2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Cabriolet

Sadly two of my three days in this car were pouring rain, and all three days saw unseasonably low temperatures. Still, I made the most of it, making sure the top was down whenever possible.

Operating the top is as simple as it is quick. I doubt anyone will have any issues with this. I found the Aircap to truly be helpful, though a bit noisy. The car was very comfortable one evening at 49°F driving on freeway with windows up, seat heaters on, and neck warmers blasting. Under the sun in warmer temperatures the car was dreamy. Wind buffeting was not a problem, as I found my mohawk to be unmoved and in line.

The suspension is what you'd expect of a luxury car: a pleasure at any speed and over most surfaces, even cobblestones. The car really has great lines, which is why I'm lost when it comes to the wheels. They're AMG wheels but they're still understated for this car.

I had the chance to play with the Distronic Pulse radar, which can bring the car to a complete stop on its own. The first few attempts were with a max 30 mph setting on a city street. Admittedly it did raise my anxiety level, and yes, my foot was right there over the brake pedal, just in case. In each scenario, the car braked from its speed and came to a controlled slow stop about ten feet behind the car or truck in front of me. On the freeway, the Benz slowed as I approached a slower moving car in the right lane; after moving to the passing lane, it accelerated back to the set speed.

I found the seats to be comfortable, even without adjusting the air support gadgets in the seat. Everything, with the exception of the iPod connector, was within easy reach. There's little room to speak of in the trunk, especially with the top down. Whether you're talking luggage or shopping bags, be forewarned that such items will most likely be relegated to the back seat. While it is true that this car has a usable back seat, there is still little room for the legs of rear-seat passengers, who had better hope for shorter-legged front-seat riders.

Kelly Ryan Murphy, Creative Director

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