By Patrick James on 2019-08-31 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Cabriolet AMG Line
THE British just love getting their tops off. This is despite a climate that is, or certainly has been, unpredictable.
But it does seem we are getting more sunshine, with fewer, although heavier rainy days. So topless times comes around more often.
There's probably two types of enthusiast, those who love the wind in the hair. There's the two seaters, with all the attendant noise and exposure to the elements.
Then there's those who still like the wind in the hair, but also love a bit of comfort, even luxury and Mercedes-Benz is really good at that one.
Plump for options like Airscarf neck-level heating system and Aircap, which helps to redirect the air flow over the cabin and there's fresh air without damage to your nether regions.
The E-Class is a fine example, a two-door, four seater with a soft top that has all the bells and whistles you would expect for a car, in this case approaching nearly £50,000.
Standard kit includes Control suspension; Magic Vision Control wiper system; LED high performance headlights; reversing camera; heated front seats; and ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colours. There are three three engine versions, including the two litre 194bhp version here.
It looks stunning, with longer wheelbase than previous models, thereby increasing interior room.
A standout vehicle, it has smooth flowing lines with a coupe style silhouette, with or without the roof down, while the large three-pointed star on the diamond grille, flanked by LED headlamps is instantly recognisable.
The interior too, is mightily impressive, even decadent, with high quality AMG trim and finish plus high-quality sculpted leather seats and swirled wood effect finish on the dash.
The highlight is the two optional high-resolution 12.3-inch displays which merge beneath a shared glass cover to create a widescreen that appears to be floating.
The driver can choose from three different styles for the virtual instruments in the instrument cluster: classic, sport and progressive.
The whole system takes some working out with controls operated via the touchscreen, steering wheel controls or the novel swipe control for finger swipe-and-click control on a console touchpad.
Major functions like air quality, vehicle dynamics, sat nav, infotainment and connectivity are controlled this way.
But the star of the show has to be the fabric roof, which folds away in just 20 seconds and can be operated at speeds of up to 30mph. The acoustic fabric means that when in situ, the excellent soundproofing means passengers are well insulated from the outside noise of wind, tyres and general traffic noise.
On the road, the two litre diesel has plenty of grunt, producing 194bhp with an equally impressive 400Nm of torque, which means power is on tap virtually all the time.
It propels the car to 60mph in just 7.7 seconds, while still delivering a claimed 53.3mpg and emissions of 141g/km.
Go fully auto, or select sport mode with the paddles for a more engaging drive. Handling is pretty good.
It is a large car and the only real downside is manoeuvrability because of the huge doors, and limited rear view. There's little you can do about the door, except find wide parkings spaces, but parking sensors and the 360 degree view camera, an option on this model, make it fairly painless.
This car also shows cabrios can be practical, with a long boot of 350 litres capacity, which is further enhanced the 50/50 folding rear seat backrests to allow through loading.
There is plenty of other storage space with bins and cubby holes and a twin opening box on the centre console.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class E220d Cabriolet AMG Line
Mechanical: 194bhp, 1,950cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 9-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 152mph
0-62mph: 7.7 seconds
Combined MPG: 41.5
Insurance Group: 45
C02 emissions: 139g/km
Bik rating: 35%
Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles
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