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Published Date: 07/08/2017

Cabriolets can be enjoyed at all times of the year, not just the summer. Lowering the roof in any season and experiencing al fresco driving pleasure is a reality thanks to thoughtful technology such as AIRSCARF and AIRCAP from Mercedes. How do the SLC and new C-Class Cabriolet compare in design and performance?

Aspirational aesthetics

The Mercedes SLK secured its position as one of the finest contemporary compact roadsters produced, before being relaunched as the SLC in 2016, retaining a hardtop roof. Showcasing an evolution of the silhouette to incorporate striking new air inlets, muscular contours, a diamond radiator grille plus distinctive LED lights front and rear, the new SLC Roadster aesthetically exudes sporting ability.

Modern luxury with a youthful touch is the overriding flavour of Mercedes’ latest droptop, the all-new C-Class Cabriolet. With its elegant fabric roof raised, it closely resembles the coupé and matches its 15mm lower ride height with heightened agility. Its long bonnet, high beltline, diamond radiator grille, front and rear LEDs and wide shoulders discretely radiate potency. 

Conclusion: Both of these Mercedes Cabriolets are beautiful to behold, so the choice depends how likely you are to be transporting more than one passenger, often. If not, take the SLC.

Luxurious cabins for all seasons

The new SLC really is tailored to deliver a thrilling Roadster experience. Mercedes’ clever vario-roof is now able to function at increased speeds and provides uncompromised comfort in all weathers. AIRSCARF provides neck heating in colder conditions, whilst the MAGIC SKY CONTROL panoramic glass can be darkened to provide extra shade in strong sunlight. The designers’ attention to detail extends right down to special sun-reflecting leather upholstery, and the SLC is available with the lot when it comes to Mercedes’ infotainment and safety technology. From the COMAND system controlled by the high-resolution screen, to ‘plus’ versions of collision prevention assist and adaptive high beam assist, you’ll have everything you could need.

Promising an interior even more luxurious than in its saloon counterpart, the new C-Class Cabriolet feels sporty, modern and fresh. With high quality materials evident throughout, heat-reflecting leather is again available, and automatic seatbelt extenders make the experience even more pampered for occupants. The car’s highly customisable interior comfortably seats four adults, with AIRCAP available to minimise turbulence and draft for rear seat passengers.

Conclusion: The new C-Class Cabriolet excels in providing an engagingly sporty driving experience for four occupants in superb comfort, backed by the latest connected technology.

Performance perfected

With the SLC’s sharp new look comes an improved engine range, commencing with the remarkable SLC 180 which opens up the privilege of Mercedes Roadster ownership like never before. The turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine under its bonnet can accelerate to 62mph in 7.9 seconds while returning upto 48.7mpg. The petrol lineup goes on to include:

  • the 184bhp SLC 200
  • the SLC 300 that peaks at 245bhp 
  • and the sizzling SLC 43, which lives up to the AMG brand reputation for adrenaline-racing performance, its V6 bi-turbo hitting 62mph in a mere 4.7 seconds.

DYNAMIC SELECT is either standard or optional across the range, enabling drivers to adjust the vehicles’ characteristics instantly at the touch of a button, and customers can opt for the effortlessly responsive 9G-TRONIC transmission in place of the 6-speed manual gearbox if desired. For an impressive combination of power and efficiency, the diesel SLC 250 d returns just 114g/km CO2 whilst delivering the model’s sporty promise.

The larger, four-seater C-Class Cabriolet also has a wide selection of engines to choose from, suiting all tastes and requirements. Petrol power is offered through the C 180, C 200, C 250, C 300, impressive C 400 and simply mesmerising C 63 S, with these engines’ horsepower credentials ranging from 156bhp to a spectacular 476bhp. Two diesel variants are available for the all-new C-Class Cabriolet – the C 220 d and C 250 d, with emissions as low as 121g/km CO2. Distinguishing the C-Class Cabriolet from the SLC Roadster is the availability of all-weather traction courtesy of Mercedes’ revered 4MATIC four-wheel drive system, which can be specified for the C 220 d, C 200, C 400 and C 43.

Conclusion: For ultimate back-road driving thrills, the feisty SLC 43 AMG will put a smile on one’s face each and every time.

In numbers…



C-Class Cabriolet






Power (HP)





Fuel (comb MPG)





Emissions (CO2, g/km)





Top Speed (mph)





0 – 60mph in…. (seconds)










Whether two seats is sufficient or four passengers travelling in luxurious style is in order, Mercedes’ new SLC and C-Class Cabriolet models exude sophistication, offer punchy performance in abundance and convey impressive road presence thanks to their skilfully styled aesthetics. Sporty drop-top driving in all weathers is now more attractive than ever.


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