Mercedes-Benz S Class Cabriolet Review
The S-Class Cabriolet is a quality car, based on the Mercedes’ flagship saloon, this car is all about luxury.
- Luxurious drop-top
- Sleek design
- S500 AMG is fantastic
- The S-Class feels like a big car
- Costs anything between £7,325 and £12,070 more than the hardtop
- Feedback from steering wheel is average at best
Mercedes has been in this sector before, but it was quite some time ago, in fact, it was the early 70s. Now in 2016, S-Class Cabriolet is based on the Coupé, but comes with a folding fabric top.
By adding that feature, the S-Class Cabriolet is between £7,325 and £12,070 more expensive than its equivalent hard-topped model.
The S-Class Cabriolet is a huge car but the designers have done well. The lines are deceptive meaning yes it is big, but actually looks smaller and neater than it actually is.
From every angle the S-Class is aesthetically pleasing. The side profiles feature lovely details while the front gives the model great road presence.
Step round to the rear and there are also a lot of nice touches, the slender light clusters are a prominent feature while the number plate is set down low and doesn’t interfere with the design.
If you want a bit more aggression, then crack open the cheque book and go for the S500, it has less road presence than the AMG models but it is neat, the designers want you to feel that you are looking at a speed boat for the road. You can almost imagine the crash of the ocean waves, right?
On the Road
Three engines are available on the S-Class Cabriolet and they are the same engines that can be found in the coupe model.
Prices are enough to make your eyes water, the entry-level S500 AMG Line Cabriolet starts at £110,120. The AMG models including the 5.5-litre V8 S63 is priced from £135,675) while the 6.0-litre V12 S65 starts from £192,805.
The best seller in the UK is likely to be the S500 variant of the Cabriolet line-up and is powered by a 4.7-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. That means it is quick and it will complete the benchmark sprint in 4.6 seconds.
The S-Class Cabriolet may not be a sporty car as such, no this is more your cruiser to pose in. However, it has a couple of feisty AMG models in the line-up, which certainly adds spice to the range.
You must remember that this car weighs more than two tonnes, that is a helluva lot of weight to shift. Therefore is best suited to the footballers backyards of Alderley Edge in Cheshire or the Kings Road in London.
There is not much in the way of feedback from the steering. The problem is the S-Class is known for its magic carpet esque ride and therefore you do feel that car floats rather than is connected to the road.
The Airmatic semi-active air suspension is standard-fit on all S-Class Cabriolets, and helps to maintain excellent body control. Those of a more enthusiastic nature will be pleased to know the AMG models feel better to drive, lean less through the corners and sound amazing.
Riding on the magic carpet, or should we say the S-Class Cabriolet is enjoyable and relaxing. Cutting through the air such as this also adds to the refinement, the ride is a thing of beauty and even with our pothole littered roads, the car’s suspension soaks up the lumps and bumps and you will hardly even notice they are there.
The boffins at Mercedes have also made sure that when the hood is down, there is little turbulence to disturb passengers in the cabin.
Other neat touches include Airscarf, which heats the driver and front seat passenger’s necks. There’s also a system called Aircap, which pops up both a bar on the windscreen header rail and a wind diffuser behind the rear seats to prevent most airflow from entering the car.
In the car
Mercedes has made sure that this flagship Cabriolet is well kitted out. Standard equipment levels include heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, full leather upholstery, 'intelligent' climate control, 19-inch alloys, LED lights front and rear, AMG body styling and satnav, 12.3-inch TFT display screens, Comand controller.
Regardless of the Convertible/Cabriolet that you are talking about, every one has drawbacks when it comes to issues with practicality and the S-Class Cabriolet is no different. It may be a four-seat cabriolet, well that is according to the manufacturer, in truth, it’s more of a 2+2. The rear seats have a decent amount of room, however, legroom is still limited and those over six foot will not thank you for putting them in the rear for any considerable time.
Mercedes has opted for a three-layer soft-top, rather than the folding metal hood that can be seen on the SLC and SL. The fabric hood is much lighter than a folding metal roof, which helps to keep CO2 emissions relatively low. The fabric roof also takes up less space in the boot when stowed.
Running costs will not put off too many S-Class Cabriolet buyers. When comparing to other four seat drop-tops of this stature then you’ll find the S-Class Cabriolet fares well. The S500 has a claimed average of 32.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 204g/km. If you compare and contrast throughout the range to rivals such as equivalent versions of the Bentley Continental GT or Aston Martin DB9 Volante, then you’ll find that the S-Class Cabriolet beats the pair.
Mercedes offers a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty while reliability is unquestioned. In the most recent JD Power dependability study Mercedes finished 5th out of 26 manufacturers.
Standard safety kit includes front seat passengers head, side, front airbags while rear-seat passengers get side and head airbags and a system that can detect obstacles and alerts you and there’s also a crosswind system.