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E-Class Cabriolet 220 d | Mercedes-Benz

Date of Release: October 2017
Number of Reviews 1

Mercedes-Benz has completed its E-Class family with the new E-Class Cabriolet. This open four-seater with a classic fabric soft-top combines puristic, sensuous design with high long-distance comfort for four occupants and the latest technology.

The Torque Rating:  



Sedan Lifestyle

Looking good
Long distance comfort
Pot hole absorption
Boot space


Attention to detail and luxurious materials are abundant throughout the new E-Class Cabriolet. We love the exterior styling, both when the soft-top roof is up or down, however, the interior of this beautiful car is truly world-class! 


It might not sound the best when idling, but the rest of the meticulously crafted 2.0l turbo-diesel engine is just perfect. With 400Nm on tap, mated to a superb 9-speed autobox, the cabriolet can provide both excitement as well as a comfortable cruise.


The new E-Class Cabriolet is "next-level smart", both in terms of the safety technology (passive and active) as well as the tech available to the driver within the cabin. This is total peace-of-mind driving.


The Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Possibly the most “sensible” car in the world. Sensible yes, stylish – mmm, not so much. We’ve never really liked the rear-end styling of the sedan. Thankfully, due to the launch of the new cabriolet derivative, now you can buy a truly “WOW” looking E-class – all round! A car that provokes all the senses, yet remains a relatively ‘sensible’ buy. If Jane Austen were alive today, this would be her dream car.

E 220 d Cabriolet on grass

The new cabriolet line offers up 3 variants, starting off with our test car, the E 220 d and finishing with the range topping E 400 4MATIC. Base prices range from R919,500 to R1,134,500. Which is the best one to go for? Tough call – listening to exhaust note of that sweet twin-turbo V6 engine (E 400) with the roof down certainly produces a spine-tingling sensation, but other than that, one can’t really leverage that amazing engine for all it’s worth. It’s not that type of car, nor does it attract the type of buyer that wants to rush to the track and put their car through the paces. In addition, your fuel consumption is much higher. Whilst tempting, our final choice would have to be the 2-litre turbo-diesel, the E 220 d.

Unlike the previous generation, the 2017 E-Class Cabriolet is actually based on the same platform as the E-Class sedan, making the whole car bigger than before. And due to its exterior styling being surprisingly similar to the S-Class Cabriolet, one can be forgiven for confusing the two models at first glance. This poses a new and interesting conundrum for the discerning individual keen on buying a Mercedes Cabriolet: do you opt for the S-Class cab starting from R2,322,900 OR go for a highly spec’d E-class cab save yourself over R1 million?

E-Class Cabriolet grille

A highly spec’d E-Class is exactly what we had. Exterior styling highlights include:

  • A stunning grille featuring hundreds of diamond-shaped chrome inserts that draw your eyes towards a large, centrally mounted Avantgarde 3-pointed star
  • A powerful long bonnet, bolstered by two parallel ridges that Mercedes-Benz calls “powerdomes”
  • Eye-catching headlamps with those signature double curve LED daytime running lights. We love how they change colour from white to blue depending on which angle you view them from
  • The cabriolet’s slim tail lights are equally beautiful and give one the impression that they have been filled with crushed ruby gemstones!
  • The black fabric soft-top has been borrowed from the S-Class cab and works incredibly well. It opens and closes in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 50km/h. We were thoroughly impressed by how well it insulates the car when the roof is up. If you’re thinking of the E-Class Coupe, don’t bother - rather have the best of both worlds with the Cab.
  • Our car had an extra touch of style thanks to the optional AMG mag wheels

An important question for anyone buying a car like this: Does the E-Class cab turn heads? The answer: Yes and No. As Merc is one of the leading premium brands in SA, naturally, one sees a lot of their products on the roads. As a result, the cabriolet might not distract the public in a way that an exotic or limited edition car would. That said, once a person does fix their eyes on your car, they don’t move away. You can noticeably see people appreciating the cab’s design. Of course, it looks best with the roof down, but we also liked having the roof up with all the windows down. The absence of a B-pillar stands out.

E-Class Cabriolet interior pic

That said, a true of stand-out of this car has to be the interior. Highlights (and there are many) include:

  • The quality, soft-to-touch fine materials used throughout the interior. Effectively, Merc hasn’t just created a luxurious cabin, they have crafted a space where you… just want to be.
  • The all-electric stitched black leather seats. Tune in your perfect position, including lumbar support and side support, and press save. Our seats were also fitted with an array of massage programmes (a real winner in the traffic) as well as heating, and what Merc calls AIRSCRARF – two hidden fans within the headrest blow heated air directed at your neck, making it comfortable to drive with the roof down even when the ambient temperature is cool.
  • We like how the perforated trim panel flows across the entire dash, right into the two doors. That, along with the Harman Kardon exquisite speaker covers and the jet-engine inspired air vents definitely give the cabriolet’s cabin a “high-class” look
  • Above the trim panel float two 12.3-inch displays that merge into what looks like one big display unit. They showcase your infotainment system as well as your digital speedo, both of which have a myriad of customisation options.
  • Fully automatic climate control that’s available with an extra twist – it’s called AIR-BALANCE and it’s basically a bottle of fragrance located in the glove compartment. It allows you to adjust how fragrant you want your cabin to smell.
  • The climate control’s retro click buttons and the infotainment jog wheel were all housed in beautiful ‘designo piano lacquer’.
  • A multi-function steering wheel complete with two touch-sensitive pads – the left controlling the infotainment system, the right, your digital speedo.

So far, we have a car that looks spectacular inside and out, which is what counts most with a car like this. But how does she ride? It’s fitted with a 2-litre turbo-diesel that the Stuttgart-based factory invested millions into. Smash the pedal to the floor and you’ll experience a tiny amount of turbo-lag before the car lurches forward thanks to the 400Nm of torque on offer. Using DYNAMIC SELECT, one can choose between the Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes. The sporty modes didn’t do much for us other than making the 9G-TRONIC (yes, this comes with NINE gears) a bit more jerky. The car is definitely capable in all conditions, but we feel the best way to drive this car is with class. Select ‘Comfort’ mode and the superb autobox leverages the engine’s best characteristics. Combine that great drivetrain with the cab’s multi-chamber air suspension (the Cabriolet actually rides 15mm lower than its saloon counterpart) and what it produces is an incredibly refined ride. Our average fuel consumption came in at a very impressive 7.3l/100Km.

E-Class Cabriolet LED headlight

The E-Class is not only refined but cutting-edge smart. There’s so much we could go into including the ability to double-check your car is actually locked via your smartphone, but, not wanting to create an encyclopaedia long review, we are going to stick with what we think the cab’s best and worst smart features are:

  • Our best: The multi-beam LED headlights. Not only do they look great, they work even better. Thanks to their LED nature, the actual beam is split into a matrix. The auto hi-beam powers the full matrix to max when there’s nothing but empty road ahead – visibility is great! As soon as there’s a car ahead (whether you are following it or if it’s approaching you head on), they automatically react, dimming the appropriate beams and avoiding temporary blindness for your fellow driver. The E-Class is not the first car we’ve tested to feature this technology, but in our opinion, Merc has executed it the best. It’s amazing to see how quickly the lights react. A good example is when you are following a car - you can literally see a dull grey box tracking the car’s every move. Incredible!
  • Our worst: Lane Keeping Assist. Sure, this technology can save your life, and we’re not against the concept. Tech wise, it works perfectly. We just think the execution is a touch too harsh. Most other cars with this tech will complain, push back, vibrate etc., but will ultimately let you continue on your desired path. The Merc, however, provides quite a firm automatic response, slowing the car and directing it back into the lane. BMW drivers excluded (poke poke), the average person is generally quite good at using their indicator – but once in a while, we may forget. On the rare occasion you do, you’re in for quite a surprise as this tech kicks in. You are able to deactivate it.

Although we are reviewing a cabriolet, and a damn fine looking one at that (be sure to view the full gallery towards the top of the page), we’ve simplified our website navigation into the main car styles only, meaning that the E-Class Cabriolet will fall under our sedan lifestyle criteria. Let’s see how it does:

  • Looking good (5 out of 5): Does your car boost your overall appearance? Enough said in this department. By far this car’s greatest strength.

  • Long-distance comfort (5 out of 5)Does your car eat up the miles? Thanks to a bigger platform, an adult can actually sit in the rear seats, although we did find the backrest to be too upright. Front passenger wise, however, you can’t get much better. That, combined with the active cruise control and fuel-efficient 2l turbo-diesel, makes long trips to the coast a breeze.

  • Pothole absorption (3 out of 5): Is one pothole going to put your baby out of action? Those AMG mags look great, but they ain’t cheap. The low-profile Michelin tyres aren’t going to enjoy one of South Africa’s infamous potholes. Hopefully, that sublime air suspension can soak up most of the force. Best drive carefully after a thunderstorm.

  • Boot space (3 out of 5): From suitcase to family trip – does your boot cater for every need? Whilst the boot is really deep and can be further bolstered by folding down the rear seats, the vertical height of 80% of the boot is limited to make way for the folding roof. It’s only the initial part of the boot that can handle taller items. One golf bag can fit in horizontally. Best you budget for some custom made suitcases. On the plus side, the boot does cater for a full-size spare wheel.

  • Entertainment (5 out of 5): Time is money. Are you fully connected when on the road? The cab caters to every connection thinkable, so playing your favourite tunes or making a call is a synch. You’ll enjoy your music more than ever before thanks to the incredibly crisp sound produced by those Harman Kardon speakers. Our only tiny trivial gripe was that skipping a track via the steering wheel touch pad didn’t always work the first time – once adjusting your finger placement, it does. A physical skip button vs a touch swipe could have been better.

Within our car review introduction, we said the E-Class cabriolet had proven to be our favourite… And it is; not only is it our favourite E-Class (it’s better looking than its saloon counterpart and the soft-top roof is so good, there’s no need to go for the Coupe), in our opinion, and here comes the bomb drop, it’s our favourite Mercedes-Benz cabriolet! Yes, we realise that includes the baby C-Class Cabriolet and the ever-regal S-Class Cabriolet. We’re not saying that the E cab is better than the S cab, we’re just saying as a package, of which price is a factor, it just makes more sense... Take a step into the “good life” and test drive the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet today.


  • The ability to enjoy the best of both worlds. With the roof up, after a while, you actually forget that you are driving a cabriolet - that’s how good that soft-top roof is. Also, there’s nothing quite like the sensation of driving down a beautiful road with the top down.
  • Stunning looks both outside and in. The cabin styling and build quality, in particular, is very impressive.
  • Superior technology – you feel safe in this car 100% of the time.


  • Merc’s pricing structure. A lot of the optional extras are bundled, meaning that after you tick off some of your favourites, you’ll quickly start racking up a steep extras bill. Our car, for instance, was fitted with over R300k worth of extras! Which brings us back to the S cab vs. E cab argument – we’d rather go with a highly spec’d E-class cabriolet than an entry-level, bare-bones S-class cabriolet that still costs an extra million Rand. Some extras we think you can skip include:
  • The heads-up display. It’s nice during the evening, but during the day, due to the fact you are wearing your favourite polarized sunglasses, you aren’t able to see it.
  • The AIRCAP wind-reduction system does make a difference for rear passengers, but nothing major for the front passengers. Plus it can make your ultra-cool looking car look a bit odd.
  • Boot space. Whilst a compromised boot space is to be expected when buying a cab, we were hoping for a tad more vertical height. Perhaps a better trade-off would have been to have a space-saving spare-wheel, allowing the boot floorboard to sit lower.

Do you own or regularly drive the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet? Tell SA what you love about your car by quickly rating it on THE TORQUERegister today!


THE TORQUE is an independent platform dedicated to car reviews. Instead of judging a car based on one or two people’s opinions, THE TORQUE allows you to see what like-minded, real people, who actually own or regularly drive the cars have to say about them.

In addition, THE TORQUE team shares their own ‘lifestyle orientated’ and easy-to-understand reviews on selected cars. Combining the two, gives one the ability to make a truly informed purchasing decision on what the best car for you is. After all, buying a car is a big decision! Register today and tell SA what you love about your car! 


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