Mil­lion-dol­lar looks

The Mercedes E-Class cabri­o­let is a stun­ner, writes Craig Duff

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

YOU know a Mercedes-Benz is spe­cial when other Merc own­ers steal a glance — then openly stare. Wel­come to the E-Class cabri­o­let, a car ca­pa­ble of mak­ing a mug feel a mil­lion bucks. If you had that cash, the E250 CDI pic­tured would still leave you with $890,000 to splash out on life’s other lux­u­ries.

My wife wants one, the kids were happy in one and you quickly gain the im­pres­sion pass­ing mo­torists — par­tic­u­larly the afore­men­tioned Merc driv­ers — would read­ily dis­pose of you to get their hands on one.

Beauty is in the eye of the be­holder and most who be­hold the lat­est cabrio think it’s a very sexy thing. It’s jut been voted the best-look­ing cabrio in the world by 21,000 fans of a Euro­pean mag­a­zine and we’ve lit­tle rea­son to ar­gue.

Stop ad­mir­ing it and get be­hind the wheel and there’s even more rea­son to smile.

The sus­pen­sion soaks up rough roads like chamois and a but­ton-press shifts things from Com­fort to Sport to let you wring it out through the back roads.

There’s lit­tle mo­ti­va­tion to put the top down in Mel­bourne at the moment, but flick­ing the switch be­tween show­ers dis­cov­ers just how well thought-out the sys­tem is.

It takes just on 20 sec­onds to drop the soft-top lid, at which point the Aircap sys­tem— a lou­vre that ex­tends above the front wind­screen and a draught-blocker be­tween the back seats — blocks in-cabin tur­bu­lence. Com­bine that with the op­tional head­rest-mounted Airscarf neck­warm­ers ($1190) and heated seats ($950) and oc­cu­pants can ig­nore the chill in the air for as long as the clouds only stay threat­en­ing.

Ac­cess to the two rear pews is achieved by pulling a lever on the back of the fronts seats, at which point the elec­tric mo­tors power the seat fully for­ward.

It’s then pos­si­ble to make a dig­ni­fied en­try and exit from the ve­hi­cle, some­thing that can’t be said for some of its com­peti­tors.

The en­ter­tain­ment pack­age is a hefty $7400 op­tion, but adds sat­nav, a Har­mon Kar­don sound sys­tem and a dig­i­tal TV tuner.

Per­for­mance from the 2.2-litre tur­bod­iesel en­gine is as good as the looks. There’s a mo­men­tary hes­i­ta­tion be­fore 500Nm lofts the car to the le­gal limit, ir­re­spec­tive of whether that’s 60, 80 or 100km/h.

It’s not su­per­car quick with a 0-100km/h time of just un­der eight sec­onds, but it cer­tainly won’t dis­grace it­self at the lights should you lower your­self to traf­fic-light tyro sta­tus.

The best part is the fuel con­sump­tion. Mercedes claims 5.6 litres/100km from the BlueEfficiency diesel and it only man­aged marginally worse on the cars­Guide test, mean­ing your six-fig­ure in­vest­ment is a very fru­gal ma­chine to run.

The other three cars in the range are all petrol-pow­ered, start­ing at the $105,950 250 CGI with a 1.8-litre turbo mo­tor and 150kW/ 310Nm. Step up to the $139,950 V6-pow­ered E350 and there’s 200kW/300Nm on tap, and the range-top­ping E500 has a 5.5-litre V8 with 285kW and 530Nm for $186,950.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.