Mercedes-Benz E 300 Cabriolet 2018 review

Moving Well | Greg Hill | Posted on 29 January 2019

The latest addition to Mercedes’ E Class is packed with features. 

The Mercedes-Benz E 300 Cabriolet is a superb long-distance cruiser, as two of our RoyalAuto staff, Clare Barry and Lisa Luscombe, discovered when heading off from Melbourne to uncover the delights of taking the scenic route to Sydney via South Gippsland and the NSW Sapphire Coast.

This elegant-looking two-door soft-top is the newest member of Mercedes’ E Class family. It is packed with the latest intelligent technology and a comprehensive suite of advance driver assistance and safety features. The E Class has a five-star ANCAP safety rating across the range but additional safety features, including rollover protection, have been developed specifically for the cabriolet. 

back shot of maroon Mercedes driving on road


A big four-seater

The E Class is officially classified as a large car and the new cabriolet is bigger than its predecessor in almost every dimension. But while it’s quite spacious, the individually sculpted seats mean it’s strictly a four-seater.

Lisa was initially surprised by its size but once she settled in behind the wheel she found it a very easy car to drive and manoeuvre around town, while on the open road the stability at higher speeds and surefooted grip when cornering were impressive. Mercedes’ Air Body Control multi-chamber suspension with three selectable stages of firmness is augmented by an electronically controlled adaptive damping system to provide the desired ride comfort while maintaining excellent driving dynamics.

The E 300 has a sophisticated 2.0-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 180kW and 370Nm, with drive going to the rear wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. Lisa praised the performance, saying it was smooth and flowing, with rapid acceleration when needed.

Dial-up performance

Both Lisa and Clare commented on the noticeable changes in performance and dynamics as they tried out the range of selectable driving modes that allow the engine response, transmission, steering and suspension to be fine-tuned to suit individual needs. 

Official fuel consumption for the E 300 cabriolet is 7.4L/100km but in a car like this the real-world consumption will vary significantly, depending on the operating mode and how the car is driven. Premium 98 RON petrol is the recommended fuel.

Clare loved the head-up display and vast amount of information that could be found on the comprehensive dash, including the expansive camera views. Mercedes has gone for a bold cabin layout, with a dash dominated by two high-resolution screens. This entire dash is digital, and drivers can choose their preferred look from three styles.  

shot of the back of a Mercedes that reads e300
interior of Mercedes leather seats
close up of front Mercedes logo

Comfort-plus

As usual with Mercedes, the seats have a wide range of adjustments and enough shaping to provide great comfort and support in all the right places – just what’s needed for a long drive, said Clare. The automatic belt extenders for the front seats, which help avoid the awkward stretch you usually have to reach the seatbelt in most two-door cars, were also a welcome feature. 

The power-operated fabric soft-top can be fully opened or closed in 20 seconds when travelling at up to 50km/h. The climate-control system was also specially developed for the cabriolet and automatically adjusts for whether the roof is open or closed. Other standard features include Aircap, an automatic draught-stop system, and the Airscarf neck-level heating. 

Our travellers were disappointed to find their open-air driving was limited as folding down the roof robbed so much boot space that their suitcases would have to sit on the folded-down back seat. 

MERCEDES-BENZ E 300 CABRIOLET

PRICE

As tested: $124,329 plus $11,417 estimated on-road costs.

Price range: $124,329-$181,329.

DRIVETRAIN

1991cc four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, nine-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive.

Power/torque: 180kW, 370Nm.

Wheels: 20-inch alloys, 245/35 R20 (front), 275/30 R20 (rear). No spare – run-flat tyres 

 

FUEL

98-RON petrol, 7.4L/100km (govt figure), 66-litre tank. 

STANDARD SAFETY

Five-star ANCAP rating, nine airbags, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot assist, lane-keep assist, lane-change assist, attention assist, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree camera, tyre-pressure warning. 

STANDARD FEATURES

Head-up display, leather upholstery, navigation, Comand infotainment system, digital radio, neck heating, powered sports front seats with memory, active parking assist, traffic sign assist, widescreen cockpit, stop/start fuel-saving.

WARRANTY/SERVICES

Three years/unlimited kilometres, 12-month/25,000km service intervals.