Mercedes Benz E-Class Cabriolet
Mercedes Benz E-Class

The Mercedes Benz E250 Sport Cabriolet is a car that has been described as having four personalities to suit the four seasons. Thanks to a range of innovations and a great deal of thought, it is possible to believe that it is summer on a cold, bright winter's day.

As part of the well represented Mercedes Benz E-Class line-up, the Cabriolet was the latest to arrive when it went on sale at the beginning of the year. I am automatically tempted to use the word cabriolet rather than cabrio, as in this instance it somehow seems wrong; cabrio doesn't fit in with the classic styling and the heritage of the designs that went before.

Although very modern, there are distinct echoes of the past, which can be seen in the elegant proportions, the design lines and the classic, fabric soft-top.

There is an arrow shape the front of the Mercedes Benz E-Class Cabriolet, formed by the angle of the twin headlight clusters and the vertical struts of the lower skirt. The lights are similar to those of the saloon but are longer, flatter and more sharply angled, while the lower spoiler houses foglights and, depending on the version, LED, daytime running lights, in an L shape.

The upright and broad grille, with its two distinctive louvres, hides aerodynamic properties, in the form of vents that close when they are not needed. On the face of it the louvres serve to highlight the chromed star badge and the fine, central crease-line of the well-defined bonnet that points the way to the steeply raked windscreen.

In profile, the short front overhang is clearly visible, as are the elegant, chrome-topped shoulder-lines. Towards the rear, the muscular haunches blend seamlessly into the main body and mark the outer edge of the rear light clusters.

These are almost invisible on the red Mercedes Benz E-Class Cabriolet test car as they have an LED background lighting system with twin LED light bars standing out against it. The tail- and brake-lights are housed in these clusters but the reversing- and LED fog-light are in the strip of lights on the boot-lid. In contrast to the sharpness of the front, the rear end majors on a subtle roundness that indicates the athletic nature of the car.

The interior continues the theme with distinctly sporty elements mixed in with the technology. Generally the design is linear and somewhat regimented but this is softened by the use of leather upholstery, which is actually Artico, artificial leather but it is very difficult to tell the difference. The real thing is available as a £1,315, option.

The instrument cluster has five chrome-edged dials set into a silver or black facing panel, which has translucent areas that display direction indicators and warning lights. In front, is a multi-functional steering wheel that varies according to the trim level.

At the top of the centre console is a cowled, 5.8-inch, display panel for the audio, navigation and optional reversing camera functions. This is operated via a rotate-and-push Controller on the tunnel console, just ahead of the asymmetric armrest and separate flip-top rest containing the controls for the roof. It also forms a handy wrist support when using the Controller. The controls for the AIRCAP system are adjacent, while buttons for the driving settings complete the picture.

Published : 08/09/10 Author : Melanie Carter

Mercedes Benz E-Class News

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