2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet

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Very Nicely Done “Front and Rear Six” The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a dramatic mid-cycle update that takes a relatively milquetoast car and gives it a striking personality make over.  The major change is a much more aggressive front end appearance including all-LED headlamps with integral running lamps.  The lower front fascia includes larger scoops and is accented by a chrome strip at the leading edge of the front air dam.  Given these are the sporty models of the E-Class, the coupe and cabriolet include Mercedes’ bold three pointed star in the grille opening.  All-in-all, the front appearance change practically makes the E-Class coupe and cabriolet look like all-new cars.

At the rear, the taillamps are new, again with LED highlights.  There is a bright molding connecting the taillamps over the rear license plate.  If you opt for the optional Sport package, the rear appearance is bumped up with trapezoidal bright exhaust tips.  The exterior clearly has more bling than before.  While we don’t like brightwork for brightwork’s sake, Mercedes has added a level of distinction with these accents. 

Interior Freshened c/o Nav Display The interior is updated with new color combinations effectively using contrasting colors to communicate both sportiness and luxuriousness.  The seats are spacious and comfortable.  Not as stiff and Spartan as in M-Bs of old.  Since this is a freshening, everything can’t be changed.  The instrument panel, for instance, is basically carryover.  The navigation system seems out of date today compared with competing systems now on the market.  Compared with competition – even in lesser models – the display is small, the graphics muted and text is difficult to read.  The redundant TFT display in the new instrument cluster offsets some of these shortcomings, but when many people consider the human machine interface critically important when making their automotive purchase decision, a better system would have been appropriate.

Expanded Safety Suite Given there is an all-new S-Class coming in Fall, 2013, the E-Class Coupe and Cab did benefit from new technology developed as part of that program.  Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive includes a host of safety and convenience features such as Collision Prevention Assist (standard) which is a radar-based collision warning system and Attention Assist to increase alertness.  Some other technologies available as options include Distronic Plus with Steering Assist to help keep the vehicle in its lane.  BAS Plus is Brake Assist System with cross-traffic and pedestrian warnings.

Wait for the Twin-Turbo E400 in Fall 2013 The updated Coupe and Cabriolet are again powered by V8 and V6 engines.  The E500 is the top-of-the line engine – a 4.7L DOHC V8 Turbo with gasoline direct injection and 408HP.  The E350 initially will be the V6 – a 306HP 3.5L V6 with gasoline direct injection.  Coming later is the E400 to replace the E350.  The displacement of the E400 is actually smaller than the E350 going from 3.5L to 3.0L.  Its horsepower is up by 27HP to 333HP by virtue of a twin turbo setup.  Very nice feeling car.  With the E400 V6 you almost don’t miss the V8.  Mercedes quotes the 0-100kmh time of 5.2-seconds in the E400 and 4.8-seconds in the V8.  Both engines are mated to a 7-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS transmission.

About the Cabriolet Perhaps the ideal convertible, the E-Class Cabriolet is very quiet inside even at speed.  When cruising, Mercedes engineers have taken steps to minimize wind blown hair.  AIRCAP is Mercedes’ solution to blowing hair – a full width spoiler on the windshield header directs air flow over the passenger compartment and a automatic wind brake rises between the rear seats to prevent air backwashing in to the passenger compartment.  AIRSCARF is a neck heater built into the front seat headrests.  With these features, the E-Class Cabriolet becomes more of an all-season car rather than a Spring, Summer and Fall runabout.  The top is a one-touch down affair and the front and rear side windows roll down completely.

 

Car Train to Island of Sylt

 

The Drive Americans always love the opportunity to drive on the  Autobahn and Mercedes provided the opportunity for a quick overnight sprint from Hamburg to the resort island of Sylt off the North German coast near Denmark.  A multi-modal experience, the drive included Autobahn, car train and ferry.  The cars, whether E500 V8 coupe or E400 V6 cabriolet, were very responsive at Autobahn speeds – we probably topped out at  140mph – and when lumping around local roads.

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