Vital Stats

Twin-Turbo 4.6L V8
402 HP / 443 LB-FT
7-Speed Automatic
0-60 Time:
5.0 Seconds
Top Speed:
155 MPH (Limited)
Rear-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
4,387 LBS
11.5-CU FT (max)
17 City / 26 HWY
Base Price:
There's a coterie of six-figure professionals who have been waiting for this car, their dental office parking lots and showcase home driveways pining without end for the facelifted 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet. Mercedes lists the Cadillac CTS Coupe and Audi A5 among the competitive set in the premium medium-size segment, but we feel that's a bit like telling an alien visitor to our planet, "Yes, Lake Superior, Loch Lochy and the liquid in my bathtub are all freshwater bodies of water located in basins" – there's more to what they mean in spite of a common segment.

Those who've been waiting won't be disappointed. The changes aren't massive, but the exterior revamp, new interior design and color combinations, and Intelligent Drive features raise the finesse quotient when it comes to top-down motoring.

Driving Notes
  • The face has been worked into the E-Class pattern, with optional LED high-beams available to join the standard LED low-beam and DRLs. They ride above chiselled air intakes and a lower spoiler with a sculpted frontpiece that gets a chrome lip on the upper-tier E550. In keeping with the idea of adding more dash to the convertible version of a sedan, the E-Class coupe and cabriolet retain the pontoon cue at the rear quarter that the sedan relinquished. The touch of class above comes with the gently ascending shoulder highlighted with a chrome strip encircling the cabin - and if you went for the coupe, the side windows fully retract and the B-pillar is omitted.
  • US models come standard on 18-inch wheels, but some spendy 19-inchers can be had. Yet another silver hue, this one called aragonite silver, was specially developed for the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet... but we don't get it.
  • In the cabin, the center console is now free for storage, cupholders and the COMAND infotainment controls because the gear selector stalk lives behind the new three-spoke steering wheel – with a wider range of tilt/telescopic movement – along with a set of shift paddles. Also behind the wheel, the gauge cluster instruments have white backs surrounding their individual info screens.
  • The car in the photographs is Deep Sea Blue with Silk Beige trim, but there are also choices such as Silk Beige with Espresso Brown trim, and Bengal Red or Espresso Brown with Black trim. That trim comes in either a man-made leather called Artico or genuine Nappa leather. We spent time in an Espresso Brown sample, and found it rather sexy.
  • This year the Aircap system gets automatic operation so that it rises at 25 miles per hour and retracts at 10 mph. There's still a button to control its operation or turn it off completely if you're not a fan of the look. The rear head restraints and wind-stop between them automatically rise if the rear seat belts are buckled. The two individual rear seats are comfortable, although legroom for four full-sized adults will take some negotiating and compromise.

Mercedes E550 Cabriolet
Mercedes E550 CabrioletMercedes E550 Cabriolet
  • The E-Class convertible gets all of the Intelligent Drive features that Mercedes has been touting the past year, with Collision Prevention Assist and the redesigned Attention Assist standard. The waker-upper system detects drowsiness and inattentiveness across a wider speed range, from 35 miles per hour to 120 mph, its sensitivity can be adjusted and a dash screen can inform you how long its been since the last break. Items like the Surround View Camera and Parking Assist Package – which can park the car for you in parallel or perpendicular spots on either side of the street, and pull it out if it was parked automatically – are optional.
  • The six-speed manual transmission cannot get a visa to come to America, so we get the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission, administered via the shift stalk or those paddles. The new feature is Momentary M mode, which returns the transmission to automatic operation after a certain amount of time.
  • With 408 horsepower in the corral, it's possible that some buyers might actually want to drive. The standard Agility Control suspension on the E350 includes adaptive damping, whereas the E550 gets the Dynamic Handling Suspension as standard, with electric damping control changeable via a button in the cabin and extra buttons for both Sport and permanent M-mode operation. Add the $1,490 Sport Package to the E350 and you, too, can get full Manual mode, but you'll still go without the driver-selectable damping.
  • Right now we have the E350 and E550 Coupe and Cabiolet, but coming later this year as a 2015 model will be a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 called the E400. Instead of the current V6's 302 hp, the E400 will have somewhere around 333 hp that arrives slightly earlier in the rev range, and more torque that picks up much earlier in the rev range. In the two-door lineup, the E400 will replace the E350 Coupe and Cabiolet, but the more powerful E550 Coupe and Cabriolet will remain in the line-up. The switcheroos will be a bit different on the sedan side.
  • Once the E350 graduated from from 278 hp to 302 hp, both engines became fun to drive. Before that, the 3.5-liter V6 was just underpowered enough to make it not worth the effort, and such effort didn't make sense when, at worst, you could simply enjoy passing the miles and the day in a fine-riding convertible Mercedes. There is merely $5,100 between the cost of the V6 and the V8, making the E550 a no-brainer to our enthusiast hearts – those five stacks of Benjamins get you a lot of engine and suspension as justification. But if the V6 was really all you needed, it's a solid choice - or if you wanted to apply that difference to, say, that $4,800 set of 19-inch AMG wheels, that wouldn't be an outrageous move anymore. In either guise it's sturdy as a vault, it'll run on the Autobahn as a Mercedes should, the E350 doesn't fear enthusiastic driving and the E550 will welcome it, and top up or down the noise and airflow in the cabin remains tidy. In cold weather, the Airscarf does good work and you can get a heated steering wheel. The most telling thing about our drive was that our co-driver asked us if he could have more time behind the wheel. That's a question we've never had before in an E-Class of any kind that didn't involve the letters "AMG."
  • Speaking of which, even though we've recently been told by Mercedes that there won't ever be an AMG model of the Coupe and Cabriolet, an exec who went off the reservation already said, "yes it was a mistake" not to build one and, "Next time we won't make the same mistake." So we're still waiting on it. We forgive you in advance for the delay, Mercedes. Just get it done.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 10 Months Ago
      Yikes the thing is gorgeous. Colors are perfectly matched. Easy to see why they sell so many of them, it is beautiful. M
      • 10 Months Ago
      Up until this article, I preferred the pre-facelift separated lights on the front end. The facelift made it seem a bit bulbous and less unique. This God this is gorgeous.
      • 10 Months Ago
      Very pretty car-it manages to capture that effortless style of older Benz verts.
      • 10 Months Ago
      That is an absolutely gorgeous vehicle.
      • 10 Months Ago
      I really like this. The new headlight design is really well integrated here. What a pretty car!
      • 10 Months Ago
      Not my style of car, but I'm sure it would be a nice ride to cruise Palm Beach.
      • 10 Months Ago
      I'm glad there's a lot of love here for the E class Convertible. Of course, I like the coupe even more, but that doesn't matter too much in this context. I thought the pre-facelift model was good-looking, but I think this car looks really special now. I believe it is the best looking 'regular' Mercedes (non supersport or superluxury/under six figures). The pointy front end just works, like the last-gen SL with the facelift. Plus, the coupe is (almost) pillarless, and even though the interior architecture isn't as elegant as the newest MBs, the color schemes available and materials have improved with the facelift. The real question is why the SL doesn't look more like this. The worst part about the new SL is that it drives better than ever, particularly as an AMG. And the facelift likely won't be for four more years or so, as the SL sticks around for a decade.
      • 10 Months Ago
      Look at the size of that Merc Badge
        • 10 Months Ago
        to be fair out of all the manufacturers the design of the 3 pointed star translates well into a large size. can you imagine a bmw badge that big? it would be hideous and look like a giant target
      • 10 Months Ago
      Still doesn't come close to the timeless, classic beauty of the late-model CLK Cabriolets, but I suppose it's a step in the right direction....
      • 10 Months Ago
      Love the interior. Simple and solid done to a high standard with quality materials.
      • 10 Months Ago
      i really wasnt feeling the e-class, but this is incredibly well done. and that color..
      Steve K
      • 10 Months Ago
      Spot on styling Mercedes, well done! I better not show this car to my wife!
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