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Tested, Trashed, Driven – Mercedes-AMG C43

One may think this isn’t a full-fledged AMG since it doesn’t carry the well know AMG V8 or a hand build engine but you shouldn’t write it off as the Mercedes-AMG C43 is worthy of the storied AMG name. It is tamer than its fire breathing sibling the C63 but the Mercedes-AMG C43 is no less of a car for that.

Press the engine start button and the 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 quickly flares into life, before settling itself into a neat and quiet idle. Mercedes has kept the V6 despite the spreading of the new in-line six-unit elsewhere in the range. Mash on the gas pedal and the V6 blast 385 horsepower and 520Nm through a nine-speed automatic transmission and yes guys, there is no MCT wet clutch automatic but the gearbox is always finding the right gear in almost every occasion including the stop-and-go driving so it’s a wonderful companion for driving along traffic-filled highways.

0-100km/h can be done in 4.5 seconds if you don’t lift off the throttle, it will go on to hit its 250km/h top speed. The car will hit its top speed without you knowing as you would be too busy listening to the beautiful V6 note. Go too far and the aggressive rev-limiter will catch you out, but the new digital dials are quite spectacular with its change-up lights to let you know when to pull a paddle after you make that mistake once.

The Mercedes-AMG C43 has quick-ratio steering and no matter which way I ask the C43 to change direction it will follow my lead like its reading my mind. Throw the C43 into a corner and the sedan reacts extremely quick with substantial front-end grip allowing me to enjoy the drive through twisties. There hasn’t been much car that provides a high amount of steering feedback lately but the C43 somewhat nailed it.

The C43 doesn’t lack rear-end grip thanks to the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system which is bad if you want some smoky tire-shredding, skiddy thrills of the C63. However, I love the extra speed I can get when pulling onto a busy road and also I can simply mash the gas pedal onto the floor when making a turn without any drama from the tires as it is a grip and go affair here. There is a give and take but I think you’ll get used to it since there isn’t much place to do legal skiddy thrills anyway.

Spending my time in the C43 is a wonderful experience just that the C43’s ride quality favors the AMG as you would not get the comfort you expect from a car wearing the Mercedes badge. But it is a sport sedan after all so it is something worth closing an eye about. Once you’ve overcome it, the cabin of the C43 is top-tier in the segment as it is finely crafted with the best material.

The C43 comes with a 10.5-inch infotainment display running the latest version of Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND infotainment software. Commands are completed using a rotary controller or a touchpad that’s inconveniently placed atop the controller. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard and it seamlessly connects to your phone as soon as the car comes to life. The Burmester premium audio system is nice delivering an airy, spacious sound field, where vocals are heard crystal clear with a good level of details throughout. It is quite an experience listening to the Burmester sound system.

The C43’s trunk space is alright as I manage to fit quite a few bag packs and a week worth of groceries inside the trunk with the rear seats up. Door pockets are wide and there is adequate interior storage in this car. Seats in this car are comfortable and it will hold you and your passenger firmly throughout the journey without being a pain to the back.

Moving to the exterior of the Mercedes-AMG C43, I must say that they are quite conservative with the design of the car as it only features simple lines and minimal flare. They probably kept the more aggressive look for the C63 but I like the subtle looks just so when someone comes knocking at your door and you blew past them, their speechless reactions just say it all. There are of course the quad circular exhaust tips, the AMG badge, and AMG wheels to show your friends and neighbors that you bought an AMG. To sum it all up, the Brilliant Blue metallic paint job adds some extra spice onto the recipe.

The C43’s design is conservative, and it features simple lines and minimal flare. The exceptions to this rule are the quad circular exhaust tips, AMG badges. The Brilliant Blue metallic paint job adds some extra spice to the recipe, too. But even with those flashier cues, the C43’s design remains subtle.

All good things must come to an end and I must say that I was very reluctant to give the keys back to Mercedes-Benz Malaysia as I really enjoyed my time with the C43 and honestly I learned that the C43 is a multi-talented car and an incredibly capable sport sedan. The AMG badge is worth to be placed on the C43 as it will find its way through any situation you throw at it and easier to live with daily compared to its full-fledged C63 sibling.

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