Review 2011 Mercedes Benz E350 Cabriolet: a simple drive becomes an event (part 2)


What really gets me about this sweet machine is the way it makes me feel
– while driving. I was über stressed one day and opted to drive off,
through Idaho Springs, Colorado, where the scenery is stupendous. So,
while tripping the light fantastic, I noticed how the Mercedes Benz E350
Cabriolet performed.


There are a few things to remember when driving a vehicle like the E350
Cabriolet: It is not a sports car; rather, it represents grand touring
better than any other German convertible in its bracket. I love the
equivalent Audi and BMW convertibles, but they live in a slightly more
performance oriented universe. None of those machines provides an open
top magic carpet ride like the Mercedes Benz E350 Cabriolet provides.

With that said, my 0 to 60 times were in a relatively quick with an
about 6½ second average. I expect the V8 to easily erase an additional
second from that time. Cornering was better than I expected with good
grip front and rear, partially thanks to the fat tires and low center of


Still, steering feel was less than communicative and, despite the good
grip, I was unsure as to the limits. It’s just as well, for this Benz is
not made for black-top punishment. There’s a lot of weight on the
wheels and transitioning from one corner to another can be a bit of a
chore. Once again, I cite the steering feel as a culprit.

Another observation: With the top down, I noticed cowl shake, especially
on road irregularities. This is no surprise as most 2+2 convertibles
shake a bit north of the steering wheel. What was interesting was, I
couldn’t feel it. The seats were so isolated from shakes and quivers
that I only saw (rather than felt) most shaking.

This observation goes back to the lack of steering feel as
seat-of-the-pants feel is negated as well. I have to stress that this is
a grand touring machine and not a sports car. With that said, as long
as you don’t try to break the rear end free and drift around a corner,
the 2011 Mercedes Benz E350 Cabriolet will allow for some fun.

Another interesting quirk: I got better than expected mileage. I suspect
my 20 mpg average has to be credited, in part, to the 7-speed automatic
(which worked flawlessly) and based on my longer than normal testing
times on highways. Still, I flogged the hell out of the E350 Cabriolet
on some tight, high altitude roads and expected lower mileage.


In the end, a car like the Mercedes Benz E350 Cabriolet transcends mere
pop-top status to enter a special place – charm. It charms the driver
with sultry comfort and good performance, it charms onlookers with the
best looking exterior modern E Class body’s have and it charms
passengers with a magic carpet ride – in the open.

Sure, a lack of a hard top makes for security concerns and its soft top
is not as cold weather friendly – but it saves weight and space – this
helps keep things compact, light and good looking (another drawback to
many hard top convertibles is the longer trunk many have). I respect
Mercedes Benz for thinking this car through so thoughtfully.

I am definitely not mature (or wealthy) enough to fully exploit the
image the 2011 Mercedes Benz E350 Cabriolet exudes. I can say, without a
doubt, it’s the best convertible I’ve driven in a long time and it’s
the best drop-top grand touring vehicle I’ve driven this side of

It’s far more comfortable than the Porsche – – –

On the recommendation scale of:

Buy it

– Lease it

– Rent it or

– Forget it

I say:


If you are old,

Editor's Note: If you missed part one of this review – you can find it HERE.

Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car
sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out
of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to
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