- The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4Matic Cabrio is a stylish, somewhat practical drop-top with a peppy, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine.
- My test car was extremely well-optioned, adding thousands to the price tag and including some Mercedes AMG goodies that enhanced performance.
- At the end of the day, however, the C 300 Cabrio is best at leisurely, top-down drives on sunsplashed back roads.
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It's convertible season here at Business Insider! Warmer weather in the Northeast has brought the drop-tops to our suburban New Jersey test center, and with them the unvarnished joys of open-air motoring.
Convertibles aren't terribly practical cars, and because chopping the roof off tends to undermine overall stiffness, they aren't the best choice for performance driving. But they certainly are fun, day or night. In the month or so, I've gotten my kicks in the BMW M850i , the BMW Z4 , and most recently the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4Matic Cabriolet.
Three rather varied ragtops, actually. The M850 was a beast, the Z4 was an uber-roadster, while the C 300 Cabrio was the perfect compromise.
Interestingly, the trio was made up entirely of soft-top convertibles, and that could signal a trend. I've driven quite a few hardtop cabrios, and while they do allow a convertible to perform double-duty as a quasi-coup, they aren't really in the ragtop spirit. Soft-tops are, importantly, quicker to stow than retractable hardtops, and also lighter and simpler, which means more trunk space (that's where the top typically ends up when folded down).
In many ways, the convertible is the purest expression of what the automobile is supposed to be about: blissful, directionless driving on a sunsplashed day with the landscape whizzing by and the wind in your hair. When considered in its essence, you want to experience this in a two-seater. But for a smidge more practicality, there's also the two-plus-two, with two nominal extra saddles thrown in.
That's the C 300, which as-tested came with Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. The base price was a not-unreasonable $53,850, but a lengthy options list added thousands, topping out at $70,725.
Worth it? Read on to find out.
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