First ride: The new C-Class Cabriolet

The good news in advance, although there is no separate press release from Mercedes-Benz and also the official press kits were surprised by the news. But: Airscarf is back on board. If after the surprising patent litigation fiasco it looked as if Mercedes had to come up with a “temporary solution” for its convertibles, things suddenly happened very quickly. Driving topless a car? Continue to use the hot air dryer in the seat back. And another thing remains “as always”, of course the Airscarf neck blow dryer is only available for an extra charge. 

The new C-Class Cabriolet from Mercedes-Benz in the first driving report

Experience the beautiful.

The “open C” completes the range of models in this segment from Stuttgart. From sedans to station wagons, SUVs, SUV coupes and convertibles, Mercedes-Benz has brought everything into line. The fact that the SLK successor, the SLC, is included in the family and parked as a C-Class Roadster is a free gift. The only true convertible in the C-Class family remains this - now very fresh - presented convertible with four seats. From the elaborate four-link front axle to the air suspension to the 9-speed automatic transmission and the motorized spread of 156 to 510 hp. Cabriolet feeling for the “high C”, that's what the C-Class Cabriolet is responsible for.

Mercedes-Benz 032 First Ride C400 4matic Cabriolet

Almost strong to very strong

Mercedes-Benz is not reinventing the convertible with the open C. Everything looks very familiar, only the bottom has been neatly re-shaped. The visual proximity to the S-Class Cabriolet may be a little irritating for one or the other. It's called brand identity. It has to be that way. One says. At Mercedes. We don't mind. The neatly drawn, stretched side line with the distinctive curve, the “dropping line” by chief designer Gordon Wagener, sturdy wheel arches and a brand face with the “sporty” central star in the radiator grille - it all fits together. Even the A-pillar, which curves far towards the interior, fits perfectly into the picture in this context. The fact that the cabriolet is always 15 millimeters lower than the sedan does not, of course, damage the visual impression. The Stuttgart-based company has also done everything right with the electric soft top. Four colors are available and a convertible simply needs a fabric top. The fact that the body was designed for a convertible when the sedan was designed saves us from unpleasant increases in weight.

Mercedes-Benz is already launching a colorful range of engines at the start. From the modest 1.600 cc engine with 156 hp to the 333 hp V6 with 3.0 liter displacement and - of course - turbocharging. C180, C200, C250, C300 and C400 and then the AMG derivatives. The light solution C43, recently known as the 450, and the bulky V8 bi-turbo engines in the C63 and C63s with 467 and 510 hp. In addition, there are three diesel engines, the C220d (170 hp), the C220d with 4matic all-wheel drive (probably the most colorful convertible version you can imagine: diesel, all-wheel drive, convertible) and the C250d convertible with 204 hp.

Nice is the fact that for all (not AMG) Engines the Neungang automatic is available. One may order the small engines also switched by hand, for the relaxed sunbathers feeling fits the automatic much better.

Mercedes-Benz 039 First Ride C400 4matic Cabriolet

First ride in the C400 4matic Cabriolet

Mercedes-Benz organized everything for the first sun trip in Italy. From Trieste and the sea towards Slovenia on adventurous and wonderful country roads. Only the weather didn't really want to play along. The combination of airscarf and interior heating was safe from sunburn and was considered to be “factual”. Even if no male convertible driver at the regulars' table would admit using the neck blow dryer.

333 PS and 480 Nm sound like a wild adventure. In fact, the C400 Cabriolet with the V6 turbo and the nine-speed automatic transmission is one thing above all else: it is superbly motorized. It may sound decadent, but the C-Class Cabriolet only gets really round with the six-cylinder. Completely. Certainly a C300 with 245 HP petrol engine is not really underpowered, but it is just a four-cylinder. And so the driving pleasure of the C400 begins in the head and leads over the stomach, which is receptive to the buzzing smoothness with which a V6 moves through the speed range. It goes without saying that the air suspension, which is subject to a surcharge, is placed under the sheet metal cover - right? It is amazing again and again how finely balanced the chassis is, how enthusiastically motivated the damping goes to its work. For a convertible, supreme bodywork is everything. Woe to it creaking, woe to being twisted. The new C-Class Cabriolet is far from a weakness. Nasty country roads that actually no longer seem suitable for the public, the Swabian irons the horrors from the asphalt surface in the comfort position of his Dynamic Select driving dynamics profile. It is not only visually reminiscent of the elite S-Class in the convertible form, it is also clearly no longer mid-range.

The fact that the C-Class Cabriolet can be upgraded with the most up-to-date assistance systems and almost automatically travels in the urban jungle thanks to the Staufolge assistant and Lane Keeping Bingo package takes the daily chaos out of the way. Aircap and Airscarf, meanwhile, take care of the air conditioning of the interior, and the aircircle also provides an acoustically pleasing atmosphere. It is not only quiet when the three-layer roof is closed. Even open, the aerodynamics made for sprawling peace.

And so drives the C63s Cabriolet

Mercedes-Benz 035 First Ride C400 4matic Cabriolet

Must not be impractical, such a convertible

In addition to the very soft and emotional arguments for which a cabriolet is ordered, the Stuttgart-based company pack a few more practical ones. The rear seat back can be folded down 50/50 and the manageable trunk (285 to 360 liters) is at least suitable for a few curtain rods. In contrast to the sedan, the LED headlights are already standard in the Cabriolet. There is also a head-up display and the comfort features of a touring limousine that you already know at an additional cost. The air conditioning works very jagged and quickly and quickly heats warm air into the interior, it also reacts quickly to the opening of the roof and - if it is still a little fresh - ensures warm air in the area of ​​the driver's hands.

Driving open, at any time

An electrically operated wind deflector behind the rear seat, Air-Cap and Airscarf ensure a comfortable climate in the interior. In combination with the efficient heating air conditioning, you can enjoy cool days in the mountains with sunken roof.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet - The conclusion

The open sky, at best blue and cloud-free, calms the mind. A day cruising in a convertible is like a day's vacation. You can experience your surroundings with all your senses, so it is an advantage if the speedy holiday destination is of convincing quality. With the C-Class Cabriolet, Mercedes-Benz is serving exactly the segment of “DreamCars” that a normal Otto can barely afford. The fact that the performance worlds are spread so widely and everything is possible from the “small” C180 to the C63s enables the C-Class Cabriolet to cover a number of vehicle classes more than would previously have been conceivable. 

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