First review Mercedes CLE Cabrio by auto motor und sport magazine

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German magazine Auto Motor und Sport tested the new Mercedes CLE Cabrio, and here are their conclusions.

Mercedes says that the reduction of coupe and convertible versions has been done in the interest of customers. Former Mercedes E-Class Cabrio owners wanted a sportier design, and Mercedes C-Class Cabrio owners felt it had a cramped interior space, especially in the rear.

Almost as big as former E-Class Cabrio 

That’s why the new Mercedes CLE Cabrio that replaces both the C-Class Cabrio and the E-Class Cabrio is closer in size to the E-Class Cabrio. The new CLE Convertible is 16 cm longer than the E-Class Convertible, and the wheelbase is only 8 mm shorter than the E-Class Convertible. The new CLE Cabrio is a mix of former convertibles: the front axle and cockpit with portrait display are similar to those of the C-Class, while in the rear, there is surprisingly much space and a generous boot between 295 liters with the fabric roof down and 385 liters.

Engines for a broad range of customers 

Thus, the Mercedes CLE Cabrio aims to please both E-Class Cabrio and C-Class cabrio owners, especially as the design is much more attractive now. However, customer satisfaction depends on the choice of engine, as the range of engines is now wider, from the 2-liter turbo with 204 PS (CLE 200/CLE 200 4Matic) and 258 PS (CLE 300 4Matic) to the 3-liter turbo with six cylinders and 381 Nm (CLE 450 4Matic), all with mild hybrid system on 48V and integrated 23 PS starter generator.

There’s even a 2-liter 204 PS CLE 220 d turbo diesel, also combined with a 48V mild hybrid, and two AMG versions: the CLE 53 4Matic with 449 PS (plus 23 PS starter generator) and the CLE 63 S E Performance with 680 PS. But the 4-cylinder engines that powered the previous generation C-Class Cabrio now have to contend with a much greater weight, with the CLE Cabrio weighing in at a minimum of 1925 kg, more than both of its predecessors.

The 3-litre inline six-cylinder engine combined with the smooth nine-speed automatic transmission is the optimal choice for the CLE Cabrio, but it’s also very expensive at 88,358 euros. The CLE 300 4Matic with a 2-litre turbo and 258 PS is cheaper, with a price of 76,815 euros, and offers a better driving experience than the 204 PS version. However, despite the integrated starter generator, the 258 PS engine doesn’t start as smoothly as the 204 PS, which has a lower boost pressure but then revs more spontaneously and offers better performance (0-100 kph in 6.6 seconds).

Good compromise between C and E-Class Cabrio

Body stiffness is a bit lower compared to the coupe, which is only noticeable when going over rough bumps that sometimes cause slight body shake. It is recommended to opt for the adaptive suspension, which adjusts the suspension tuning in the Sport and Comfort modes. In Comfort mode, the suspension absorbs bumps neatly, so you won’t regret the air suspension of the former E-Class Cabrio. In Sport, contact with the road becomes more intense, and body roll is significantly reduced. And in terms of driving pleasure, the compromise between the former C-Class Convertible and E-Class Convertible is a success.

But it’s overshadowed by the fact that the new C-Class Convertible is more expensive than both models it replaces. The former C 200 Convertible started at 56,000 euros and the E 200 Convertible at 60,000 euros, while the new CLE 200 Convertible has a base price of 66,402 euros. That’s a big price despite the richer standard equipment.

The soft top opens and closes in just 20 seconds, can be operated while driving at speeds up to 60 kph, and is electrically operated, making it very quiet. The soft top is available in black, red, or grey.
The Mercedes CLE cabrio is available with a wind deflector that can be mounted above the rear seats and a small wind deflector mounted above the windscreen frame that repels turbulence. The leather seats have a special cover that allows their temperature to be 12 degrees lower in direct sunlight. Since the cockpit is carried over from the C-Class, we find the 11.9-inch portrait display which, like the SL, tilts at an angle of between 15 and 40 degrees to eliminate glare from the sun rays.


Verdict

Mercedes has replaced three convertibles with one because the S-Class convertible no longer exists either. The new CLE cabrio is almost as big as the former E-Class Cabrio and uses the technical basis of the CLE coupe, compared to which it is 8,000 euros more expensive.