2017 Mercedes-Benz S550 Cabriolet Review: All the luxury you need

– Detroit, Michigan

After a lengthy Uber ride through L.A. traffic, a boring cross-country flight, and an unusually long wait for a shuttle to the parking lot, the last thing on my mind was driving. How perfect, then, to have the sublimely easy-to-use Mercedes-Benz S550 Cabriolet waiting for me. It’s the sort of luxury car that makes all the hassles and stresses of driving melt away into the background. The topless S-Class is thoroughly viceless from behind the wheel, performing exactly as I ask without fault. And, yes, it’s beautiful, powerful, and dripping in technology, too. Even more so than the admittedly fabulous Rolls-Royce Dawn we drove earlier this year, this S550 Cabriolet is the convertible I could drive every single day.

 

 

Pros

  • A smooth and stupendously powerful engine. Sure, there are gutsier AMG models, but the biturbo V8’s torque curve comes on so early that you’re never at a loss for power. All 516 pound-feet are ready by 1,800 rpm, so the engine feels stronger than its 449-horsepower rating might suggest. It makes short work of any on-ramp yet is also incredibly smooth, transmitting essentially no vibration to the cabin.
  • I might not like every design choice within the sumptuous cabin – those wavy white lines on the dash seem very 1970s to me – but I cannot fault the materials. From the row of chromed switches on the center stack to the click-click infotainment controller, everything just works. And these ultra-supple seats, in gorgeous Nappa leather, are f...