The luxurious Mercedes-Benz E-Class gets two new models for 2019, the E 450 and E 450 4MATIC. The E-Class is a sleek and sophisticated rear-drive car that comes as a sedan, coupe or even a wagon. Despite having it during the recent Baton Rouge cold snap, I was thrilled when a shiny “Rubellite Red” 2019 E 450 4MATIC Cabriolet showed up in my driveway.
I don’t care if it’s 30 degrees outside, when I get a convertible, I’m gonna drive it with the top down…at least for a while. Mercedes gets that, and they make it possible – and even comfortable – with lots of heating systems, including what the company calls an “air scarf.” Located in the seatback of the cabriolet, the air scarf is just what it sounds like, a stream of warm air comes from the headrest to keep your neck warm. There’s even an option for heated armrests in the front seats.
So, when the weather turned cold, I turned on the heater, turned on the heated seats, turned on the air scarf, turned on the heated steering wheel, dropped the top and hit the road.
I really enjoyed driving this elegant convertible around Baton Rouge, Denham Springs and even up into the Felicianas. One night during the test week, the car even served as a wedding vehicle for the son of my best friends, with a beautiful bride and handsome groom waving goodbye to the crowd from the back seat after their nuptials in Gonzales. Don’t worry Mercedes, no “just married” paint was allowed on the car, and of course, the top was down.
The E-Class offers engine choices from four to eight cylinders, in rear and all wheel drive. The E 300 and E 300 4MATIC are powered by a 2.0-liter inline turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that develops 241 horsepower and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, while the E 450 and E 450 4MATIC get a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that kicks out 362 horses and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. The AMG E 53 has a 3.0-liter inline turbocharged 6-cylinder tuned to deliver 429 horsepower and 384 lb.-ft. of torque. Finally, the AMG E 63S gets a big V8, turning 603 horsepower into 627 lb.-ft. of torque that is sent to all four wheels. The transmission is a smooth 9-speed automatic.
As you might guess, the E-Class is not for every budget; it starts at about $55,000 but six figures can be reached as you check more boxes. My mid-level E 450 Cabriolet 4MATIC had an MSRP of $69,800, but by the time all the options and freight were added the bottom line was north of $90-grand.
On the road, the E 450 Cabriolet handles superbly with linear and precise steering. Power from the engine is delivered smoothly and steadily to the rear wheels or to all wheels. Gliding along the hilly two-lane roads in the Felicianas was great, with an occasional burst of power to get around lumbering big rigs.
The cabin of my test vehicle was world class. Sumptuous Nappa leather and stitching was on the massaging front seats, dual-zone climate control kept the bride and groom comfortable and the massive 12.3-inch touchscreen displayed connectivity and infotainment information, as well as the nav system’s map, available either as a 3D map or satellite image.
For 2019, the E-Class gets more enhanced safety systems and a new 3-spoke Nappa leather steering wheel to control those systems. Safety is a top priority in the new E-Class, which is why the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2019 model sedan a “Top Safety Pick Plus” award, the highest available from the institute. As a matter of fact, It’s the first car I’ve driven with a perfect safety record in safety tests from the IIHS.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz E 450 4MATIC Cabriolet may not be for everyone, but it’s a world class car. If you’re in the market for some sophisticated and stylish German engineering, you should put this car on your test drive list.
2019 Mercedes-Benz E 450 4MATIC Cabriolet
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged V6
Horsepower/Torque: 362/369 lb.-ft.
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Price: $69,800 ($90,645 with options & freight)
EPA mileage estimates: 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/22 mpg combined
Estimated Highway Miles: 452 miles