Auto123 reviews the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E 450 Convertible, before the temperatures drop too low.
Do you ever dream of winning the lottery? Of course you do. Who doesn't, unless you're Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates or other of those rare creatures who long ago stopped having to worry about making ends meet.
On the market, there are those dreamy vehicles that seem destined for those who are, let’s say, well-heeled, or those who win the lottery. That's just the way it is. And we all have our own dream cars. Some might go for a Lamborghini Aventador, a Bugatti Chiron, maybe a Ferrari.
For me, that dream was pretty much set in stone the first time I saw the movie Goldfinger when I was a kid. I’d get me an Aston Martin DB5. I might never be as charismatic as James Bond, but at least I could drive his car...
But what about the Mercedes-Benz E450 convertible? It would definitely be on my list (because let’s face it, what car lover would get only one dream car after winning $65 million?).
Let's see why this car makes my dream list.
An endangered species
There was a time when convertibles were everywhere in the industry. In fact, as a general rule, when a manufacturer offered a car, they made a sedan, a coupe, a wagon and a convertible.
The cars of the 60s and 70s come to mind, but even in the early 80s, 30 years ago, Pontiac's Sunbird could be delivered without a fixed roof; that gives you an idea.
Today, convertibles are the exception. Mostly, they’re niche vehicles, like the Mazda MX-5 and Porsche Boxster, for example. Occasionally, as in the old days, it is a variant of a regular model.
This is the case with the E-Class Convertible. And you should take advantage of it while it's still possible, provided you can afford it.
Mercedes-Benz has a few flagship vehicles around the world. Of the lot, the E-Class is central. The SL is iconic and the S-Class is the brand's symbol of ultimate luxury, but the E-Class is the bread and butter model for the brand. It's the perfect compromise, too, because it's offered in so many variations that it's impossible not to find the porridge, chair and bed that are just right for you.
In total, there are 11 E-Class models in four body styles: sedan (4), coupe (2), wagon (3) and convertible (2).
The E-Class convertible is offered in two ways: the 450 4Matic, the model we tested, and the AMG E 53 4Matic. The difference between the two is mainly under the hood, even though they both use a 3.0L turbocharged 6-cylinder engine. It generates 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque in 450 configuration, and 429 hp and 382 lb-ft of torque in the AMG variant. A 9-speed automatic transmission is present in both cases (it’s set for more sportiness in the AMG trim).
There's a $10,000 gap between the two, with the 450 priced at $88,900 and the AMG E 53 at $99,900. As always, there are a number of option packages available, each of which will boost both the level of equipment and the price, the latter at a frightening rate. Though obviously, if you can afford $100,000 for a vehicle, you can add a few thousand to the bill without blinking. Still, it's important to do your homework, identify your real needs and proceed accordingly. Why pay for things you won't use?
Note that for those who would rather not have the numerous driving aids that invade modern vehicles, you can avoid selecting the Intelligent Drive package and enjoy a vehicle that will let you drive more independently. But that’s an individual choice.
Our tester came with several options, including a dash cam ($300), soft-close doors ($550), 20-inch AMG wheels ($1,250), the Premium Package ($3,900), the Technology Package ($2,100), and the Intelligent Drive Collection features. Total selling price of our vehicle: $99,700.
Behind the wheel
Questions of price blow away in the wind when you slip behind the wheel of this convertible and, with the tap of a finger, send the top folding back into its hiding place. Then you breathe in the fresh air of nature, let the sun bathe you in vitamins and well-being (sunscreen strongly recommended) and settle comfortably into the bucket seat that follows the shape of your body like a mattress equipped with memory foam.
The impressive dashboard with its two integrated screens (highly customizable for the section directly in front of the driver), is an eye-catcher, so you might not notice right away the perfect seating and the rest of the cabin environment that exudes luxury.
Then, drive the thing down any road, and it’s easy to get lulled into revery. The suspension filters out road imperfections beyond expectations and the smooth ride is seductive. Yes, power is there and it's welcome when it's needed, but that's not what you want to experience with this convertible. In fact, when you're in the driver's seat, you can see yourself taking a road trip around America, driving until there's not a drop of gas left in the tank, in short, enjoying the moment to the fullest.
And when, with our hectic lives, can we contemplate such scenarios? After retirement, of course, provided you have a properly fattened bank account. Possibly from winning the lottery.
And because that would be my only option, that's why I'm bringing it up. Because you need the means to afford the pleasure of an E-Class convertible, and not care that this car is not there to meet your daily needs. Think of it as a ticket to well-being and good times.
And when you drive this car, the pleasure is in feeling like you're somewhere else, literally. In fact, I would say that the E-Class Convertible offers an escape from your routine, whatever it may be, or the temporary elimination of your worries, whatever they may be. Or else, it can just be object of your dreams.
Because dreaming costs nothing, fortunately.
The E-Class is everything I’ve pumped it up to be... and more. As it happened, I also tested the AMG E 63 S wagon variant this summer and the experience was quite different. In fact, my on-road behaviour behind the wheel was not the same, a sign that the E 450 convertible is aimed at a different audience.
And that is the great strength of Mercedes’ E-Class model: its multiple personalities. But whichever one of those personalities fits yours, and I repeat myself here, you have to be able and willing to fork over the dough. Even an entry-level E-Class sedan sells for $64,900.
Quality comes at a price.
Exceptionally smooth ride
Four-seat convertible; an endangered species
We like less
Ergonomics can be improved (steering wheel controls)
Maintenance costs to be expected
Cost of options