- 2021 Mercedes-Benz E Class ($71,950-$112,000)
- 2021 MotorTrend Car of the Year
- IIHS Top Safety Pick+
- Pro: The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 convertible delivers fun power while remaining supremely comfortable
- Con: There are A LOT of buttons making the controls a bit perplexing
Mercedes has a certain connotation that comes along with the brand. When people see the three-pointed star of Mercedes-Benz, they make a lot of connections in their minds about who is driving it. I spent a week in Manhattan and the Hudson Valley shattering that image but feeling the assuming eyes all the time. Our 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 review opened some eyes, indeed.
Even though driving around Manhattan in a convertible Mercedes conjures certain ideas, I gotta say, the Mercedes brand might be a touch misunderstood. This car certainly looks like a fluffy, fancy car that someone would buy just to be able to say they drive a Mercedes. But, that is deeply unfair to what is actually a great car that offers more than so many other, much more expensive luxury sedans. The Mercedes name delivered on the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 Convertible 4matic.
The 2021 Mercedes E450 convertible looks like a million bucks
Just look at it. The fifth-generation Mercedes E Class features beautiful and simple lines. This aesthetic feels timeless and obviously classy. The long fleetside-esq sides conjure thoughts of a ’60s Cadillac mixed with a touch of European sports car.
It is typically tough for a soft-top convertible to look good with its roof up. Although I barely ever had it up long enough to get a good look, even with the roof up, the E450 looks pretty sophisticated. But, when you take the top down, it really comes into its own.
With the roof down, my 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 review unit became a real beauty. The lines grew simpler and even classier. Even more than the many S-Class cars I passed while tottering about Manhattan in my luxury sedan, the E Class cars are just nicer looking. Even Consumer Reports agrees, calling the look “Curvacious.”
The interior is even nicer than the exterior
As a luxury sedan should, the interior of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 is truly a delightful place to be. Every inch seems to have been designed with the direct intention to be beautiful and/or comfortable. My 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 review unit had a two-tone red and black leather interior which shone like a beacon with the top down.
The dash’s inlaid vents gave it a very modern aesthetic without being too flashy or extreme. The speaker covers were finished in polished aluminum, the buttons felt substantial, and every aspect of the highly configurable seats perfected the driving position. But, more importantly than all of that are the seats themselves that heat, cool, automatically move to keep you from cramping, and also have built-in massagers that make Manhattan traffic a breeze. This interior is one of my favorite car interiors I have ever been in.
What is the best trim for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz E Class?
We think the best trim is the E450 convertible 4matic. This model refresh was applied to a car that was already great and beautiful. Instead of throwing some little changes here and there, Mercedes-Benz really went to bat on this one.
While the E350 is nice, the E450 comes with a much more exciting power train. That, along with the convertible and classy styling, makes the E450 the model stand out.
What features does the 2021 Mercedes E450 come with?
The Mercedes-Benz E Class is choc-full of tech, features, settings, and amenities. The dash is nearly swallowed whole by the massive and highly configurable screens. There is also an optional heads-up display that can show turn-by-turn Sat Nav and speed. Between the many seat configurations, massage settings, roof settings, driving modes, music, phone, navigation, and more, there are an overwhelming amount of physical buttons strewn throughout the cabin.
For all the button confusion, the infotainment screen is huge, which allows for fairly easily navigable menus.
Thanks to the built-in LTE connection, you can surf the web while the car is parked. You can use the MB Apps store to use TuneIn Internet radio or iHeartradio without pairing to a smartphone. However, it requires a paid service using Mbrace.
As you might expect from this pricey segment, dual-zone automatic climate controls are standard. However, you pay extra for heated and vented front seats. The heated seats are available with a “rapid heating feature,” which heats up the seats quickly, then automatically switches to a reduced setting and ultimately shuts them off. This feature, along with a similar automatic shutoff feature for the seat massagers, can get a little annoying and require too much menu fumbling while driving.
Last, but certainly, not least, is the “Air Balance” system. This is a bit silly, but I’m also kind of pissed I didn’t try when I had the chance. Mercedes has included a system with its own ductwork that spreads a light fragrance around the cabin to freshen up the ride. The four selectable scents come from an attractive little vial that lives in the glove box.
How does the Mercedes E450 handle in the corners?
It handles like a big heavy luxury sedan. There wasn’t much flicking and white-knuckling to be had in Manhattan, but in the twisty roads of the Hudson Valley, my 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 review unit got thrown around a few corners.
This isn’t a sports car, and it shouldn’t be judged like one. While keeping a comfortable and squishy ride thanks to its super absorbing suspension, I could feel a little body roll in more aggressive corners.
However, the steering feel was fantastic. The wheel felt light enough to not require much attention but never felt vague or disconnected. Like every other aspect of the 2021 Mercedes E450 review, the suspension and handling were clearly done with great precision and care. It is a joy to drive. Corners, straights, or Manhattan potholes; the E450 took them all with grace and poise.
What kind of engine does the E450 have?
Again, the Mercedes E450 isn’t a sports car. If you are looking for something sporty and fast, this is not the car for you. However, if you want a beautiful and classy luxury car with a bit of grunt, then stay with me.
Mercedes offers its 362-hp, 369-lb-ft M256 3.0-liter turbocharged “mild hybrid” inline-six engine for the E-Class lineup. It has an integrated starter-generator that delivers 21 hp of electrical “EQ Boost” to help acceleration from a dead stop while the turbos spool up. This mild-hybrid system also helps boost gas mileage and lower CO2 emissions.
The 48-volt onboard electrical system means there are no belts for the water pump and air conditioning, which reduces parasitic losses from the engine. Meaning you can stay comfortable even when you are getting after it.
Again, this isn’t a screamer of a car, but the throttle is punchy and exciting. There is power below your right foot that gives the driver confidence to maneuver when and where they want without the fear of overstepping.
As a result of this new eco-friendly tech, the E 450 4Matic sedan can hop off the line and hit 60 mph in only 4.6 seconds and a quarter-mile of 13.3 seconds, according to MotorTrend. All the while, getting 23/30/26 mpg city/highway/combined in the most recent EPA fuel economy tests. Hell, even the nine-speed automatic shifts smoothly and always feels eager to hop into the proper gear for whatever task is at hand.
Are Mercedes E Class safe cars?
Thanks to a slew of standard safety tech, the 2021 Mercedes E450 earned the IHHS Top Safety Pick +.
The E-Class comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot warning. The driver assistance systems use adaptive cruise control, active lane-keeping, steering pilot, and the speed limit pilot to keep the vehicle within its lane and moving with traffic with little input from the driver.
That being said, the lane-keeping assist and the various semi-autonomous pilot programs can be a little annoying and even harsh sometimes. A few times throughout my 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 review, I would change lanes (without the blinker), and the lane-keeping assist would beep then the brakes would engage for a second.
I tried many times to replicate safety tech in a way that felt good, and every time the braking would unsettle the car and catch me by surprise. I know these features have their place, but they can be pretty alarming and often unhelpful or even potentially dangerous.
How much are the maintenance costs for a Mercedes?
Maintenance costs for Mercedes cars across the board are just expensive. This is the cost of driving luxury, European cars. According to RepairPal, Mercedes owners spend $908/year on maintenance, on average. This is mighty high.
To make matters worse, Mercedes doesn’t offer a free maintenance service for the first couple of years like many other carmakers do. However, you can purchase a 110,000-mile warranty from Mercedes. Mercedes doesn’t offer that price online, so you’ll have to call the dealership directly to get the quote on a specific year/make model. It does come with the standard four-year / 48,000-mile warranty for any manufacturer’s flaws.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 convertible is one of the most pleasing cars I’ve ever driven
It’s not just me either; MotorTrend gave this mid-model refresh the 2021 MotorTrend Car of the Year award. Often these pricy luxury car brands can ride their laurels. People will buy them just because they want to own one, not because they are great. That is simply not the case here.
The 2021 Mercedes E Class lineup (and the E450, in particular) are truly wonderful cars to be in, to drive, and even to be seen in. Every aspect of these cars is good; many are great. From comfort and style to performance and tech, the 2021 E450 will likely be one of those cars that future car lovers look back at with great big ol’ heart eyes.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2021 Acura TLX an expert rating of 8.7 out of 10
It feels crazy to give this car such a good rating, but the 2021 Mercedes E450 convertible delivered on every promise from start to finish. It looks classy and beautiful; the interior is impeccable and of high quality. The power and performance never let me down, the amenities and safety tech features are abundant, and the fuel economy is great considering the segment. We gave the E450 an 8.7 out of 10 because it is a great car, period.
Sure, the $87,410 price tag as tested is up there, but considering how many other “luxury” cars and SUVs cost the same or even more with far fewer pros, even the price is reasonable. Mercedes has made something very special here. Bravo, Merc.