Monday, July 12, 2010

Mercedes E-Class Convertible

Yes, it's July, and Wellington just recorded a temperature of 2 degrees C last night, and even then it only got up to 8 degrees C by lunchtime the same day. This begs the question, what on Earth are we doing discussing cars that are strictly summer-only? Surely I should be reviewing the VW Phaeton, a car with central heating, rather than a car that would turn your face into an ice sculpture if you so much as opened the window fully.

Contrary to what you (Wellingtonians especially) may believe, July and August are the best months to start thinking about buying an open top car. The Winter solstice has packed it's bags and headed north, so the days are getting longer. Spring is on it's way (hopefully) and eventually Summer will be upon us. Convertible buying is like booking a plane ticket. You have to be in early to get the best options, otherwise they'll all be gone by summer. 

Luckily, there are many cars that the manufacturers have decided to take a hacksaw to. There are plenty of great BMWs, Peugeots, Audis and even Bugatti has decided to make a convertible version of their Veyron. But just where the money to purchase the latter is going to come from, is another dilemma entirely. Mercedes has launched an open top version of their very stylish E-class coupe. Almost identical to the hard top car, except without a roof of course.

But I myself would urge caution to those who have seen the photo at the bottom of the page and have already decided to place an order. You see, I went to the Mercedes website a few weeks ago, to check up on their latest offerings, and slap-bang on the first page of the international website, is a picture of an E-class convertible parked outside a nightclub, with the heading "Sex and the City 2" I'm so sorry (especially to fans of the film) but this just turns the E-class cabriolet into a car with such a tiny amount of class, that you would have to be a colossal idiot to buy one.

On the other end of the scale, however, if you enjoy posing in your current convertible, and you need a replacement, then go and buy one tomorrow. And that is another reason why the E-class has no style, elegance or taste. You could say that it's just a disco ball on wheels (especially with the number of chromed surfaces on the bodywork) Interestingly, the old Mercedes C63 AMG suffered from the same discoballitis, but it made up for that, with it's hugely exciting 6.2 litre V8 engine. But here, there's nothing to give the E-class convertible any style, elegance or excitement. It's just a car for posers.

The new BMW 3 series convertible is on it's way soon, but do you really want to look like you're off to the golf course all the time? I recommend the new Audi S5 cabriolet. This has a huge V8 engine, a beautifully crafted canvas roof, and because it's an Audi it has acres of style and elegance. The chances of this car being used to ferry drunks from one nightclub to the next, are nil. 

And that's why I would have the Audi. You can't really pose in this car because it's so quietly styled. People on Oriental Bay in Wellington won't look at you as you drive along with the top down. They won't see the S5 parked up on Lambton Quay and immediately think-'drug dealers car' The Audi is just so composed, and it handles well too, thanks to the Quattro four-wheel-drive system that the Mercedes doesn't have. 
So when you come around to deciding what open top car to buy, think of the classy Four Ringed logo, rather than the posing three-point star.  

  The car for Summer
The car for posers

1 comment:

  1. The new BMW 3 series convertible is on it's way soon, but do you really want to look like you're off to the golf course all the time?

    does that say that you driving one would make you rasist?