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The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet
For:Roof-down refinement, interior
Against:Not for keen drivers
What is it?
It’s a convertible version of the deeply impressive Mercedes E-Class saloon. And like the E-Class Coupe, All Terrain and Estate, it shares its platform, engines and technologies. “Obviously,” you’re thinking – but not so fast. The old E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet were actually based on that generation’s C-Class, so they were measurably smaller than the Saloon and Estate with which they shared a name and aesthetic.
The new car is thus longer and wider than the car it directly replaces, making it much more commodious than you might expect. There are four seats, and the rears’ backrests fold so you load through into the cabin. Its bigness also means the E-Class Cabrio isn’t that much smaller than the S-Class Cabriolet – Merc’s flagship drop-top.
The E’s roof is fabric, not metal like the Mercedes SL’s or BMW 4-Series’s, and borrows tech and know-how from the one fitted to the S-Class. Raising or lowering takes 20 seconds, and is possible at 30mph or less. It reveals or conceals a very impressive interior, which only gets better the more options you specify. Read on to see which ones are worth having, and what the big E is like to drive, sit in and live with.