WITH OR WITHOUT A TOP
My daily driver is a 2003 Mercedes Benz S500. There is no back up camera, no GPS, no ambient lighting, wireless phone charger, Apple CarPlay no less a convertible top. So you can imagine how it felt to sit inside and test drive the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet around town for a week. I’m also lucky because I live in Arizona, where you can put your top down (automotive top) all year long.
My first impression of the sporty, sophisticated Benz revealed 15-years of improvements in power and especially in technology. This beauty has its power coming from a three-liter V-6 bi-turbo engine and nine-speed automatic transmission. It delivers 329-horsepower and 350 feet of torque. This E-Class Mercedes convertible is wider with a longer wheelbase than the outgoing model. That would be the 2017 not my 2003.
The Mercedes Benz Cabriolet’s command infotainment system was easy to locate and understand compared to years past. The screen in the middle was bright, especially at night with the top down. I’m not very tech savvy but for those who are, there is wireless phone charging and as mentioned earlier, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Normally when I attend a function at a local resort, the valet team will park my vehicle along with the majority of patrons. When I came out of the YWCA event, with valet receipt in hand, the Mercedes was parked in the VIP section. As the valet pulled my car up; I had two women stop me to ask about the Mercedes. When I said this car was $89,000 they didn’t even flinch.
After leaving the event I immediately put the top down and I didn’t need an owner’s manual to figure out how. This feature is extremely user friendly utilizing a pushbutton on the center console which also lowers the windows. There are also buttons that control the windscreen, which helped keep my hair in place and enable me to reposition the windows for even more protection.
Topless vehicles were always considered dangerous but the feeling of safety exists as the E-400 comes with six airbags, antilock brakes, LED lighting, rearview camera, roll bars, active brake assist, tire pressure monitoring and 24-hour roadside assistance. I felt very secure and actually liked the attention a person gets in a Cabriolet as I leisurely drove down Scottsdale Road.
I would encourage women who are looking for a luxury vehicle, to check this convertible out for yourself or buy it for the man in your life. All you need is SPF50 for the ride of a lifetime. My car may be back to the future but a Mercedes is a Mercedes and they last a long time with or without a top!
Base Price: $68,800
As Tested: $89,745
SPF 50 – $6.95
Fuel Economy – 20/25 mpg city/highway
For more information go to: mercedes-benz.com – Photos by Cathy Droz