E X T R AO R D I N A RY R I D E S
At $90K, this Mercedes is an excellent street machine By C.A. Haire The E-Series is the more popular model in the Mercedes lineup. This one, the E450 4Matic Cabriolet convertible, brings fun in the sun driving to a smaller, personal-sized vehicle. Like most German luxury machines, the base price is low, and then climbs when the option list is tacked on. This one starts at $69,800. How about adjustable air suspension at $1,900? A leather package is $4,200 with another $2,550 for safety gear. For long trips, $950 for massage seats is money well spent. That eye-catching maroon metallic paint job looks nice and only $720. In all, there were 14 option packages that added a hefty $20,855. This gave a total tab of $90,645. For this financial damage, we expect an excellent street machine â€” and we get it. Under the hood is a potent 3.0-liter V-6
85086 | SEPTEMBER 2019
The Mercedes E450 4Matic Cabrioletâ€™s cornering ability on tight mountain roads is first class. (Photos by C.A. Haire)
turbo engine cranking 362 horsepower, and hooked to a 9-speed automatic transmission. Steering wheel paddle shifters allow the driver to shift gears manually if needed. The 4MATIC all-wheel drive provides excellent traction to the pavement. Fuel economy is listed at 19/26 mpg. This motor is a pleasure to use, being very strong, smooth and quiet. This car has one of the better soft tops I have used. First, the operation is simple. Just press a button, and it lowers or rises quickly. More important, the fabric build quality is superb and has very thick construction. It is obvious performance took priority over cost. At freeway speed, wind noise around this raised soft top is just as quiet as most hard top cars. With the expensive beige leather trim, this cabin is very luxurious. No fast food or drinks
were allowed inside on my watch. There are more switches and buttons than a 747 airliner, and a learning curve is required to master them. A more useful switch gives a setting for eco, comfort, sport, sport+ or individual driving mode. To make room when the top is retracted, the trunk is very small, and no spare tire is provided. A set of golf clubs will fit, but itâ€™s not much bigger. We put more than 600 miles on this car, and I have no complaints. The performance is excellent, with strong acceleration, fantastic cornering ability and brisk cruising speeds. The cornering ability on tight mountain roads is first class. This is a great car to use for a long interstate trip, limited only by cargo capacity. No big deal if you ship your luggage ahead of time.