Much as Darth Vader told Obi-Wan Kenobi that the circle was now complete, Mercedes has told the world that this is your lot for the C-Class. The Cabriolet is the last of the platform-sharing cousins to arrive, after the saloon, estate, roadster, coupé, SUV and coupé-SUV before it. Not that it’s not important, or anything, but there’s not actually that much left that we’ve not seen before.
The roof is naturally a multilayer canvas job with a lot of weight and sound-deadening material to it. As such, you can forget the days of yore when flimsy canvas tops were pinging backwards in six or seven seconds. Things are built for refinement these days, so 20 seconds is the time it takes for the weighty construction to fold away. It does it impressively neatly, though.
With the top up, as many buyers here will use it, at least during summer months, it can look a bit awkward. The sleek roofline of the coupé is lost, some of the roof and paint colour combinations are a bit iffy and it’s not even like there’s a lot of headroom in the back as a trade-off.
Put the top down, which you can do on the move at up to 50kph, and the C Cab’s shape makes much more sense. It’s a chunky thing, making 19in wheels look pretty modest, but the packaging of the folded roof is impeccable. It seems to be winning favour on the street, too, sharing its styling with existing C-Class models that are pulling in a younger audience.
A very healthy 360 litres of boot space with the roof up shrinks to a slightly more restrictive 285 when the roof goes down. The cabin has lots of useful touches, though, like easy-access door pockets and a useful central storage bin-slash-armrest, which also houses the USB connections for the stereo.
There’s a massive amount of room for the front two. Obviously, those who draw the short straws and sit in the back will have to have shorter legs, but the squeeze isn’t actually as tight as you’d think with two average-height people up front.
The Cabriolet perfectly embodies what Mercedes has embraced as its identity. It’s exceptionally, wonderfully comfortable in just about all of its driving modes, especially wafty Comfort, and the engine has been hushed a little.
Like most premium cars these days, you need to spend on optional extras before the car really feels like something a cut above the rest. You can, nonetheless, rely on the superlatively comfy ride to give you value for money every time you drive it.