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
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 TFLcar.com recommendation scale of:
– Buy it
– Lease it
– Rent it or
– Forget it
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
enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his examiner.com
page HERE. Photos by: