autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 
Two Equally Priced Drop-Tops Are at the Same Dealership, Which Are You Taking Home?
Let's play a little game, shall we? In the spirit of Open Top Month here at autoevolution, we've often thought about what we would personally buy if we had to browse the Internet for a convertible drop-top of our own. There are more choices than one person can peruse through in a reasonable amount of time.

Two Equally Priced Drop-Tops Are at the Same Dealership, Which Are You Taking Home?

Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400Camaro vs Mercedes E400
But after a quick search on Carmax, we think we have the perfect comparison. Two convertibles from roughly the same time frame with polar opposite design languages and designed oceans apart from one another. On the one hand, we have a beautiful 2016 Mercedes-Benz E 400 convertible out of CarMax Columbus in Sawmill, Ohio. On the other, we have a striking 2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS with the V8 engine from the very same Ohio CarMax.

Both have black paint jobs and black interiors with alloy wheels, and both can have you feeling the wind in your hair for around $40,000 and change. But that's where the similarities largely end. So then, let's break them both down to see what's what. Let's begin with the Merc. By 2016, the C207/A207 architecture the E 400 was based on was starting to show its age. But that didn't stop it from being a strong contender among its rivals.

The 2016 E 400 sported handsome and time-enduring styling, a boat load of infotainment features, supple leather seats, and some of the best build quality possible for average everyday cars. At least, in terms of average cars that could blend into traffic could manage back in 2016.

Powering this Merc was a twin-turbocharged M276 E30 V6 engine jetting 329 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 354-lb-ft (480 Nm) of torque between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm. It features a dial-selectable seven-speed automatic transmission that, although it can never beat a manual in terms of thrill, is still undoubtedly capable under hard launch and acceleration.

With a curb weight of 4145 lbs (1880.1 kg), this Merc is one chunky drop-top. But with all the clever tech on offer, there's no reason why it still can't compete with used cars in its market segment. It's still as capable of putting a smile on your face with its 4matic all-wheel-drive cornering ability and its quick acceleration as it ever was.

With a suggested retail price of $62,250 at launch, a price of 42,998 for a car with 33,000 miles (53,108.3 km) on the clock isn't a bad bargain. That is unless you prefer the other choice in this comparison. The 2018 Chevy Camaro SS is a sports car that's easy to get a bad impression about.

Well, as you'll find, the sixth-generation Camaro is profoundly different than even its direct predecessor. With a 6.2-liter LT1 V8 under the hood jetting 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft (616.8 Nm) of torque, you get a definite bump in power over the Mercedes, if not a reduction in weight.

Just like the Merc, this one is cursed with an automatic transmission, this time an eight-speed unit. With an MSRP at the launch of $48,000, this 10,000 miles young Camaro's staved off depreciation like a champ with a going price of $43,998. Though Chevrolet and Mercedes-Benz don't often compete for the same clientele, it's hard not to see a palpable similarity between the features inside this Camaro and the E 400.

Both incorporate well-refined touchscreen infotainment systems of similar size, and both will accommodate your Android or iOS-based navigation and entertainment software with no complaints whatsoever. Both have stunning gauge clusters as well, albeit for different reasons.

The Camaro's digital gauge displays may be flashier and more customizable, but the classic silver dials of the E 400 ad a chic touch the ham-fisted Camaro can't respond with. The Camaro is also wider and longer than the E 400, making for dubious prospects if you are ever obligated to park it in a tight spot. Rest assured, a couple of dings and scrapes because of rear visibility problems will make that depreciation gremlin come back in force.

But as far as investments in the long term go, is it ever really a safe bet to buy a Mercedes-Benz in America? Granted, American pushrod V8s are generally considered to be easier and cheaper to work on than European turbo engines. At least in terms of your average American mechanic. But with the prices of parts and labor for any car these days, it'd be a real toss-up which car would be a safer investment in the long run.

But between these two $40-ish thousand drop-top sports cars, which one would you take home? The burly American brute or the German mad scientist? Let us know in the comments down below. Check back real soon for the final week of Open Top Month here on autoevolution.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories