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The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
For:Opulent and roomy (ish) cabin, relaxing standard cars, bonkers AMG
Against:It looks odd with the wind-deflection gubbins in place
What is it?
If you believe Mercedes, this C-Class Cabriolet is “sensual purity as the definition of modern luxury – hot and cool.” We’re not fluent in marketing speak and therefore don’t understand a single word of that, but the car itself is far easier to grasp. Here’s a posh four-seat convertible in the finest tradition, with a soft-top rather than a complex hard-top, and all the fancy tech and refined engines you’ll find in more sedate C-Class saloons and estates.
It’s one of many Merc convertibles you can buy, sitting beneath the E-Class and S-Class Cabriolets (the latter is basically a land-bound yacht) and across from the dinkier two-seat SLC, the artist formerly known as SLK.
If you need a bit of practicality, though, the C-Class cabrio is a far better bet than the SLC. It has a decent sized boot and actual back seats. Anyone sat in the back of a convertible might normally have grievances about their head being blustered wildly around once the car’s at an acceptable speed, but Merc has planned ahead and fitted the C-Class (albeit optionally) with something called Aircap.
It’s essentially the combination of a rail that whirrs up from the top of the windscreen and a big plastic wind deflector that pops up behind the rear seats, and together they combat nasty wind blowing around the cabin on the move. At least from the outside…
There’s also Airscarf, which gently blows nice warm air onto your neck to make going topless in winter a bit more bearable. There’s a shedload more tech on top of that, too, most of it the result of the latest C-Class borrowing a load of electrical gubbins from the larger S-Class. That allows lots of anti-crash tech to come on board, as well as something called ‘Energising Comfort’ that manages the mood of the those sat in the front via seat massage programmes and ambient lighting. It’s every bit as gimmicky as it sounds.
You might be forgiven for thinking they’d forgotten to fit engines, but the C-Class comes with a choice of four petrols and one diesel. The cheapest is a 1.5-litre petrol with 182bhp, the most exciting being the utterly nuts C63 AMG, with a twin-turbo V8 engine and a less strict tyre management strategy than Merc’s own F1 team.