Diesel noises and beau­ti­ful, top­less lines - does this com­bi­na­tion work?

Nam Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

For to­day's re­view I could tell you all sorts of things which no­body cares about. Horse­power, airbag count; none of these bor­ing things mat­ter.

Per­haps they would for an­other type of ve­hi­cle but not the new Mercedes-benz CClass Cabri­o­let.

All you need to hear – be­cause you al­ready know it – is how achingly pretty it is.

Yours truly is not the big­gest fan of Merc's new de­sign lan­guage: blunt and ag­gres­sive faces with high-brow rear ends.

Coated in deep me­tal­lic blue with mul­ti­spoke AMG al­loys and just enough bling, this C220d press car quickly changed my opin­ion. What a stun­ner.

In­side, it's the same story. Sump­tu­ous leather, sil­ver high­lights and pi­ano-lac­quer plas­tics adorn a mod­ern cabin with sta­teof- the- art in­fo­tain­ment and plenty of crea­ture com­forts – like seat­belt but­lers.

Rear legroom is ok for small adults on longer trips (or vice versa) and the pair of front chairs can be heated in three stages with an op­tional neck scarve. This chair­mounted de­vice gently blows a stream of warm air at your neck if you should de­cide to drop the sturdy fab­ric roof on a cold win­ter’s night. The well-in­su­lated top folds away in mere se­conds and can be op­er­ated while driv­ing at slow speeds. There's also a but­ton which con­trols all four side win­dows. Do take notes, other drop-top man­u­fac­tur­ers, for those are per­fect cabrio cre­den­tials.

An­other knop­pie raises the rear wind de­flec­tor and an air flap in the wind­screen frame for even more top­less com­fort.

Any con­vert­ible haters tell of leaky roofs, floppy han­dling and tiny boots – the new CClass Cab begs to dif­fer.

This car's fat tyres were louder than any wind noise at speed, the ride felt al­most as tight as in a sedan and the boot of­fered reasaon­ble cargo space; the rear seats even more. So were there any neg­a­tives?

Well, I dreaded the first press of that sil­ver start but­ton be­cause of the agri­cul­tural propul­sion – but this turbo-diesel didn't sound as coarse as ex­pected.

It still seemed a bit odd in a sleek drop-top but I would equate it to Cindy Craw­ford's mole or David Beck­ham's voice. You still would.

The ride wasn't al­ways smooth over rough ground – com­pletely nor­mal for to­day's cars with their low-pro­file tyres.

This C220d also had a drive mode selec­tor with TWO Sport modes, both of which made it sound and han­dle worse. I ig­nored them and sim­ply en­joyed the car's leisurely cruis­ing abil­i­ties.

Its nine au­to­matic gears slot in per­fectly to any speed you choose al­though there isn't much out­right power – 125kw or 400Nm, for those who care.

A cruis­ing Mercedes­Benz C220d Cabrio is al­ways do­ing 1,400rpm ( yes, even at 120km/h) and its engine hap­pily picks up the pace from those rev­o­lu­tions. It’s a proper mod­ern torque mon­ster.

The man­u­fac­turer lays claim to a 0-100km/h sprint time of just over eight se­conds and a top speed of 200-some­thing, none of which re­ally mat­ters.

More im­por­tant is the fact that the C220d claims 5L/100km and we eas­ily got six or seven. Thanks to its 66L tank, we were com­fort­ably headed for 1,000km range dur­ing our week of test­ing so this beauty can even stretch a tank­full of Nam Dol­lars quite nicely...

This Cabri­o­let’s price of about N$800,000 (depend­ing on the spec) in­cludes a six-year un­lim­ited mileage war­ranty and six-year 100,000km ser­vice plan but you prob­a­bly don't care about that ei­ther.

You just want it for the looks but hap­pily, the C220d Cabri­o­let can do a lot more than look pretty.

“I’d equate it to Cindy Craw­ford's mole or David Beck­ham's voice. You still would.”

Text Hanjo Stier Im­ages Var­i­ous sources

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