2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe Review
Car Tested: 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe; Road Test No. 1114; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 94,18,281/-
The C43 is a drop dead gorgeous coupe with superb performance and dynamics
India is amongst the biggest emerging luxury car markets in the world. The trouble with that is, luxury cars have become too common. Gone are the days where you could impress your neighbours with a usual sedan or an SUV. Clearly, you need something more exclusive and something that stands out from the crowd. Mercedes-Benz has been listening and their answer is a sleek and sophisticated Coupe version of the C-Class. The AMG-spec C43 combines fast performance and soothing comfort in one stylish package. We are going to find out if Mercedes-Benz has the right move.
Motor Quest: Mercedes-Benz is the oldest and biggest premium car brand in India. The company has enjoyed steady success with its range of cars. In addition to usual sedans and SUVs, Mercedes-Benz has always had a presence in the niche part of the market. The SL, CLS, E-Cabrio are all the cars, the company has launched at some point in India. In the last few years, the company has introduced almost the whole range of their performance AMG brand. One of them is the new Mercedes-AMG C43. A coupe version of the facelifted C-Class which promises high performance without losing much on Mercedes' core values like comfort.
Exteriors - The Mercedes-AMG C43 looks sophisticated and urbane. The design is sporty but not overly so. The update has given the C-Class range a more mature face and that is evident from the C43. The front is sharp but in a restrained way. The well-designed bumpers, big grille with a prominent three-pointed star and sharp headlights look pleasing. The wide bonnet gives the car the necessary stance and we love the sporty design of the alloy wheels. Certain elements like smoked headlamps, black wing mirrors, side skirts and notable AMG badges are subtle hints of the power underneath.
The long bonnet and the AMG kit give the C43 a sporty and elegant stance
The side profile is very curvy and from a distance, the C43 looks like a shrunken S-Class Coupe. But that is no bad thing. The C43 is long and that length makes the car look regal. The tail lamp design is very reminiscent to that of the bigger S-Coupe. We love the quad tailpipes and a nice spoiler on the boot lid. We are also big fans of this red shade we had on our car.
Interiors - Like most big coupes, the doors open very wide. You can almost walk in the cabin of the C43. The interior is as Mercedes as you expect it to be. Things that catch your eye are the steering wheel, the instrument cluster and the large 10.2-inch touch screen display. The steering is complex looking with a variety of controls on it. The tactile controls are easy to accustom to and the flat base will surely keep the keen drivers happy. We also like that the steering wheel looks special with all that silver finish. The instrument cluster is not all-digital but the analogue instrumentation is legible with the centre screen telling all sorts of info like how the power is shuffled between the front and rear wheels.
The all-black interior along with red highlights and the AMG steering wheel give the cabin a premium and sporty feel
The infotainment screen is sleek with good graphics but it is not quite in the league of BMW's iDrive. Mention must be made of the fact that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not the part of the standard kit. Apart from that, the infotainment system is easy to use once you get the hang of it and sound quality is pretty impressive too, though you might just not want to listen to music if you have that lovely V6 on the boil.
The front seats are snug and are electrically adjustable complete with memory function. They are also heated and cooled. Red seat belts add a dash of sportiness as does the all-black theme with red-stitching on our car. What we felt was a misfit, however, was the wood finish on the centre console. We would opt for brushed aluminium instead. The space up front is very generous with more than ample legroom and decent headroom.
Front and rear seats have adequate space & can seat four adults in comfort
The rear seats are not bad for a car of this class. They can accommodate average size adults rather comfortably. Legroom is tight and the seats are a touch too upright but those are shortcomings common among cars of this class. The shape of the seats ensures good support though. The C43 gets a lot of equipment including climate control, panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting, etc.
Performance - The Mercedes-AMG C43 is powered by a 3.0-litre, bi-turbo V6 engine which now outputs 23 more horses over its predecessor at 385 HP while torque output remains the same at 520 Nm which comes between 2500 to 5000 RPM. 0-100 km/hr comes up in a claimed 4.7 seconds and the motor is very refined at low engine speeds while howling in the mid-range and absolutely barking a sporty symphony near the 6500 RPM redline. The 9-speed AMG Speedshift gearbox is fast with shifts but isn't very smooth at lower speeds. While the claimed mileage is close to 12 km/l, in the real world, the C43 AMG does around 5-6 km/l and has a 66-litre fuel tank.
The C43's refined V6 motor has a stupendous mid-range and exhaust note
In spite of the twin turbos, low-end lag is well contained, the C43 feels drivable in the city while the mid-range has the punch and pushes you back in the seat and being an AMG, there is a top-end too, the engine does rev hard and fast, taking third gear to cross the ton. There are 5 drive modes on offer - Slippery, Individual, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ (thankfully no Eco mode as it would be out of place in such a car). Sport+ gives you the full bananas with alternations being made to the engine, gearbox, steering and ESP. There are two ESP modes - On and Sport or keep the button pressed and it turns off completely.
Driving Dynamics - The Mercedes-AMG C43 is a heavy car, weighing close to 1700 kgs, all thanks to the 4MATIC system which is 69% rear biased, that is the reason why in spite of being a 4-wheel drive vehicle, it has wider tyres at the rear. The wide rubber does help as there is barely any screeching from the tyres on full launch, even with the traction control off. Body roll is well contained and the steering although rich in feel, lacks the last bit of feedback, it's quick to turn though.
Ride quality is stiff and one has to be careful around speedbreakers
The Mercedes C43 AMG is a stiff car, so stiff in fact that you can feel a lot of the road inside. Ride quality is just not up to scratch while the 112 mm ground clearance is also quite poor, one has to angle the car over speed-breakers else it just scrapes. Being an AMG, high-speed stability is a given and so is stopping power which is very surefooted with a positive feel on the pedal.
Safety and After Sales Service - The C43 gets a slew of safety equipment which includes the usuals like airbags and traction control. The 4Matic all-wheel-drive system ensures good grip in unpredictable surfaces, especially while going fast into a corner, increasing the safety quotient. The coupe is also well built and its sedan counterpart has scored top marks in several crash tests. Mercedes-Benz maintains a high standard of customer satisfaction, so owning the C43 is likely to be a hassle-free experience. Spare parts can be quite costly though.
Verdict - At Rs. 90 lakhs (on road), the Mercedes-AMG C43 is an expensive buy. It is not an outright sports car and we would have liked a much smoother ride as well. Those negatives aside, the C43 is a compelling package. It scores big on style, luxury and performance. The performance is certainly strong but it is delivered in an easy manner, meaning this coupe is an effortless daily driver. Factor in the prestige of the Mercedes-AMG badge and the rarity of the coupe body style, the C43 is an ideal car to stand out in a parking lot.
* Stunning looks and road presence
* Feature-loaded and comfortable cabin
* Remarkable performance and dynamics
What's Not So Cool
* Ride quality could have been better
* Low ground clearance could be an issue
* Should have come with more standard equipment
Alternatives: - Ford Mustang, BMW M2
2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe Specifications
* Engine: 2996cc, V6, Petrol
* Power: 385 HP @ 6100 RPM
* Torque: 520 Nm @ 2500-5000 RPM
* 0-100 km/h: 4.7 seconds
* Top Speed: 250 km/hr
* Transmission: 9-Speed AT
* Fuel Consumption: 5-6 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Tyre Size: 225/45/18 (Front), 245/40/18 (Rear)
* Suspension: Control Arm (Front), Multi-Link (Rear)
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front & Rear)
* Safety: 4 Airbags, ABS, EBD, Traction Control
2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4693 mm X 1810 mm X 1402 mm
* Wheelbase: 2840 mm
* Ground Clearance: 112 mm
* Turning Radius: 5.85-meters
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 66-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1690 kgs
Further Reading -
2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe
2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe Review
The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is based on the C-Class facelift and hence it looks the part, comes with exquisite interiors and has a good V6 engine to boast. The C43 is good to drive and you just need to mind the ground clearance. It makes for a good buy if you don’t want hardcore performance.