2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet: Mercedes’ Top-Down Approach

Strong points
  • Sleek silhouette
  • Impeccable finish
  • Rigid chassis
  • Remarkable handling
Weak points
  • Very limited rear visibility
  • Huge central console
  • Expensive maintenance
  • Reliability still unknown
Full report

One more for the road! At Mercedes-Benz, cabriolets are all the rage. After the E-Class, S-Class, SLC and SL, now it’s the C-Class’s turn to come out with a cabriolet. The collection is complete. The C-Class Coupe hasn’t been out for very long, but lo and behold, there’s already a convertible version. High five to the stylists for preserving the coupe’s beauty!

So much style

This addition to the lineup will surely attract more than a few buyers. It features the signature lines of Mercedes-Benz’s new generations of vehicles and, like the brand-new coupe, it has a sleek silhouette with fluid, revealing contours.

Ditto for the cabin, which is executed to perfection and features high-quality materials. It’s hard to criticize a car built by designers who pay such careful attention to detail. Its one flaw, however, is the dashboard design. The middle portion is far too imposing, to the point of being invasive. In light of the subtlety of its lines, this C-Class should show the same finesse in its dashboard design.

The soft top retracts and tucks behind the rear seats in less than 20 seconds, as long as you’re driving at 50 km/h or less, which has now become the norm with cabriolet manufacturers. As with the brand’s other convertibles, the AIRCAP system helps reduce turbulence reasonably well, in particular for the passengers seated in back.

When activated, a mesh windblocker connects the two rear headrests while a deflector is deployed at the top of the windshield. It won’t make the car win any beauty contests, but it’s very effective. Moreover, you can lower the top later in the year thanks to the AIRSCARF system that sends heat directly behind your head. The vents are located at the base of the front-seat headrests.

Power range

On our side of the Atlantic, there are four available versions of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet. The entry-level C 300 is equipped with the turbocharged, 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. With a nine-speed automatic gearbox and 4MATIC all-wheel drive, this Mercedes sprints from 0-100 in 6.4 seconds. The drivetrain produces 241 horsepower at 5,500 rpm.

It goes without saying that driving enthusiasts will want something with more juice. For them, there are three AMG versions, the first of which, the AMG C 43, would seem the most logical choice for everyday use. This more dynamic version has a twin-turbo, 3.0-litre V6 for a more-than-respectable 362 horsepower. The 0-100 time drops to 4.8 seconds for this version.

However, there’s always room for a thoroughbred, and that’s exactly what you get with the AMG C 63 and AMG C 63 S. In both cars, the roar of the twin-turbo, 4.0-litre V8 is impossible to miss. The C 63 features 469 horsepower while the addition of the letter S brings the total to 503 horsepower.

The former takes just 4.2 seconds to go from 0-100 km/h, while the latter shaves off barely a tenth of a second. Acceleration is incredible, but who will really be able to make the most of all that power? These two versions could end up costing you your driver’s license and thousands of dollars in fines.

The engineers who created this C-Class’ chassis deserve a tip of the hat: it’s every bit as rigid as the coupe, without any weaknesses. The new 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet handles with ease, regardless of the degree of the turn.

There’s no need to add a whole array of driving aids and state-of-the-art active and passive security systems: it already has them all!

In conclusion, this newcomer to the lineup should win over numerous buyers. Particularly the AMG C 43, which strikes the perfect balance between comfort and power. Which one will you choose? It just boils down to price!

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