Mercedes E350 cabriolet
Blame the Hollywood, but surely there is a certain charm to a convertible Mercedes. It may not be the fastest or the prettiest, but people have always fallen for them. We didn’t do a road test for the E cabriolet when it was launched, but since then the desire has been building up to drive one. So last month when a drive to Amby valley was in order, we rang Mercedes to borrow one.
And let’s start with the niggles first. The roof squeaks where it meets the windscreen frame, especially when driven over road imperfections. Then is the AIRCAP system which when raised from the top of the windscreen, deflects the air flow to cut down on the turbulence. There isn’t much of an effect except it looks ugly, catches bugs and increases the drag. So it’s best to leave the two- the AIRCAP and the rag top, where they belong- stowed away – and concentrate on what the E cabrio does best- top down cruising.
The interiors are the best in any Mercedes convertible so far. The quality is the best and the rear seats can seat two at good comfort. The Harman Kardon audio system sounds brilliant, but not as much as the wind gushing by. Or the brilliant harmony of all the six cylinders firing to propel you from 0-100kmph in 7.6 seconds. The 3.5litre V6 isn’t the most powerful in the international range, but it gels with the cabrio’s all rounded character. The handling is tight enough to keep you entertained for long on a winding road, such as the one to Amby valley. And if it rains, you can still call on the thick rag top which offers great thermal and noise insulation.
The E carbriolet is one of those highly desirable cars that are not very suited to our climate. But drive it top down on a star lit Saturday night or a cold Sunday morning; you will absolutely fall in love.
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