Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet - Engines, drive & performance

The Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet majors on smooth responses, so if you’re after a sharp drive, the BMW 6 Series Cabriolet is more involving

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

Sitting within a wider range of convertibles, which is itself set apart from the German brand’s sports-car range, the drop-top E-Class has been able to target a very specific audience. These are drivers who like luxury and comfort as much as they appreciate cornering ability, need a big boot for golf clubs and holidays, and want to share the roofless experience with friends and family.

Viewing the Merc in this context, it’s probably no surprise the BMW 6 Series Cabriolet is the sharper and more focused drive, and likewise the Audi A5 Cabriolet’s suspension is stiffer, particularly in S line guise. Instead, the E-Class has excellent road manners, accelerating smoothly and cruising in comfort until you need a break. Even with the roof down, the entry-level E 220 d is quiet enough that there’s no rattly diesel noise reflected back at you.

Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet diesel engines

The E 220 d uses the brand’s latest 2.0-litre diesel with 191bhp, which is far smoother than the old 2.1-litre engine. This has vastly improved every car it has been fitted to, but the change is particularly apparent in the E-Class Cabriolet with the roof down, where diesel clatter has been virtually eradicated. With 0-62mph taking 7.7 seconds, this is no sports car, but the E 220 d never feels overworked and makes for relaxed progress and effortless motorway driving.

With two extra cylinders, the 3.0-litre straight-six E 400 d 4MATIC also gets four-wheel drive as standard, making for a very different proposition. The 0-62mph benchmark drops to 5.3 seconds and its top speed is limited to 155mph, but the E 400 d is also costlier in every respect.

Petrol engines

Petrol buyers have a choice of the E 300, E 450 4MATIC and the twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight-six Mercedes-AMG E 53. With 255bhp, the E 300 goes head-to-head with Audi’s 2.0-litre TFSI models and takes 6.6 seconds to reach 62mph from rest. Stepping up the E 450 reduces the 0-62mph time to 5.2 seconds, while top speed remains an electronically limited 155mph.

The AMG E 53 has 429bhp, a nine-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, so despite weighing over two tonnes, it can still get from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds. There are chassis changes but the formula remains fundamentally the same; the E 53 is a great long-distance cruiser. It's too big and heavy to feel particularly agile but there's plentiful grip and it feels secure in corners.

Most Popular

New Toyota GR86 unveiled
2021 Toyota GR86 - front 3/4 view
Toyota
6 Apr 2021

New Toyota GR86 unveiled

Best new car deals 2021
i20
Deals
9 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

UK road tax rules for 2021 explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Tips and advice
8 Apr 2021

UK road tax rules for 2021 explained

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Tips and advice
28 Dec 2020

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks