Geneva launch for stylish new Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

New C-Class Cabrio range includes a hot 328bhp all-wheel-drive model, as well as economical diesels

Mercedes has chosen to fit its new C-Class Cabriolet with a folding fabric soft-top, instead of opting for a more complicated hard roof like that fitted to the BMW 4 Series Convertible.

The new Cabriolet has just joined the rest of the Mercedes C-Class family at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. It means, along with existing saloonestate and coupe models, that Mercedes now has one of the most complete line-ups in the compact executive sector. Or at least it will have when the new soft-top arrives at dealers this summer, with a starting price of circa £37,000.

Just like the rest of the Mercedes range, the drop-top C-Class gets a familiar design treatment that has much in common with the considerably larger S-Class Cabriolet. The newcomer's dimensions are identical to the C-Class Coupe, at 4.6m long by 1.8m wide. The same grille, LED headlights, high shoulder line, curved boot and tail-lamp design are present on the convertible, too, with the main - and obvious - change being the fabric roof with glass rear screen.

First drive of the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

There are two versions of the roof available: a basic version or a more expensive soundproofed one that's available in brown, blue, red or black. It can be opened in less than 20 seconds, at speeds of up to 31mph. When folded down, it reduces boot space from 360 litres to 285 litres.

Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet engine range

The engine range comprises six petrols and two diesels. All can be hooked up a nine-speed automatic gearbox, and several models are available with Mercedes' 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system.

The diesels are both four-cylinder 2.1-litre units, with the C 220d and C 250d getting 168bhp and 201bhp respectively. The C 220d is the most economical model in the range, managing emissions of 116g/km as well as 62.8mpg, but the C 250d isn't far behind with figures of 121g/km and 61.4mpg.

The petrol range kicks off with the C 180, which claims 47.1mpg economy from its 154bhp 1.6-litre engine. It will go from 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds, which is slower than both the diesel models: the C 220d manages 8.3 seconds and the C 250d 7.2 seconds.

The 2.0-litre petrol range includes the 181bhp C 200 and the 208bhp C 250, which can complete the 0-62mph sprint in 8.2 seconds and 6.9 seconds respectively. The C 200 manages near-identical economy figures to the C 180, while the C 250 claims 45.6mpg and 140g/km emissions.

The final 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is the C 300, which has 242bhp and can go from 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155mph. The C 300 has a fuel economy figure of 42.2mpg and emits 151g/km of CO2.

The C 400 is four-wheel drive as standard, and features a 3.0-litre V6 under the bonnet which produces 328bhp and 480Nm of torque. That means 35.3mpg economy, but 0-62mph takes just 5.2 seconds. That's still not the fastest model in the range, though, as there's also a Mercedes-AMG C 43 model that uses the same V6 with 362bhp to dispatch the sprint in 4.8 seconds. Both cars have a top speed of 155mph.

The Mercedes-AMG C 43 is a new variant that's also available on the C-Class Coupe, and the brand says it offers younger buyers the chance to buy into the AMG brand. Both models use the same 3.0-litre V6 engine, placing them below the familiar V8-powered cars elsewhere in the Mercedes-AMG range. In Convertible guise, the C 43 will start from around £47,000.

Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet interior details

Inside the new C-Class Cabriolet you get Mercedes' Airscarf system, which helps keep your neck warm with the roof down, as well as Aircap, where a deflector at the top of the windscreen pops up to reduce turbulence. Also standard is heat-reflecting leather upholstery and individual rear seats that split 50:50 for added boot space. The C 43 model gets bigger brakes, a sportier exterior look, 18-inch alloy wheels, a multifunction steering wheel and sports seats.

The Cabriolet's suspension is 15mm lower than the saloon's, and an adaptive damping system is standard - with an optional sports suspension pack an optional extra. You can also get the car with Mercedes' air-suspension, which can continuously adjust the damping to improve ride comfort significantly.

Get all the latest news from the 2016 Geneva Motor Show here

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