I've driven two convertibles in my life. The R231 Mercedes-Benz SL550 we reviewed back in February, and the ND Miata in the rain during the late winter. When the opportunity to film a W124 Mercedes E-Class convertible came up, we jumped at it.
The 1988 300E we featured a few weeks ago received quite a bit of criticism online for the modifications the owner opted for, but our Spotlight on this 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 shouldn't have to walk on fire. This W124 is almost completely original, with just a tiny bit of missing trim from it's 22 years of service, and a steering wheel cover. We love reviewing OEM cars, as I personally enjoy seeing an older car maintained and repaired with original parts. I'm the kind of person who has removed an aftermarket stereo from a car to put in an original spec deck.
But enough about me. This W124 is in great shape, and goes to show how reliable these cars truly are. The design is a classic that hasn't aged poorly like some other cars from the late 80s and 90s. The interior trim stands the test of time by keeping it's minimal design to a form & function philosophy. It feels similar to the W126 S-Class and boasts a comfortable amount of front passenger space. The seats are a big improvement over the '88, the springiness is gone which seems to be a common complaint for the older models.
Another major plus for this car was the functional automatic climate control, a weak point for any of these older Benz' but one you don't need to worry as much about with the convertible roof. Having working A/C is great for those days where high humidity creates rain and unbearable heat.
The ride of this car was truly remarkable, given the car is 22 years old and lacks a roof. It rides significantly softer than BMWs from this era, something I'm really starting to learn when driving any Mercedes-Benz. Engine performance is pretty good with the 3.2L straight 6 motor, and doesn't feel underpowered for the weight of the car. It certainly can get you up to speed without feeling pressured.
It's very interesting to me that Mercedes-Benz was able to produce a wide range of E-Class body styles over the production of the W124. The most common being the sedan, but a coupé, wagon, limo, and convertible were all offered during the course of it's run. Think back to the 90s, and BMW was too busy killing off the 6 Series and making roofs to be bothered with looking up at the skies. The E30 3 Series was your only option for a drop top BMW, and that's a smaller class of car when compared with the E320.
You can watch our Spotlight on the 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Convertible here: