2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC Coupe Review & Test Drive

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In the past couple of years, Mercedes-Benz has been hard at work to throw just about every vehicle segment offering on the wall to see what sticks. Covering virtually all major vehicle segments except the coveted pickup truck market, Mercedes-Benz has just about all bases covered. With the introduction of a new AMG model to fill a gap between the high-performance C63 Coupe and the new C-Class luxury sports coupe, Mercedes-AMG is poised to leave no stones uncovered. For the 2017 model year, AMG gives the masses exactly what they want and meet them at their desired price point for stepping into true modern-day luxury performance on four wheels.

>> Get the best price on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from a network of local dealers now. <<

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In comes the new Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe (previously the AMG C450), a vehicle that brings a proven BiTurbo V6 engine pumping out 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels by way of the brand’s 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. Before power is diverted to the advanced all-wheel-drive system, the C43 gets a new 9-speed automatic transmission to power the wheels with lighting fast shifts that nearly rival dual clutch units in late-model supercars. To my delight, the C43 Coupe manages to fire off snappy shifts in its Sport+ drive mode with an intoxicating clatter sound emitting through the luxury-laced cabin making it to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds.

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In my opinion, Mercedes-AMG has tamed a juvenile beast that begs to run beside its more powerful brethren found in the 503-horsepower BiTurbo V8 C63 S Coupe, which, in an overall assessment, has a much more high-strung character mostly reserved for hardcore enthusiast. When it comes to the C43 Coupe, things get a bit lost in translation for the enthusiast crowd where the C43 is more subdued, more of a cruising destroyer than a laser guided weapon armed with a potent warhead. To the twin-turbo V6 engine’s benefit, there isn’t any noticeable turbo lag while the power band is full of power up to redline. The fight that the C43 brings is more of a twelve rounder that could go either way when pitted with an equal partner, a softer approach to still be entertaining but not keep everyone out of their seat awaiting a bloodbath.

See Also: Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe Review & Test Drive

The Mercedes-AMG C43 is surprisingly efficient in everyday driving for its performance level, somewhat thanks to its quick and assured-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission. I was able to get just over 30 mpg on the highway and returned a respectable 23.9 around town. The EPA estimates for the new C43 fall somewhat in line with my results at 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for my 4MATIC all-wheel-drive test vehicle. The rear-wheel-drive model gets one additional mpg on the highway compared to the 4MATIC model.

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To summarize the placement of the new C43 Coupe, the AMG outfit has done a remarkable job to put the new Benz Coupe in a place that puts luxury slightly above the requirement for shear performance. It’s not to say that the C43 is a slouch in any way, it’s more of a relaxed vehicle that its adaptive suspension system fails to keep in a firm position even in the firmest Sport + setting for the adaptive dampers. The tail end still tends to flop around a bit more for my taste and the overall dynamic of the ride quality balancing out the sporty side fails to impress when compared to its bad ass C63 S Coupe sibling. In all, the C43 Coupe’s chassis is capable but doesn’t have the chops to get down and dirty to put a smile on your face like a BMW 440i Coupe with the M Sport and Track Handling Package goodies or a new Audi S5, in my opinion.

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Where the new 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe possibly outshines its competition is the classy styling and available luxury appointments that nearly mimic the feel and look of a new S-Class. The exterior is hard to discern for many onlookers in that they may assume you are driving the cream of the crop out of the AMG outfit for the smallish C-Class. Lacking the boldly flared fenders of the C63 S Coupe, the C43 Coupe makes due with classiness in styling that looks more menacing than its well-to-do BiTurbo V6 engine. There is a high level of premium quality and perception in the C43 Coupe inside and out. The cabin is lavish enough to keep S-Class drivers happy, and at the same time, keep you somewhat entertained at the sound of the BiTurbo V6’s growl and pop-pops out of the dual-stage exhaust system when in Sport + mode.

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The uncompromised quality of the interior keeps the C43 Coupe in an upper echelon to run with the big dogs regarding fit and finish and overall luxury appeal. The onslaught of available features and amenities also make the C43 Coupe a desirable vehicle for those who enjoy the finer things in life. However, with the starting price of just $55,500 for the new Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe, there isn’t much content to keep many luxury buyers satisfied when compared to other vehicles in the same segment. Loading up the C43 makes the complete package attractive for new luxury vehicle seekers but it all comes at a much higher price once expensive option packages are added to the equation.

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The dashboard is full of soft-touch surfaces, decent amounts of aluminum trim, and textured wood encompassing the center stack of the dashboard and below the floating infotainment screen. Most of the controls are conveniently placed and mostly mimic higher-class vehicles, such as the infamous S-Class. The level of attention to detail and classic proportions of conventional vehicle traits keep the C43 Coupe a level above the competition concerning its interior. The sporty front seats are also a plus in keeping with the tradition of comfort with multiple personalities that have bolster supports in the right places but a soft and supple quality to keep you comfy on long trips.

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The new Mercedes-AMG C43 is an excellent compromise and value for those who don’t wish to spend the price of admission for a new C63 Coupe but still want a taste of the true AMG flavor. My nicely equipped (19-inch AMG black-accented wheels with summer performance tires, color heads-up display, night package, parking assist package w/360-degree camera system, AMG exterior carbon fiber package, AMG Performance Steering wheel, AMG Performance exhaust system, Premium 2 Package w/COMAND voice navigation, 8.4-inch infotainment screen, power trunk lid) but far from loaded C43 AMG test vehicle comes in a price of $66,945, including a $925 destination and delivery charge.

>> Get the best price on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from a network of local dealers now. <<

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>> Get the best price on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from a network of local dealers now. <<

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base C43 Coupe $55,500 / As-Tested C43 4MATIC Coupe $66,945
  • Engine: 3.0-liter twin-turbo (biturbo) V6 362 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm / 384ft-lbs. torque @ 2,000 rpm
  • Transmission: 9-speed automatic w/steering wheel shift paddles
  • Overall length: 184.9 inches
  • Overall width: 71.3 inches
  • Overall height: 55.3 inches
  • Wheelbase: 111.8 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,935 pounds
  • Headroom: f/r: 38.8/35.6 inches
  • Legroom: f/r: 42.0/32.0 inches
  • Cargo volume: 10.5 cu.ft.
  • Fuel tank: 17.4 gallons
  • 0-60 mph: 4.7 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway (C43 4MATIC)

>> Get the best price on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from a network of local dealers now. <<


Source: Automotive Addicts