Mercedes E-Class 350 AMG

The new Merceds-Benz S E Class Cabriolet-49895 lr

By Tim Saunders

Beware of what you wish for, says one enthusiast on discussing his three year old Mercedes-Benz E Class 350 CDI AMG sport cabriolet.  

“Not only has it plummeted in value, the 19 inch alloy wheels and the ridiculously thin low profile tyres are a major bug bear,” says Gerry, an accountant, who paid £31,000 when it was two years old and 12 months later claims it is only worth £22,000. “I never buy a new car because I prefer someone else to take the hit on the depreciation.”

He adds: “Whenever you clip a kerb the alloys get damaged but even more annoyingly the two-inch thick tyres are highly likely to blow out. Potholes generally do result in blow outs. I’ve just had three new tyres fitted making it six tyres in a year and they’re really expensive. In America Mercedes knows there’s a problem but in the UK the company seems to be ignoring it. In fact I did complain to Mercedes and they were going to fit smaller 17 inch wheels but when they discovered that my Mercedes was an AMG conversion they said nothing can be done because they claimed it would cause problems with the AMG lowered suspension.

Gerry, who is also an artist, has always driven cabriolets and has owned three Mercedes-Benz over the last 15 years because “they are reliable and comfortable”.

“I did test an Audi when I was considering my current model but although it was arguably more of a sportscar, the Mercedes stole my heart despite its expensive servicing.

“It does have a hard ride because of the low profile tyres and lowered suspension but the plus point is that it is fitted with an air scarf, which blows warm air around my neck when the roof is down, particularly helpful for me because of my neck trouble.

“Another reason I like it is because of the fact it has four seats and the rear seats are large enough for adult passengers; the largest convertible I have owned, and its large boot enables me to carry paintings. There’s also a through-load hatch into the rear seats that allows you to carry longer items.”

Quality is very impressive, says Gerry. It’s smooth and quiet but still feels quick. Accelerating from 0 to 60mph takes just 6.5 seconds. In auto mode the seven speed automatic gearbox changes smoothly and is well-timed. Gerry says that in manual mode it never gives full control to the driver, changing up automatically, and can also get flustered if you ask it for really fast changes.

With the roof down there is a noticeable rattle from the diesel engine on start up but this is quickly forgotten when driving. With the roof up the cabin is quiet and nearly as quiet as the E Class coupe, while the automatic Aircap system makes high-speed cruising with the roof down draught free for all four occupants.

It is loaded with safety equipment, which includes some advanced technology that anticipates accidents and responds and even monitors the driver suggesting that they should take a break if it spots they look tired. Anti-lock brakes, airbags and electronic stability control are all standard.

Parkers, the car experts, say: “Claimed not to be a direct replacement for the outgoing CLK, the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet is a comfortable four-seat convertible that harks back to the classy Mercedes models of old. Quite why the firm tries to deny this lineage is unclear, as in many ways the cars boast a clear and distinct relationship. Even at first glance there’s a similarity to the way they look, though the new E-Class cabriolet boasts far more style to its lines. Revised in 2013 the cabriolet (and coupe it is based on) is still proud of its rear haunches, the pontoon arches having been smoothed over on the saloon and estate models. The bold front end, with its new bi-xenon headlamps and bold new Sport grille is both more aggressive and pleasing.”
Mercedes-Benz was invited to make a comment but has not provided one.

Facts at a glance

Mercedes-Benz E Class 350 AMG sports cabriolet 2010 onwards

Used price range: £22,000

New price range: £49,645

Top speed: 160mph

0 to 60mph: 6.5secs

Engine: 3-litre diesel

Transmission: seven speed automatic

Power: 248bhp

Economy: 48mpg

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