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2011 Mercedes E550 Cabriolet

Automotive — Sidiov @ June 29, 2010

The CLK cabriolet is heading out into the sunset following its coupe sibling to be replaced by the new E-class cabriolet. This new Mercedes-Benz convertible still feels like a CLK, which is to say a cross between a C-class and E-class sedan. Heavy, rakishly styled, with mediocre power and gas mileage.

The car is decent looking with the new angular styling, though we might remember cars with such pronounced and jaunty flares and edges tend to slip out of style rather quickly, a la the Delorean DMC-12.  What sort of consumer purchased CLK-class cabriolets anyway?  Research points at mid-30s to early 40’s professional women with 0 to 1 children.  That market is still there and untended to, apart from the Volvo C70, but lets face it this has the nameplate.

The E550 comes with a 382-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 which is decent, but certainly no monster due to the cars 4,048 pounds of curb weight, and with the top down and Aircap wind deflector up increasing drag coefficient to 0.38 (Dodge Durango territory) incidentally rocket fuel consumption up as well.  US customers can also choose a 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 in the E350, and European consumers get several diesels to choose from.  No word on an E63 cab yet, but we can be sure one will show up soon.

Nothing overly unique in the interior, standard M-B quality and controls on the layout.  A 7 speed automatic transmission is standard.  Room for the front passenger is very good, the rear passengers will have a bit less space with 30.1 inches of leg room, but with the top down they can easily sit up straight. Options include heated seats, rear side airbags, MBrace (M-B’s Version of On-Star), along with the typical appearance and electronic add-ons.

Expect to pay over $60k for a base model E550 cabriolet, as the coupe is coming off with a $55k price tag.  The E350 will likely come in around the mid-50k’s.

All in all it’s a decent rag-top if you don’t care about the comfort, ease of cleaning, and quiet of a hard top or need more space than a 2 seater, and if you dont care much about the power and drive-ability of a BMW 650i.

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