2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet first drive review Page 3

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Thoughts and impressions

It had been about a year since we’d been in a current C-Class; our time in the new Cabrio only reinforced the favorable impressions we’d had from the sedan.

We prefer the lines of the coupe to those of the convertible. The Cabio’s high central rear cowl and twin opening panels at the rear can appear awkward from a few angles, whereas the coupe has a prettier and simpler roofline—on display in a pair of striking red C43 coupes at one stopping point along the drive.

2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe (European version), Trieste region, May 2016

2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe (European version), Trieste region, May 2016

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We’d forgotten how wide the C-Class central tunnel is, a necessity for a body structure that handles powerplants from turbocharged 4-cylinder diesels and petrol engines all the way up to twin-turbo V-8s—not to mention 7- and 9-speed automatic transmissions and all-wheel-drive components.

The AMG power sport seats with adjustable lumbar supports are supremely comfortable. What felt like over-bolstering at first turned into the perfect support after a number of hours on the road.

Moving up the feature list

All C-Class Cabrios for the U.S. come with 18-inch alloy wheels, heated power adjustable front seats, the standard C-Class 7-inch touchscreen display that stands proud of the dash, and a package of electronic safety systems that includes blind-spot warning, a rearview camera, and automatic crash braking. LED headlamps and taillamps are standard as well.

As well as its turbocharged V-6 engine and standard all-wheel drive, the C43 adds sport suspension, different tuning for its 9-speed automatic transmission, and a three-stage electronic stability control system.

At the top of the range, the hot-rod C63 uses the twin-turbo V-8 with 7-speed automatic, and a mechanical limited-slip differential. The C63S switches to an electronic limited-slip differential, and adds dynamic suspension control and 19-inch alloy wheels with even lower-profile tires. The C63 twins can be distinguished from lesser models by their twin bars either side of the large central Mercedes star emblem in the center of the grille.

2017 Mercedes-AMG C63S Cabrio (European version), Trieste region, May 2016

2017 Mercedes-AMG C63S Cabrio (European version), Trieste region, May 2016

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Options include a Burmester premium audio system, a navigation system with a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen display, adaptive cruise control, active blind-spot and lane-keeping assist systems, and air suspension on the C 300 only. Other available features include ventilated front seats, a 360-degree camera view with active parking assist, a head-up display, and a variety of AMG performance and appearance options.

The C-Class Cabrio offers an enormous number of options to customize the equipment and colors. Mercedes says it offers 12 paints, including a matte finish, 13 types of upholstery, seven trim levels, and trim elements in aluminum, carbon fiber, or silver fiberglass along with black or brown open-pore wood.

The power-operated soft top comes standard in black, but can also be ordered in dark hues of red, blue, or brown. Three soft-top liner colors are offered as well. The whole array lets buyers create color combinations that range from elegant to what you might call startlingly distinctive.

All versions of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG C-Class Cabrio will arrive at dealers during the fall of 2016. Pricing and final features and options will be released closer to the on-sale date.

Mercedes-Benz provided airfare, lodging, and meals to enable High Gear Media to bring you this first-person drive report.

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