Mercedes-Benz C300 Cabriolet is up to task

By C.A. Haire

The Mercedes C-Class is a popular model that sells well due to its German engineering and reasonable price.

The four-door sedan version starts at about $42,000, while the soft top we have here begins at $54,000.

Naturally, buyers are not going to get off that cheap, as the option list can grow. With our blue metallic paint, leather trim, bigger wheels, memory seats, larger gauge cluster, navigation and AMG sport package, the total tab crept up to a healthy $63,985. But at least they are offering a real German vehicle made in their quality German factory.

Under the hood is a small, 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine cranking 250 horsepower, hooked to a modern nine-speed automatic gearbox. A computer drive offers eco, comfort, sport, sport-plus and individual drive modes. Fuel economy is listed at 21 to 29 mpg.

The cabin is a nice place to be. Push a button and the soft convertible top raises or lowers in a hurry. It does a great job of keeping wind noise out when raised. The quality of materials and workmanship is outstanding. The climate controls are easy to use. The seats are very comfortable. But some of the other controls are not so simple to operate, so a learning curve must be mastered.

This is a car that can be driven gently and is great for daily commuting. It also loves to be driven hard, and the handling, steering and acceleration are up to the task.

The best fuel economy was 30 mpg on highway trips. Our trip odometer showed an average of 23 mpg in 1,400 miles of previous driving.

For those who want more, there is a C43 version with a 3.0-liter, 385 hp V-6, the C63 with a 469 hp V-8, or the big kahuna C63S with 503 hp. As you might expect, the price tag of these monsters will be a tad more than the base $42,000 mentioned earlier.   

 

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