What is it?
When we This, then, the E 350 CDI Cabriolet, with its 3.0-litre diesel engine mated to Mercedes’ seven-speed 7G-Tronic auto ’box (the standard accompaniment to the V6 oil-burner) comprehensively addresses our earlier concerns.
What’s it like?
Taken on its own merit, the E 350 CDI Convertible is a fine example of the breed. Dynamically, it suffers little for the removal of its roof, with only minor chassis protestations detectable when pushed over rough surfaces. And compared to the E 250 CGI, it’s a big improvement.
The E 350 only offers an extra 27bhp over the E 250 (228bhp to 201bhp), but the 3.0-litre diesel delivers a whopping 398lb ft to the 2.0-litre petrol’s 229lb ft. And this linear surge of torque is far better suited to the E-class’s nature, making for easy, relaxed cruising with ample shove for overtaking and more spirited driving when the mood takes.
The seven-speed ’box is superior too, with barley detectable shifts both up and down. Its only drawback is the now familiar hesitation to respond to throttle movement at low speed and under certain conditions. It’s hard to define exactly when this may or may not happen, and it’s this inconsistency of behaviour that makes the trait most annoying.