Life and Religion
|Mercedes-Benz’s spicy AMG C43 adds V6 engine upgrade|
|Coupe has right mix of performance and luxury|
|Published Monday, July 22, 2019 4:44 pm|
|Mercedes-Benz’s 2019 AMG C43.|
Mercedes-Benz offers the wildly popular C-Class in a number of interesting flavors from the base C-300 to the wickedly desirable AMG C63 S.
Price paid depends on flavor selected. If you have a taste for mildly spicy, then the AMG C43 may be your entree.
You can get a C-Class that looks like an AMG by selecting a cosmetic package that includes upgrade brakes, suspension, a spoiler and different body bits. What you don’t get is the upgraded engine and much higher price.
That’s nice if you want a show pony, but the real upgrade is the engine – a snarling 385 horsepower turbo V6 with 384 pounds-feet of torque. There’s also Mercedes’s all wheel drive system, dynamic ride control and a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Let’s get back to the engine. This is a nicely done setup with the transmission. You can select your gear via paddle shifters or let the automatic be an automatic. Start the car and tap the accelerator for a deep, throaty gurgle coming out of the optional enhanced exhaust system. It’s a marvelous sound that I really like.
What does all this mean on the road? For me it’s a balance between luxury and sports that I like. Admittedly, the C43 leans more toward luxury than sport, especially if you compare the vehicle with similar BMWs. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The Bimmer will be the better handler but generally at the cost of having a rougher ride.
It’s not like the C43 has a marshmallow ride – not even close. If you set the suspension in the stiffest setting (Sport+) you get the best handling. Gears are selected quicker and everything about the car seems to tighten up. Hit the accelerator and you can reach 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds, which is pretty quick. The transmission effortlessly finds it gears without hunting. Everything is working in unison as you continue to widen the grin on your face.
How well does the car handle? Exceptionally well. The four wheel independent suspension with AMG Ride Control Find your favorite stretch of road and unleash the beast. Want to take on some twisty roads? Sure. Need to blast down the road at ridiculous speeds and stay firmly planted? No problem. Need to break quickly and stop smoothly? You’re good. As a friendly reminder, the C43 has no get out of jail free card, so govern yourself accordingly.
Despite being a few years old in design, the AMG C43 will garner a lot of attention even if it’s sitting still, especially if it’s sitting still. The fluid lines have aged well, but have a lot of competition from Audi, BMW and yes, even Lexus. Still, it is a handsome coupe.
The interior has a great deal of technology. The 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is a thing of beauty. If you like you can pull up track settings to see how well you can put your car though it’s paces. You can pick your mood lighting from 64 specific choices. The 10.3-inch touch screen is very responsive and fairly quick. The Command Navigation comes with 3 years of map updates, traffic updates and weather services. There is a head-up display on the windshield that gives you car info.
The AMG seats are grippy and keep you planted when you want to get aggressive but also have enough comfort for longer trips. Speaking of trips, highway mileage is a good 27 miles per gallon. City driving will get you 19 mpg.
My overall impressions of the C43 are good. It has limited space for back passengers but it is a coupe. It only seats two in the rear but that’s fine as well. Front passengers are good to go with good space. Can’t say enough good things about the engine and transmission and the overall design is still has aged well.
Would I buy one of these? Umm, well, yes, but affording it might be a problem. The base price of the C43 is $57,450. That includes a lot of premium stuff, including the superb Burmeister surround system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, keyless start, blindspot assist and active brake assist.
My test car was filled with options, most of which were AMG related, including a carbon fiber appearance package, multi-media package, performance steering wheel package, black 19-inch twin, five spoke wheels and a night package.
Once destination was added, the as-tested price came to $74,410. That’s pricey, but it’s also a Mercedes-Benz and a really stratifying sports coupe.
• Still a handsome coupe
• Engine and transmission
• Balance of sport and comfort
• Quick with sharp handling
• Competition has been updated
Email Winfred Cross at email@example.com.
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