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The Mercedes S-Class is the perfect tool making a big impression, as June Neary discovers
Added 28th July, 2017
In its latest form, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet has an exotic feel, thinks Jonathan Crouch
The improvements made to this MK6 model E-Class Coupe - the more efficient engines, the smarter looks, the extra technology - were certainly welcome but ultimately, the essence of this model's appeal changed very little in this form. It was launched to fully restore the powerful, luxurious, Grand Touring sports coupe brand values that Mercedes had unwisely compromised with the more cheaply underpinned models that directly preceded the introduction of this car. They didn't feel particularly special in the way that a larger, more luxurious Mercedes coupe always should. With this design, that was put right. It's certainly a package good enough to leave you questioning the need to spend double the amount on a larger S-Class Coupe model.
So, how to sum up? Well, in driving this car and in owning it, you feel another, more elegant level away from owners of the brand's less aspirational C-Class Coupe. And a cut above the sporting two-door models that car competes with, coupes like BMW's 4 Series and Audi's A5. There's a maturity and a class here that these sportier rivals lack. They could never be considered as a wise and cost-efficient alternative to spending vastly more on, say, a Maserati GranTurismo or a BMW 8 Series. This Mercedes could be. And that about sums it up.
The Mercedes EQV is the planet-saving People Carrier, a full EV that can carry up to seven folk in real Zero Emissions luxury. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
So, how to summarise? Well, in driving this car and in owning it, you feel another, more elegant level away from owners of the brand's less aspirational C-Class Cabriolet. And a cut above the sporting convertible models that car competes with, cabrios like BMW's 4 Series and Audi's A5. There's a maturity and a class here that these sportier rivals lack. They could never be considered as a wise and cost-efficient alternative to spending £40,000-£50,000 more on a Maserati GranCabrio or a BMW 8 Series Convertible. This Mercedes could be. And that about sums it up.
This V-Class may occupy something of a forgotten backwater in the Mercedes product range but it's still a model that makes a lot of sense. In fact, assuming that you can't face budget-brand transport and don't want something that's very obviously a minibus, we'd argue that there aren't too many options to V-Class motoring if you need to transport up to eight people in the kind of style to which they'd doubtless quickly like to become accustomed.
Volkswagen's Caravelle is the obvious alternative but, in the form of this Mercedes, it a very credible competitor in this segment. Yes, you pay more money for this V-Class but you also get a lot more in return - a classier look, a much nicer cabin and a far more sophisticated driving experience. In a Caravelle - even a very nice one - you never really forget that you're in a converted van. Here, in contrast, the ambience is far more that of a luxury limousine. Despite that, with its rare combination of spacious seating and generous luggage capacity, this Mercedes is a paragon of practicality, beautifully bridging the gap between MPV and minibus. What it all boils down to is that if you want a car, buy a car. If though, you need a People Carrier, buy one that can really do the business. The V-Class is part of a small but very select breed of models answering that calling.
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