But the luxury German brand has also continued to keep its class in the top end of the market with a revamp of the E-Class range.
I recently got behind the wheel of the E400 Cabriolet and before I say too much, I must admit I am a huge fan of open-top motoring. Feeling the wind through your hair and the roar of the monstrous engine, it’s one of the truly liberating experiences.
So you could imagine my delight when the E400 ragtop arrived at our offices. Powered by a 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo powertrain, it produces a responsive 245kW of power and a hearty 480Nm of torque, which makes getting off the mark rapidly a lot of fun.
Brisk in its approach, it gets moving from standstill to 100km/h in a mere 5.3 seconds before reaching a top speed of 250km/h. It’s this fast pace surge that will tickle petrolheads’ fancy, but the Merc’s overall road composure is what resonates with most.
The luxurious elegance captured in the E-Class’s cabin and exterior styling helps deliver a purposeful drive, because while the cockpit is well finished with high-quality materials (as we expect from the classy Germans) it is still very driver focused, with the aim of unleashing your inner hooligan or keeping you comfortable with its refined cruising.
The E400 cabrio is truly a chameleon - from its well-mannered refinement and maintaining a quiet interior with the canvas roof up or down while wind noise is certainly kept to a minimum. With a flick into Sport mode, you can feel the car’s dynamics come to life as everything feels that much tighter and responsive.
Mercedes claims a combined fuel-consumption figure of 7.9 litres/100km and an emissions rating of 185g/km.
Dating around topless is certainly fun, but some people have commented that they’re not huge fans of the E-Class Cabriolet’s styling. The classic ‘different strokes’ rings true here, because I immediately grew quite fond of this German. The redesigned tail- and headlights give the impression that it has put on some weight, but it wears it well, while the flowing lines and wider stance complements the front end nicely.
Even the soft-top roof works in complementing the car’s side profile. But to be honest, it looks best when all the windows are down and the roof lowered while the V6 growl echoes out of the twin exhausts.
The Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet really epitomises summer loving.