3.0-litre 333bhp motor under the bonnet and a AED277,000 ($75,500) price tag on the windscreen, fitted as all properly-specced GCC Mercs are, with the AMG body kit, giving it an extra dose of aggression in its street stance, and deserved desirability.

2014 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

But whilst the exterior has spruced up and manned up, the interior remains sombre and bluff old-skool Mercedes fare, which is not to denigrate its usability and ergonomics in anyway, it all still works and feels fine – although personally I much prefer the central ‘floor’ shifter of a proper full-fat AMG rather than the rather delicate action of the dainty column mounted stalk – it’s frankly not right when the indicator stalk on the other side has a more perceptible and satisfying click-action than the thing that changes your gears!

2014 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

Aside from that grip, there isn’t really anything to dislike in this cabin, but then there isn’t really anything fresh either. It remains a privileged place to be in – at the wheel of your own Mercedes E-class and that, for a lot of people, is worth the price of entry alone.

2014 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

It does not, for them, matter how this car drives. But how it drives is very decently indeed. Grunty if serene progress from the engine, it only really starts to take on a meaty grumble at over 4500rpm, and the transmission does its job so well there is never any need to employ the provided paddle shifts – or even to bother shifting into to the Sport mode of the three available – the others being Comfort and Eco.

2014 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

In fact its best to just leave this in the middle mode – the ride is less jiggly too – and motor along happily all day and everywhere, feeling really rather extra special if the weather will allow you to put the electric canvas roof down, which, by the way, when it’s up provides remarkable sound insulation, and lulls you into thinking you bought the coupe instead.

The car itself feels as solid as you would rightfully expect from a Mercedes with competent and safe if uninspiring handling – this is not a sports car, it’s a boulevard cruiser.

And that sort of sums it up really. It’s a truly classy and dependable way to get about town whilst feeling rather invulnerable. But if you’re looking for zest and charisma, you need to look elsewhere. For the money you have quite a few options, as an example, you can get a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible with 580bhp for less money. Bet that gave you pause for thought…

2014 Mercedes E400 Cabriolet – The Specs

Price: AED277k ($75.5k)
Engine: 3.0-litre supercharged V6, 333bhp @ 5500rpm, 354lb ft @ 1600rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic, Rear-wheel drive
Fuel Economy: 7.9L/100km
Performance: 0-100kph 5.3 seconds, Top speed 250kph
Gross Weight: 1845kg

Would you have the 2014 Mercedes E400 Cabriolet, or will you wait for next year’s C-Class Cabriolet? Tell us below

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