2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet First Look | Edmunds

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet First Look

E-Class Drop-Top Boasts S-Class Refinement at a Lower Price


The Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan enjoyed a full redesign in 2017, complete with two new engines and a magnificent interior heavily inspired by the flawless S-Class executive sedan. Although nicely appointed in their own right, the coupe and Cabriolet (convertible) were essentially carryovers from the previous generation. Not anymore. For 2018, both coupe and Cabriolet will be upgraded to the current E-Class spec. For the Cab, that means newly available features such as folding rear seatbacks, 64-color ambient lighting, all-wheel drive and smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

The 2018 E-Class Cabriolet is longer, wider and taller than the vehicle it replaces but is no less elegant. In front, the grille incorporates the familiar starburst accents seen in other Benzes along with D-shaped headlight cutouts and two strakes that bulge from the aluminum hood to emphasize the Cabriolet's sportiness. Enclosing the passenger compartment is an insulated, multilayer soft top that folds into the trunk in 20 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. Out back, the trunk sweeps gently downward before a slight upturn on the decklid. The slim taillights recall the AMG GT sports car, while the ducts on the rear bumper bear a resemblance to those on the stately S-Class Cabriolet.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

Step into the E-Class Cabriolet and you'll find a cabin that looks more richly detailed, luxurious and futuristic than you saw last year. The widescreen digital display, waterfall central console and wraparound dashboard first used in the S-Class are all present here. The controller knob relocates from the dash to a more natural position at the base of the center console. It is partially covered by a touchpad that recognizes handwriting for destination input. This functionality is neat in theory, but we've found it's not very intuitive during daily use in other models. Rear seat passengers haven't been forgotten either, with their own window controls and seat heaters. As opposed to the setup in many other convertibles, the pop-up wind deflector is situated behind the rear seats, so you don't have to choose between carrying extra people and reducing wind buffeting. Unlike most of the other price-conscious Benzes (including the E-Class sedan), leather upholstery — rather than MB-Tex imitation leather — is standard and even reflects heat when you leave the top down on a sunny day.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

The E-Class Cabriolet also boasts the latest comfort, technology and safety features. The available 12.3-inch driver information display melds with a central screen of the same size, giving the impression of an expansive single widescreen display. There's also the aforementioned Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, neck heaters for the driver and front passenger, and a modified version of the windshield washing system that reduces the amount of water sprayed from the wiper blade so there's no splashback into the cabin while the car is moving. On the safety front, a forward collision warning system with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection is standard. We expect that features from other E-Class models — including adaptive cruise control, lane departure mitigation and automated steering — will be available as well.

But the E-Class Cab isn't just about cosseting driver and passengers in an isolated cocoon. It allows for plenty of thrills, too. Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 driving the rear wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Although output specifications have not been formally announced, we don't expect them to differ much from the coupe's 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system is optional for four-season driving. There are two optional suspension setups: one adds adaptive dampers with Eco, Sport and Sport + driving modes; the other is an adaptive air-ride suspension with additional modes. Additional parameters, including throttle response and transmission behavior, can also be adjusted on the fly.

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet is expected to go on sale at the end of 2017. Look for additional information regarding pricing, fuel economy, and standard and optional features later in the year.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

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