All the style without all the fuss
There are some people out there who like the way an AMG looks, but they could not be bothered about the song and dance and all that extra power and all, I think this car is aimed at them.
Like all the latest Cs, the 200 Cabriolet benefited a broad range of revisions, about a year ago, from a number of subtle changes to the car’s styling, while a few new models joined the range too.
Look closely and you’ll notice that the bumpers are ever so softy re-profiled, there’s more chrome detailing, new headlights and a new diamond-pattern grille insert for AMG Line models like this. The convertible retains its stylish soft top that operates at the touch of a button.
Inside, C retains the basic dashboard design of the outgoing model, together with updated analogue instruments and a 7.0in infotainment display, but optional equipment (standard on this test unit) includes a new 12.3in high-definition digital instrument display.
That brings three Classic, Sport and Progressive themes, a revised multi-function steering wheel now with revolutionary E-Class like touch-control pads, a 10.25in free-standing infotainment display and a touchpad controller within a reworked centre console.
Those little thumb pads on the steering wheel – the one on the left to control the central infotainment and that on the right to work the onboard display directly ahead of you between the speedo and rev counter – are perhaps the best interface solution in any car – Merc leads the way there for sure.
They work quite intuitively and are backed up by touch and voice controls, but while the C-Class’s Comand infotainment system has also been upgraded to the same standard as the flagship S-Class, it does forego the touchscreen control and connectivity functions of the more advanced new A-Class system. All in good time I suppose.
Also new on the test unit was optional smartphone integration supporting Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, as well as a wireless charging pad – pity I need a new mobi to make that work though. That comes with a new remote parking pilot and driving assistance package plus systems.
But the beauty of this C200 is that you get so much AMG kit with it, without the trouble and drama that comes with wither of its actual AMG siblings. Now not everybody wants that extreme power and grunt and the reckless speed it all leads to, so there are a good many folk out there who will be delighted by this sexy little number, just as it is.
Not that it’s at all sluggish – mid-7 second 0-100 acceleration ties into frugal mid-six litres per hundred fuel consumption is a very good blend of performance and economy, thank you very much. It’s certainly no slouch. Or glutton either.
All of which makes this quite a sweet compromise between AMG looks and a capable, yet economical performance envelope in a quite attractive package. Were I one to be fazed by five hundred horsepower, I’d be delighted to get all the visual delights that monster has, in a far more humane solution. And that is precisely what this car is all about… - Michele Lupini
Images: Giordano Lupini
ROAD TEST: Mercedes-Benz C200 Convertible AMG Line auto
Engine: 135kW 280Nm 1995cc turbo petrol I4
Drive: 9-speed automatic AWD
0-60km/h: 3.34 sec
0-100km/h: 7.40 sec
0-160km/h: 17.79 sec
400m: 13.3 sec @ 148km/h
80-120km/h: 5.13 sec
120-160km/h: 5.95 sec
Fuel: 6.6 l/100km
Warranty/Service 2y unl/6y 100Kkm
LIST PRICE: R836K