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New cars: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

What the critics say about the $57,725–$65,675 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet

Automobile
“It’s no sports car,” but the all-new E-Class convertible successfully evokes the celebrated Mercedes-Benz heritage of sporty boulevard drop-tops. Exceptional comfort and spirited performance make it ideal for “relaxed, luxurious, isn’t-life-grand cruising.” A folding fabric roof, which can be raised or lowered when moving at speeds up to 25 mph, leaves plenty of trunk room for luggage.

Car and Driver
To drive the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet is to “step into the brand’s past.” Sure, it suffers from “overwrought styling,” but it also includes such high-spirited features as sport suspension, a “throaty exhaust rasp,” and an engine that’s “plenty fast”—the car is available in the U.S. with a powerful 382-hp, 5.5-liter V8 or a 3.5-liter V6. Still, we expect most buyers won’t be gear-heads but “people who like to see and be seen.”

Popular Mechanics
The new E-Class is “easy, breezy, beautiful” from just about every angle. When the top is down, its electronically actuated AirCap spoiler, mounted atop the windshield, deflects air over front- and rear-seat passengers’ heads, while AirScarf headrest vents blow warm air onto passengers’ necks to keep them comfortable. “Only rain could force me to raise the roof” on this plush, pampering, convertible sportster.

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