It’s easy to get lost in the technological marvel the modern car has become. Especially one that is quite high up in the food chain like the Mercedes-Benz E300 Cabriolet.
While I can ramble on forever about this beautifully sculpted open-top impressive list of features – most of which I have to confess I don’t understand – it did manage to do a little thing not even the biggest gentlemen have managed in my life. Handing me my seat belt!
Because this car is a two-door model, it does not have the post between front and rear doors where you would find a seat in a four-door. The mechanism which houses the seat belt is situated in the panel behind the rear seats. But because the front doors are much wider to allow occupants access to the rear seat, you would need an extremely long arm to reach the seat belt from the front seat.
But this is where those clever German designers really outdone themselves in my opinion. Once you are seated in the front, a little arm extends forward from the seat belt housing to “hand” you the seat belt. If you close your eyes, you can kind of hear Pierce Brosnan’s silky-smooth voice telling you: “Buckle up madame.”
Where Pierce does drop the ball though, is not extending a hand to help you get in and out of the car. Being very low, it is not the easiest car to access, especially I you can’t swing that huge door open all the way in our tight mall parking spaces.
But once you are seated and Pierce has prioritised your safety, it’s pure bliss. The stylish interior of the E300 Cabriolet is elegantly finished in open-pore grey ash wood and aluminium with light carbon-fibre grain design, while the black and white leather trim perfectly complemented the package. The hordes of selectable ambient lightning colours to match your mood is a further highlight.
Two side-by-side widescreens, one the infotainment system and one the instrument cluster, provide the dashboard with an ultra-futuristic look.
To open and close the soft top roof is a relative painless process and took us around 17 seconds. The nice thing about this procedure is that it can be done at a very low speed. Just a word of warning, make sure you wear a hat or enough sunscreen, as the sun can fry you in no time with no roof over your head.
The E300 Cabriolet is powered by a four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 190 kW of power and 370 Nm of torque which is sent to the rear wheels via nine-speed automatic transmission. This is a super smooth combination. One civil enough to do your daily commuting in style, yet turn beastly in an instant should the need arises.
What is kind of a let-down though is once you say “Hey Mercedes” and the MBUX system responds in a woman’s voice. Nothing wrong with that of course. I just thought Pierce would have been better…