Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet C180 Review
The Sublime Drive of a Topless Ride


13 Mar 2019
 

we do like how the AIRCAP system adds a little more convenience and practicality to the open top driving experience.

For those who want a coupe, and a little more, the Mercedes-Benz C Class Cabriolet adds a little more play to the driving experience. Why sure, Singapore is hot and humid… but we certainly found our moments where lowering down the roof to savour the cool morning breeze sparks a sense of joy in our commute.

Recently updated, the C Class Cabriolet gets a revised lower front grille, doing away with the “bowtie” shaped design found on the previous car.

But where we feel the car matters most is on the inside, where you will experience the pleasures of driving top down. One of the first things you will notice is that the rather tiny thick-framed 7” infotainment screen makes way for a more visually-appealing 10.25” unit. A new multi-function steering wheel, featuring a pair of touch-sensitive controls (think the trackpad on an older Blackberry phone) makes ease of accessing the refreshed infotainment unit’s functions, using the touch controls on the left side of the wheel, while the controls on the right toggle the new customisable digitised 12.3” instrument cluster.

Our test car’s black plastic trim is one little detail we could have swapped out to an open pore Anthracite wood surface instead, since it is prone to scratches and fingerprints.

While the Mercedes has also stated that they swapped out more than 2,000 parts for this facelift, it truly is difficult to see where the bulk of these tiny improvements are, but Germans being meticulous as they are, would happily put it, that the new C Class is even better now.

The electric folding roof takes just 20 seconds to to operate, and this can be done at speeds of up to 50km/h, making sure that you stay a little safer on the road without the need to stop the car at the side, in the event of a sudden downpour.

In helping to keep conversations within the cabin at sane levels, their innovative AIRCAP system, consisting of a wind deflector sited in the upper frame of the windshield and a draught-stop, both which are retractable at a push of a button. Unlike some droptops, which require you to physically mount the draught-stop above the rear seats, the system deployed in the C-Class ensures that the functionality of the rear seating is not compromised.

The rear seats in the Cabriolet are positioned a little more upright than those of the sedan, leading to a sense of a little less space. Their upright placement is necessary to accommodate the folding roof.

The rear seats do fold in 50:50 fashion, but in most cases you’d not find this useful, due to the small boot aperture and high kerb. Boot space is at 285 litres, which is good enough for a duffle bag or two.

The Drive

The C 180 is powered by a 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder, mounted in north-south fashion and mated to a 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, and driving the rear wheels.

Power is rated at 154hp while torque at 250Nm is almost instantly available from 1,200rpm. Acceleration is decent, with the car reaching 100km/h in an almost leisurely 8.9 seconds. On the run, the response from the engine is pleasant, thanks to its maximum torque delivered till 4,000rpm, allowing for some spirited driving.

In keeping the Cabriolet planted, Mercedes-Benz has also included its Agility Control suspension, which features passive selective damping, and the car does sit 15mm lower. Stick their “cheapest” C-Class Cabriolet around the bends, and you will be able to appreciate how well-developed the car’s architecture truly is, and if you are sensitive enough, you can even feel the rear end communicating with your behind.

While we do like the functionality of the new steering wheel, the old unit with lesser buttons, seems a little better for an engaged drive, since your palms do not come into contact with the many buttons and switches found on the new steering. That said, communication through the wheel is very good.

Like the sedan we tested a while ago, there is that little gripe of some wind noise generated from the wing mirrors, which does intrude into the cabin, despite the multi-layered roof up. This Cabriolet is built to be savoured, driven smoothly in a relaxed manner, and we seriously think it is more fun than the Coupe.

Our Thoughts

We like how confident the Cabriolet is on the road. Visually it looks appealing with or without the roof. Like the Audi A5, it seats four albeit a little bit of a squeeze at the rear, but we do like how the AIRCAP system adds a little more convenience and practicality to the open top driving experience.

 

In Summary

We Like

Handling, Styling, Improved infotainment, AIRCAP system saves hair and allows for decent communication in the cabin

We Don't

Infotainment controls on the centre console still lacks in ergonomics, Some wind noise from the mirrors

Verdict

Ideal for the relaxed driver, and it handles like a gem

Car Loan Calculator - Mercedes-Benz C-Class

SGD 295,888 (23 Dec 2021)

Based on OMV, this car is eligible for minimum 40% down payment

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