Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet - Engines, drive & performance

Most versions of the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet aren’t hugely engaging to drive

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

Much like its bigger brother, the S-Class Cabriolet, the C-Class Cabriolet is designed more as a boulevard cruiser than an out-and-out sportscar. Despite the weight of the roof mechanism and extra strengthening to make up for the lack of a fixed roof, ride quality hasn’t been too badly affected.

Keep the car’s suspension in its softest setting and it flows nicely across all but the harshest of bumps, soaking up the worst without any major issues. If you like, you can stiffen everything up by putting the Dynamic Select system in Sport+. However, on all but the most powerful C43, all you’ll really notice is a slightly harsher ride, while the steering is never quite as consistent as you’d hope either, whichever setting it’s in.

The Airmatic air suspension is standard on the AMG C43, while other models can be fitted with the system as part of the Dynamic Handling package for £900. It allows you to tune the suspension for stiffness or smoothness, depending on your mood and the road conditions.

Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet diesel engines

A 2018 update saw a 2.0-litre twin-turbocharged diesel engine replaced the 2.1-litre that had been a range stalwart for over a decade. Although never short on power, it was a little rattly compared to some rivals. The replacement 2.0-litre is far smoother, while delivering an impressive 191bhp to get the car from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds. It feels relaxed, helped by a smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox that makes good use of the torquey diesel.

The C220d is rear-wheel drive as standard, but 4MATIC four-wheel drive can be added. Its extra weight does affect performance slightly; we'd only recommend it if you live in a rural area with harsh winters. A more powerful version of the four-cylinder 2.0-litre is badged C300d, with 242bhp to cut the 0-62mph time to an impressive 6.3 seconds.

Petrol engines

There's a bit of a gulf between the three petrol engines offered in the C-Class Cabriolet. The entry-level C180 has a 1.6-litre with 154bhp and the C200 has a 1.5-litre four-cylinder that uses Mercedes' EQ mild-hybrid technology to add 13bhp when needed, at the same time reducing fuel consumption. Its belt-driven 'starter generator' allows the engine to briefly shut down at times when little power is needed – even when the car is in motion. The C200 produces 182bhp and claims a 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds.

The next petrol engine in the line-up is twice as big – a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder twin-turbo powerhouse that cranks out 385bhp – enough for 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Power is transmitted through all four wheels, which maximises traction on loose or slippery surfaces – a great boost to driver confidence.

Recommended

Top 10 best convertibles 2022
2021 MINI Convertible driving with roof down
Best cars
8 Sep 2021

Top 10 best convertibles 2022

Most Popular

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Car tax
20 Jan 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
6 Jan 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
21 Jan 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
19 Jan 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
21 Jan 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022