DRIVEN: Mercedes-Benz E350 AMG Sport Cabriolet Review
Here we have the latest Mercedes-Benz E350 AMG Sport Cabriolet, which is certainly a long name when you type it out. Long name or not it is certainly worth shouting about. This luxury soft-top German car has a lot going for it.
What is it about?
The Mercedes-Benz E Class is typically a good benchmark luxury saloon car. But since the introduction of the cabriolet version of the E Class it is in a whole different league. It has been converted into a two door, convertible, sporty road runner, but at the same time maintains all the levels of luxury and refinement. Is that really possible?
The model on test is powered by the pick of the bunch, the 3.0-Litre V6 diesel engine, putting out 252bhp this will get you from 0-60mph in 6.7 seconds and has a limited top speed of 155mph. So being as sexy looking as it is and having a very sporty yet economical engine; it is clear that the E350 AMG cabriolet is going to be a popular car.
The model name includes the term BlueTEC. For those of you that arn’t too familar with Mercedes, BlueTEC is a martketing term used for Mercedes’ engines equipped with nitrogen oxide reducing technology, which primierly uses a selective cataltic reduction (SCR) system. It’s very clever, and very efficient in how it cleans the emissions from the engine.
When it comes to styling, Mercedes arn’t scared to drastically change the look of their cars from time to time. You can see from looking at the front of this E Class that it now looks very sharp and impossing, which is very different from the previous generations of the E Class. It clearly stands out on the road as being a premium and stylish cabriolet, but still appeals to the mass market on a global scale.
How does it drive?
The E350 is everything you want in this class of car. It has both a sporty high torque power delivery and a very respectable fuel economy rating. The 3.0-litre V6 engine produces 252bhp and 620Nm of torque. This level of torque is very powerful and plays a big part in the driving experience of the E350 AMG. That high level of torque gives the Mercedes a great feeling of useable solid power when accelerating within normal driving conditions. Over taking, or gaining speed rapidly on a slip road is a breeze because of this prized V6 engine.
All that power from the engine is routed through Mercedes’ 7G-Tronic; 7 speed gearbox. Using the paddles on the steering wheel you can kick up and down the gears with fast response times. The gearbox is perfect for the engine setup. Pinging though the gears; the toque is widely spread throughout the rev range, and in most cases the turbo lag is hardly noticeable, meaning the combined efforts of the engine and gearbox putting the power to the rear wheels makes the power very direct and easily enjoyable. This has a knock on effect on the car, making it feel lot quicker than it looks on paper. It feels as if there is a constant reserve of torque that just keeps powering the car along, it’s a really great feeling!
The controls for this 7G-Tronic gear box have been moved onto the steering column. You press the stalk down for drive, up for reserve, and press the button on the end for park. Many Mercedes’ have gone this way already and it’s great, it’s a nice and simple operation and it removes some unnecessary clutter from the centre console as well.
What’s it like inside?
Have you ever seen a bad Mercedes interior? I didn’t think so. In classic Mercedes style you get all the luxury you would expect; using a variety of refined materials in a very stylish and ergonomic layout.
The leather sports steering wheel with a flat bottom design feels really great in your hands. Looking though the wheel you will notice the elegant high class white dials displaying the driver information.
The technology and luxuries on this car are also impeccable. You can have keyless go, electrically adjusted heated and cooled seats, a very cosy Airscarf, and then for your entertainment, using Mercedes Command online system you can enjoy a Hardon Kardor sound system integrated with DAB, CD, DVD, MP3, Bluetooth and even 10GB integrated music storage, and in car internet access… This is everything you need surely?
The model tested featured a red leather interior which with the roof down looks very stylish against the diamond white paintwork on the exterior. I think this would be my pick for the colour options.
Let the Light In
This is the reason why you buy the cabriolet, to take the roof off. Sitting in the E350 AMG you can convert the car from a luxury coupe to a topless sun trap in no time.
This car looks great to start, with its cloth top in place, but dropping the roof on the car gives the car an even greater presence. With the top down there is no compromise on the styling, in fact I think that it improves it, it looks tremendous.
As an added bonus with the top down it completely transforms the driving experience of the car. In the UK climate, where the weather changes continuously, the cabriolet really starts to make sense. With the roof up cabin noise and thermal insulation is almost as good as a traditional hard top car. The convert is all electric and is done with one switch. Top down the car looks great, and with the automatic air cap coming up between the back seats this helps manage the wind and stops it intruding into the cabin – it works very well even above 60mph. To add even more comfort the optional Airscraft feature blows warm air to the head and neck area via the head rest. Which makes some top down driving, even in winter, very enjoyable and as far as I am concerned this option is a must for this car (and country).
The Mercedes-Benz E350 AMG Sport cabriolet experience is unbelievably good. Sitting in the driving seat gives you a great feeling of elegance but still with a sporting edge. Being a luxury Mercedes you are continuously treated by the look and feel of the interior, everything has been nicely designed and tweaked to feel special in a way that only Mercedes do so well.
The car looks very modern, bold and loud on the outside, there is nowhere you could drive this car and not feel noticed, but you are noticed for the right reasons. The car is fairly unique compared to the competition and unquestionably good looking.
The drive is brilliant, roof on or off, the 1,935kg car feels alive and thrilling when you want to it be. However the Mercedes can also be driven around in complete relaxation and refinement as well.
For me the Mercedes E350 BlueTEC AMG Sport cabriolet is brilliantly designed and well executed. There is little compromise for the cabriolet setup over the coupe and there is a big benefit in the driving experience, weather permitting of course. The car has a great futuristic feel, the level of both power and efficiency is very finely calculated and will meet the majority of peoples’ needs, and lastly the luxury and feeling of superiority from driving this car is exceptional.
It is not a necessity in life to have a luxury, sporty, brilliantly built car like the E350 AMG, but we all want one and they don’t come much better than the Mercedes-Benz the E350 BlueTEC AMG Sport cabriolet!
- Price: £53,875.00
- Engine: 3.0-Litre Diesel V6
- Power: 252bhp
- Torque: 620Nm
- Transmission: 7G-Tronic Plus seven-speed automatic
- 0-62mph: 6.7 Seconds
- Top speed: 155mph
- Weight: 1,935kg
- Economy combined: 47mpg
- CO2: 156g/km
Author: Paul Hadley