With the previous generation E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, the overall size was a little bit middle ground which only served to confuse consumers. Being larger than a C-Class Coupe or Cabriolet but not quite as large as its direct rival in the form of the BMW 6 Series, it was in a niche of its own. This generation of E-Class sees a properly large model being offered, and Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has finally brought in the E300 Cabriolet, for the princely sum of RM 588,888 (with insurance at 0% GST, subject to change with SST). It's powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-4 engine producing 245 hp and 370 Nm from 1,300 rpm to 4,000 rpm, with a top speed of 250 km/h.
So what does over half a million Malaysian Ringgit get you? If you want to find out how the fixed roof E-Class Coupe drives and feels, you can check our story here - it's not all too different from the Cabriolet, albeit with the omission of a folding premium-class fabric soft top. The soft top itself comes in dark brown, dark blue, red, or black, and is fully automatic in operation with acoustic and thermal insulation. Opening and closing in just 20 seconds and at speeds of up to 50 km/h, the soft top stows away in a compartment in the boot with a push of a button. Opting for the Cabriolet Comfort package, the driver won't even have to stop to manually operate the boot separator.
On the inside, two high-resolution 12.3-inch displays are front and centre, merged beneath a singular glass cover to create the impression of a widescreen that spans two-thirds of the dashboard. It's an impressive display that's trickled down all the way to the upcoming A-Class as well, and the driver's instrument cluster portion can pick between Classic, Sport, or Progressive styles for the display themes. Touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel or a touchpad with handwriting recognition are used to control the entertainment unit, while the LINGUATRONIC voice control adds a level of hands-free operation.
One of the stand-out features for many of Mercedes-Benz' folding roof products is the AIRSCARF neck-heating system that keeps occupants comfortable when travelling at speed. The rear seat backrests can be folded down for additional cargo area, and are heated to boot. Primary colours for the interior are yacht blue and macchiato beige, but there is optional heat-reflecting leather in five different colours and nine different trim options to choose from. Interior lighting also makes an appearance here, with 64 colours to choose from.
In terms of actual dimensions, the E-Class cabriolet is 123 mm longer, 74 mm wider, and has a wheelbase that's 113 mm longer than the previous model. There's also a 67 mm wider track up front and a 68 mm wider track at the rear, which helps to make it a little more agile in the driving dynamics department. With the larger overall size, occupants are more comfortable as well. As you would expect, the E300 Cabriolet comes with the Dynamic Body Control system that can change damping from Comfort, to Sport, to Sport+. Air suspension is an option, being applied to all four corners and adjustable with the body control system in terms of stiffness.
As for the safety side of things, it's pretty standard as Mercedes-Benz models go. Pyrotechnic belt tensioners and belt force limiters are a little more necessary given the open top nature of the cabriolet, while the PRE-SAFE belt tensioner on the front seats and front airbags for driver and passenger are the usual suspects. An additional kneebag on the driver's side prevents the risk of getting kneecapped in a hard collision, while thorax and pelvis bags for the front occupants are meant for side impact protection. Curtain airbags are integrated into the top edge of the front door panels in order to protect the head, and there are optional side airbags for the rear as well. Roll-over protection comes in the form of two explosive cartridges behind the rear seats which detonate and deploy in the event of a roll-over in order to provide survival space in tandem with the A-pillar.