What is the difference between a cabriolet and a roadster?

Convertible vs. Cabriolet vs. Roadster Explained

What is the difference between a cabriolet and a roadster?

Convertible, cabriolet, roadster, formula one race car…All of these vehicles expose the top of your head to the elements, but what sets them apart? Are they just buzz words or do they have meaning? Especially if you are shopping for a new Mercedes-Benz, you have probably asked yourself, “What is the difference between a cabriolet and a roadster?” After reading this article, you’ll be like, “Ohhh, so simple. I could have thought of that myself!”

Mercedes-AMG C63 S Cabriolet Top Speed2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet Release Date


As you may have expected, cabriolet is a foreign word for convertible. It defines a vehicle that has a hard- or soft-top retractable roof. This can be found on a sedan, coupe, wagon, or even an SUV in some cases. In the Mercedes-Benz lineup, you can look to the C-Class, E-Class, and S-Class for examples.


2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and E-Class Cabriolet
The weird part is the word itself. Cabriolet is quite obviously a French word, so why does it pop up in the German auto industry? As it turns out, the Germans stole this word and use it to describe a vehicle with a convertible roof. It’s too bad though, because we like the direct German translation for convertible better; umwandelbar.


Black 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC Roadster
Just like our old friends the square and the rectangle, a roadster is a convertible but a convertible is not necessarily a roadster. Roadster defines a vehicle that has an open top, two doors, two seats, and is made for sport. It is not a race car by any means, but it is enough to keep the average driver on the edge of his or her seat. If this article isn’t enough to answer your question, let us have it! There is a comment section below that is calling your name.