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Mercedes-Benz E250 cabriolet 2011 review

EXPERT RATING
8

Summer means top-down motoring. For those who can afford it, that in turn means the Mercedes-Benz E-Class cabriolet. It's the trendy way to shop in the trendy streets and a stylish item in its own right.

And in the E-Class, even Melbourne's fickle summer weather can be tolerated with the soft-top down. Unlike the SLK, it can also cope with four adults in comfort.

Value

Audi and BMW are both switched on to the whole topless thing. They just don't fight in exactly the same space as the mid-sized Merc. BMW jumps from the smaller 3 Series drop-tops to the to-die-for 6 Series that is almost $90,000 dearer.

Audi comes closer with the A5 cabrio - and it has all-wheel-drive reassurance - but it doesn't have the style of the three-pointed-star. And that's like having the body without the tan. The base Merc is still loaded with a seven-inch colour display, 6Gb hard drive for storing music, 17-inch alloys and leather seats front and back.

Technology 

It is hard to argue with a car that feels this solid but is powered by a 1.8-litre engine and still manages a sub-8 second sprint to 100km/h. 

It's like arguing with your younger sibling when they know martial arts ... not advisable.  The Merc has bi-xenon headlights with adaptive lighting and memory front seats for those rare occasions when you let someone else behind the wheel.

Styling

The Mercedes is well-proportioned with the soft top up. Drop it and it makes me look good. That's because people tend to look at the angular lines of the car and ignore the obviously pretentious middle-aged bloke behind the wheel. The interior is smart but not spectacular. It is more refined than the outside but still exudes more class than I'd otherwise be capable of.

Safety

A body shell that's tougher than your primary school vice-principal is matched with enough software to save a lemming from the cliff face and nine airbags for those that accidentally get pushed off. No surprise then that it earns five stars. Do something insane enough to roll the car and the hoop-bars will punch up behind the rear seats to protect the back seat passengers, who did nothing wrong in the first place.

Driving

Pop the windows down on the E250 and the coiffed hairdo may get a natural touch-up. Leave them up, though, and there's little to critisize about the way it runs. We're not talking sports car performance here but cabrio owners shouldn't delude themselves they can take on a C63 AMG.

We are talking style and there's not much to argue with here. The Merc copes with speed humps and stares with equal aplomb and this is a boulevard cruiser that few this side of a Maserati can match.

Verdict

If you've got $100 large to put down on a cruiser, put it down on this one. The body rigidity isn't up to an E-Class sedan but the feel-good factor when people watch that top roll down is worth the incremental extra on the back roads. Of course, if you have the cash to buy the E500 the straight-line speed (and engine note) makes corners all but irrelevant.

Pricing Guides

$29,990
Based on 56 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$19,940
Highest Price
$74,800

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
E500 Avantgarde 5.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $29,990 – 45,900 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2011 E500 Avantgarde Pricing and Specs
E250 CDI Avantgarde 2.1L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $19,940 – 31,888 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2011 E250 CDI Avantgarde Pricing and Specs
E250 CDI Elegance 2.1L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $28,710 – 34,540 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2011 E250 CDI Elegance Pricing and Specs
E250 CGI Avantgarde 1.8L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $22,868 – 35,800 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 2011 E250 CGI Avantgarde Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$25,881

Lowest price, based on 7 car listings in the last 6 months

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