IT should be in the interests of anyone booking a holiday that they check to see if I'm driving a cabriolet as the weather is guaranteed to take a turn for the worse.
And that's exactly what happened as I took delivery of the stunning Mercedes E Class two-door cabriolet. Within seconds of the drop off, the heavens opened and the rain dropped in biblical proportions, non-stop for 48 hoursâ¦ in August!
As a result, the car stayed put on the driveway. Until day three that is when someone plugged up the skies above and the sun put in an appearance so creating the perfect opportunity for roof-down, open-top motoring.
It was still a bit on the chilly side, but this Merc, costing £52,185 (increased to £54,775 with options) has that covered with an excellent heating system that even has blowers for the headrest, aptly named AIRSCARF.
Our E 300 AMG Line model was powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine delivering 258hp of power and 370Nm or torque. It featured a slick nine-speed automatic gearbox with paddles for added driver fun, and could complete the 0-62mph dash in 6.6 seconds, maxing out at 155mph. According to official figures, the E Class cabriolet can deliver a combined 34.0mpg with carbon emissions of 190g/km.
The car uses mild hybrid technology too for added efficiency and there is an EQ boost system that adds extra power to the mix.
The E Class cabrio is certainly an attention grabber that's guaranteed to turn heads wherever it passes thanks to its sleek lines and curves, neat soft top, AMG body styling and 20-inch AMG multi-spoke alloys. The latest car has a new-look grille and headlights for an even sharper appearance.
Move inside and you are greeted by one of the finest interiors around featuring the finest leather upholstery, beautiful decorative inlays, 64-colour ambient lighting and air vents that resemble jet engine turbines.
There are two 12.3-inch screens that merge seamlessly into one behind a glass screen that stretches two thirds of the dashboard with clear sharp graphics along with all the latest on-board tech, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, sat nav, wireless charging, Mercedes personal assistant that can help with basic instructions, along with an upgraded Burmester sound system on our high-end Night Edition model.
Comfort levels are sublime with powered seats, and there is room for a couple of adults in the back of the four-seater provided the front seats are not pushed back too far.
The acceleration out of the starting blocks is instant and the roof can be lowered on the fly when the sun shows its face. It can also be raised on the move which is handy with our crazy weather patterns.
It fizzes through the country lanes with plenty of grip and cruises with ease at motorway speeds effortless eating up the miles. The car feels beautifully balanced and composed with nicely weighted steering offering plenty of feedback. The flat-bottomed steering wheel not only looks premium in its design, but can be used to access the screens and alter displays without being distracted from the road ahead.
The all-round visibility is great forwards and sideways but the over-the-shoulder view is hampered by wide pillars and the rear screen is fairly narrow too.
The only other slight downside on this exceptional car is the boot. Due to the section that is needed to accommodate the roof, the boot capacity is restricted to just 360 litres when the soft top is raised reduced to 285 litres when lowered.
But there are lots of practical storage compartments scattered throughout the car, including a lockable glovebox, deep door bins, a central cubby box, seat back pockets, plus front and rear cup holders.
There are drive modes called Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual that alter the reactions of the car and an Agility Control suspension that allows the driver to adjust the damping system.
It is dynamic to drive, but in all honesty, the Mercedes focuses more on comfort and that's not a bad thing. Switch across to Sport or Sport+ and everything gets a little more edgy or you can use the paddles to change gears manually for added driver fun.
But, this is a car that's so comfortable to cruise in, it almost begs to be put in Comfort and left to get on with life in its own controlled, safe and very luxurious way. At times it feels like it's gliding along - it really is that smooth.
Safety features are comprehensive too and our car also boasted a Driving Assistance package, costing £1,695 extra, that introduced active blind spot assist, braking assist, active distance assist, emergency stop assist, lane keeping assist, speed limit assist, evasive steering assist and plenty more besides.