Images are for illustrative purposes only and may feature different models within the range
0 - 62 mph4.8s
WLTP - CO2231 g/km
By Jonathan Crouch
This 'A205'-series Mercedes' C-Class Cabriolet targeted open-topped versions of BMW's 4 Series and Audi's A5 more effectively than the Three-Pointed Star had ever managed before. Elegant styling makes it stand out, plus you get sophisticated convertible touches from some of Mercedes' more exotic drop-top models. Along with class-leading sophistication from the 2016-2023 period when it comes to suspension and automatic transmission.
2dr Cabriolet [C220d] / 2.0 petrol [C200] / 4.0 petrol [C 53 AMG])
Take an exotic Mercedes convertible, reduce it in size a little, give it a more sensible range of engines and price it at a level that doesn't necessarily require a lottery win. Given that it's difficult to go far wrong with that kind of formula, much was expected back in 2016 from this, the 'A205'-series Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet. It seems strange to think that this was the first ever open-topped C-Class-badged model. Mercedes old CLK Cabriolet, produced in two generations from 1999 onwards, was based on a C-Class but had more up-market aspirations. These were only ultimately realised when the CLK Cabrio was ditched in 2009 and effectively replaced by the slightly larger E-Class Cabriolet that launched in 2010. But that continued to leave Mercedes without a convertible precisely targeted at the two premium-branded models dominating the executive drop-top sector. Back in 2016, we knew them as BMW's 4 Series Convertible and the Audi A5 Cabriolet. This pair represented extremely tough competition. By the time of this Mercedes model's launch, the Audi had been revitalised in stiffer, lighter second generation form, while the BMW had also been thoroughly updated beneath the bonnet and offered the unique-in-segment provision of a metal folding roof. Both though, sometimes felt like convertible versions of humbler middle-management saloons - which is where this C-Class Cabriolet hoped to score. It set out to look and feel that bit more exclusive and much of its technology was borrowed from a Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet selling for more than twice the price. As you might guess from the size and styling of this model, the fundamentals here were based on those of the brand's second generation C-Class Coupe, so buyers got the latest technology features that had rejuvenated that contender, things like 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, air suspension and the 'DYNAMIC SELECT' driving modes system. Plus there was the brand's 'AIRCAP' system that reduced open-top buffeting and made the brand's larger luxury Convertible models so serene to ride in when travelling al fresco. There was a light facelift for the C-Class Cabriolet in 2020, then this car sold until late 2023, when it was replaced by the CLE Cabriolet.
What You Get
A lot's been written about the way that this C-Class Cabriolet offers nearly all the qualities of an exotic S-Class Cabriolet distilled into a more accessible form. Which is pretty much how it turns out in the metal. There's certainly an elegance in the sweeping shape appropriate to a brand with such a distinguished cabriolet back catalogue. Take your place inside and the electrically-extending 'belt butler' graciously delivers your restraint buckle. Then there's the integral sports seats themselves, bespoke-designed for this model and fitted out with 'AIRSCARF' neck-level vents you'll be glad of if you're tempted to go 'al fresco' on a chilly morning. Otherwise, things will be pretty familiar to anyone fluent in modern Mercedes design language. Look around you and the two staples of the brand's currently favoured approach to cabin style are present and correct. So, there are five round silver-trimmed air vents. And above the three in the centre sits a prominent iPad-style infotainment screen, its free-standing positioning smacking either of after-thought or inspired design, depending on your point of view. What else? Well we really like the way that the climate control system adapts itself when the roof is down, blowing warmer air onto your hands and deactivating the air recirculation function. Enough on the front; what of the rear? Well you could call this an adult four-seater - but only just. Still, it's unlikely that any of this will prove to be a clinching issue for most buyers who'll tend to more usually use these pews for the carriage of jackets and designer shopping bags. With the roof upright, the luggage capacity is a relatively acceptable 355-litres. When the roof's stowed though, that figure falls to just 260-litres.
What You Pay
Prices start at around £18,650 (around £21,500 retail) for a typical C220d Cabriolet auto on a '16-plate with base 'Sport' trim, rising to around £31,600 (around £35,500 retail) for one of the last late-2022 'AMG Line Edition'-spec cars. For the C200 Cabriolet petrol version, prices start at around £21,250 (around £24,250 retail) for a typical C200 Cabriolet on an '18-plate with popular 'AMG Line' trim, rising to around £29,600 (around £33,500 retail) for one of the last late-2022 'AMG Line Edition'-spec cars. Prices for the Mercedes-AMG C 63 4MATIC Cabriolet start at around £38,700 (around £44,250 retail), which gets you an '18-plate standard model. If you'd prefer to stretch to a later version, a late-'22-plate C 63 S Cabriolet in top 'Night Edition Premium Plus'-spec values from around £63,900 (around £73,000 retail). All quoted values are sourced through industry experts cap hpi. Click here for a free valuation.
What to Look For
We found plenty of satisfied C-Class Cabriolet customers, but also a few rogue examples. Obviously check the functioning of the electrically-folding hood (and ideally put it through a car wash to check for leaks) but we've not heard of any significant problems with it. Software problems cropped up quite frequently in our survey. In one case, the car had to limp back home with its owner on reduced power. In another, the auto 'box refused to change up higher than 3rd gear. The Audio 20 navigation system is notoriously slow; try for a car with the much better COMAND navigation set-up fitted instead. A few owners complained of creaks too - from the dashboard, the roof lining, the sunroof and the door seals/ door cards; look out for this on your test drive. Check that all the electrical items work and that the air conditioner is effective. Look out for trim rattles. Make sure the transmission works smoothy and that there are no suspension rattles. The engine should pull smoothly and the auto kickdown should be effective. Insist on a full Mercedes dealer service history, especially for the most recent models whose lengthy warranty - effectively for the life of the car - is dependent on proper servicing by an authorised agent. Check that all the accessories work and watch out for cosmetic damage which can be expensive to correct. These are popular family cars, so check for wear and tear in the rear. Also look for the usual signs of wheel kerbing and poorly repaired accident damage.
(approx based on a 2021 C220d Cabriolet- Ex Vat) An air filter is around £26. An oil filter is around £13. A fuel filter is around £36. Front brake pads sit in the £42-£84 bracket for a set (for rears it's around £63). Front brake discs cost in the £112-£127 bracket. Rear brake discs can cost in the £146 bracket. A set of wiper blades is around £42.
On the Road
On the road, this C-Class Cabriolet comes with a multi-layered fabric roof that can activate in less than 20s at speeds of up to around 30mph. Once the hood is unclipped and on its way backwards, what Mercedes calls an 'AIRCAP' draught stop system springs up on the windscreen header rail. At the same time, a wind deflector can glide up behind the rear seats and together, these two elements are very effective in limiting cabin buffeting at speed. Add in the comfort of the 'AIRSCARF' neck-level heating system and this becomes a very civilised means of al fresco travel. That roof mechanism, along with the body strengthening necessary to accommodate it, takes its toll on the scales of course. As a result, this model is 125kgs heavier than the C-Class Coupe model it's based upon, extra bulk you really feel when you're pushing on around twisting secondary roads. On the plus side though, this Cabriolet is stable and very well balanced, aided by a standard 'DYNAMIC SELECT' driving modes system that not only tweaks the throttle and steering but also alters responses from the standard 'AGILITY CONTROL' adaptive suspension. Uniquely in this class, original owners had the option of upgrading the damping into a hi-tech air-suspended 'AIRMATIC' set-up. And on top of that, mainstream variants got a 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic gearbox that was more sophisticated than anything the opposition could offer. Under the bonnet, mainstream buyers got a choice of two engines. Most chose the 2.1-litre diesel unit, offered with 170bhp in the C220d, or with 204bhp in the pokier C250d. Go for the C220d and you can have your car with '4MATIC 4WD' if you can find an example fitted with this system. The main alternative to diesel power is offered by the 2.0-litre petrol engine that comes with 184bhp in the entry-level C200 variant, or with 245bhp in the pokier C300. There was a base C180 version too. We should also tell you about the performance-orientated Mercedes-AMG petrol models at the very top of the line-up. There's the 367bhp C43 4MATIC or, if that's really not fast enough, the brand can supply the fearsomely fast C63 V8 flagship version, able to offer up to 510bhp if you're up for it.
Mercedes has long offered executive buyers a cabriolet model. But never one that was as directly targeted at key competitors as this car. In terms of price, performance and sheer pavement panache, it's a match for leading class contenders of its period like Audi's A5 Cabriolet and BMW's 4 Series Convertible in all the ways that really matter. If, having considered these alternatives, you opt for a C-Class Cabriolet, it'll probably be because it offers an extra touch of class and exclusivity that these rivals can't quite match. As long as you don't need a big, thirsty engine beneath the bonnet, all the other key attributes a lottery winner would enjoy in an S-Class Cabriolet are here provided in more accessible form. In short, it's a bit special. Just as a desirable cabriolet should be.
Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.
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Based on 48 month contract and 5,000 miles per year. Initial rental of £8,858.22 followed by 47 monthly rentals of £984.25. Processing fee £298.80 Inc VAT. All prices Inc VAT . Excess mileage charges may apply if contract mileage is exceeded. Fair wear and tear charges may apply at end of contract.
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