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Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2011 Review

We had a good crack at the E500 cab' enjoying the experience immensely ...
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Nestled amongst a rash of sporty Mercs is a sweet, soft-top stunner called the the Mercedes-Benz E500 cabriolet. While it's no match for an AMG63 Benz the E500 has enough get up and go to put you behind bars pronto. It's an in-betweenie splitting the SLK two seat roadster and the SL sports coupe.

VALUE

Built on a modified Merc' C-Class platform, the E500 cabrio's striking looks are accentuated by an arcing black soft top that gives it a mean, low-rider profile - totally in keeping with the sculpted lines of the sheetmetal. It costs a pretty penny at $186,950 but you get a whole lot of car for the ask and one that easily carries four adults in luxury - and some luggage as a bonus.

TECHNOLOGY

Better still, you can retract the roof in the evening and enjoy the stars wafting along to the beat of the rumbling 5.5-litre, naturally aspirated, petrol V8 under the bonnet. Push the 'sport' button and everything changes as the E500 cabrio becomes something of a snarling beast with firm suspension, aggressive gear selection, quick steering and a more urgent voice from under the bonnet. That big V8 is good for a lazy 286kW/530Nm output - enough to push the weighty E500 cab' from 0-100kmh in under 6.0 seconds.

EQUIPMENT

The test car was equipped with the AMG sports package that brings steering wheel gear change paddles, sports alloys with big tyres, multi-coloured nappa leather seats and other goodies like drilled front discs and an AMG aero body kit.

Precious little is left off the luxe-list with standard fare including high-end satnav, a Harman Kardon audio system with music register, Bluetooth phone and multi-media connectivity. Also fitted is a range of practical stuff like hill start assist, voice ancillary control and 'Distronic' cruise control to keep you well spaced from other cars.

The drive car featured two peripheral warning systems, one for cars coming up on each side and one for cars in front. It promotes good driving. Nothing is left off the safety inventory either; seven air bags, reverse camera, stability control and roll over protection featuring prominently.

DRIVING

We had a good crack at the E500 cab' enjoying the experience immensely especially in the early evening mid-summer with the roof down. You can (electrically) drop the top at speeds up to 40kmh. Even when it becomes cooler, the 'Airscarf' blows warm air onto your neck from under the headrests.

As you'd expect, the cab' has strong performance but sips frugally considering the size of the engine and the performance potential. We achieved 11.5-litres/100km without paying much attention to economy.

The seven-speed auto seamlessly selects gears and aids economy. With the advent of new V8s from Mercedes-Benz, one wonders how long this gorgeous thing will be available in this spec'. As a slick cruiser, it will be hard to better because the E500 cab' is a  right size, stunningly styled, impressive performing drop-top.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet - E500

Price: $186,950
Engine: Petrol 8-cylinder, 285kW/530Nm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Economy: 11l/100km, premium unleaded/95 RON.

Pricing guides

$29,900
Based on 27 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$16,800
Highest Price
$44,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
E500 Avantgarde 5.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $42,888 – 44,990 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2011 E500 Avantgarde Pricing and Specs
E500 Elegance 5.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $42,900 – 54,890 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2011 E500 Elegance Pricing and Specs
E500 Avantgarde 5.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $42,888 – 44,990 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2011 E500 Avantgarde Pricing and Specs
E500 Elegance 5.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $33,200 – 43,450 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2011 E500 Elegance Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$42,900

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

This price is subject to change closer to release data
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