The Mercedes-AMG C43 is a compelling sport sedan. It assaults corners with brute power and finesse, like Jack Sparrow wielding a sword. From a driving dynamics standpoint, the C43 is without doubt one of the most charming sport sedans you should buy in the present day. It is luxurious and full of tech, too. However as a result of there’s such a deal with efficiency above all, it makes for some critical trade-offs in daily-driver consolation and livability.

A swift punch

The C43 is such a thrill to drive quick. Beneath the hood lies a Three.Zero-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 that blasts 385 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque by way of a fast-acting nine-speed computerized transmission. Zero to 60 miles per hour is cracked off in four.5 seconds, and with the variable exhaust totally open, the six-pot lets out an intimidating wail harking back to a World Struggle II conflict horn.

Regardless of which approach I ask this factor to alter course, it follows my lead like a telepathically related dance associate. That is particularly evident with the quick-ratio steering. Chuck the AMG C43 right into a nook, and the sedan reacts quickly, however with poise, form of like Evander Holyfield delivering a knockout blow. The C43 affords a few of the greatest turn-in of any automotive I’ve pushed. The front-end grip is substantial, and as I am making my approach by way of twisties, a refreshingly excessive quantity of suggestions is delivered by way of the steering wheel.

There’s lots of plastic protecting the engine, however at the very least it is well-designed plastic.

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There’s loads of rear-end grip as properly, because of 4Matic all-wheel-drive. I really like the additional velocity I can get when pulling onto a busy street. Mash the fuel pedal into the carpet when making a proper flip, and there is not any drama from the tires. It is merely a grip-and-go affair.

When it comes time to rein in all that velocity, huge 14.2-inch brake discs up entrance and 12.6-inch stoppers out again can haul the C43 down with out breaking a sweat.

For a luxury-sports sedan that leans closely on the sports activities aspect of the spectrum, the C43 is definitely gasoline environment friendly. Most of my week was spent on the freeway, albeit with a heavy foot, so a mixed common of 24.7 miles per gallon is notable for a automotive that is EPA rated for 19/27 metropolis/freeway mpg.

The C43 wants extra sidewall to be a greater every day driver.

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Pace- and spine-shattering

The C43 is without doubt one of the most athletic-feeling sports activities sedans you should buy in the present day, however that athleticism comes at an enormous price: journey high quality. No matter whether or not I’ve the dampers in Consolation, Sport or Sport+ mode, even average street irregularities are uncomfortable. The C43 could have partaking driving dynamics, however in terms of the journey, I really feel as if I am driving a 17-year-old’s ’90s-era Honda Civic with minimize springs.

A few of the blame for that terrible journey goes to the extraordinarily low-profile 19-inch wheels wrapped in 40-series rubber up entrance and 35-series rubber out again. Moreover, the extent of tire noise I can hear from behind the wheel is loopy — actually too excessive for a sport/luxurious sedan like this. Tire roar will get particularly raucous over concrete sections of freeway. My recommendation: Select the smaller, 18-inch wheel/tire package deal. You will get a greater journey and perhaps rather less noise within the cabin. You will additionally save $850.

The C43’s robust suite of tech is wrapped inside a blinding inside.

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A tech redemption

It is not all unhealthy information with the C43. This C-Class’ tech recreation is powerful. In entrance of me lies a crisp, 12.Three-inch digital instrument cluster flanked by a 10.25-inch display to the best, with Automobile-to-X communication, embedded navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Mercedes affords just a few approaches to manage what I see on the middle stack. The best is through the rotary dial on the middle console, however the touchpad simply behind it’s fairly helpful as properly. I even have the choice of controlling the infotainment and car features through touchpads on the steering wheel. The wheel-mounted controls are somewhat busy, so it would take me greater than every week to get used to working them with out trying, however total, the interface is fairly good.

The Burmester premium audio system is good, providing an enveloping sound expertise, however the audio high quality drops off at decrease frequencies. Burmester techniques in dearer Mercedes-Benz automobiles sound higher, however $850 is affordable to step as much as largely first rate audio.

The C43 additionally affords loads of driver-assistance options. The $1,800 Driver Help Package deal carries conveniences like blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic braking and adaptive cruise management with steering help and lane-change help. The C43 is spectacular with the best way it automates lane adjustments, however I discovered myself not often utilizing the steering help. When it was engaged, I typically needed to combat the help with the intention to hold a easy line by way of light turns.

These Multibeam LED headlights are straight-up future-car standing.

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Lovely in and out

I am past impressed with my tester’s Multibeam LED headlights that emit quite a few LED beams that may be individually switched on and off to stop dazzling oncoming visitors. These lights are like computerized excessive beams hopped up on 100 cups of espresso. Plus the sunshine present they provide on startup was my favourite factor to point out off to family and friends.

Shifting inside, there is a equally lovely gentle show available, the non-compulsory, 64-color ambient lighting displaying off the cabin’s elegant, flowing strains. In reality, apart from some lower-rent plastics within the areas the place you do not contact, the C43’s inside is inviting and impressively crafted.

That mentioned, I discover my C43’s AMG Efficiency Seats to be wildly uncomfortable. Sitting in them for even a couple of minutes makes my decrease again go numb as there’s hardly any cushioning on them. Whether or not driving across the nook or throughout Southern California, I discovered myself ceaselessly shifting within the seats to attenuate discomfort. Maybe a few of my displeasure is because of the truth that I am fairly skinny, however I might nonetheless strongly counsel saving your hard-earned $2,500 by getting the usual seats. They’re nice.

Shifting again to the trunk, you will not discover lots of area. There’s solely 12.6 cubic ft again there, whereas most opponents supply 13 cubic ft or extra. In the event you want extra room, although, the rear seats fold in a 40/20/40 cut up, which might make issues extra sensible.

If optioned proper, the C43 might be distinctive.

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How I might spec it

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan begins at $55,250. As examined, mine comes out to $72,605 together with $995 for vacation spot, however the one I might purchase would not be practically that prime. Along with the $Three,350 in choices I’ve already really helpful you skip, my tester additionally options the $1,750 Exterior Carbon Fiber Package deal, which is as frivolous as filling a swimming pool with champagne. Move.

My must-haves embrace the sharp-looking $720 Diamond Silver Metallic paint, the $900 Exterior Lighting Package deal, which incorporates these wonderful Multibeam LEDs, and the $2,300 multimedia package deal that provides embedded navigation together with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I might additionally add the head-up show for $990, the surround-view digicam with automated parallel parking for $1,090 and the AMG Efficiency Exhaust System for $1,250, which totals out to round $66,000.

An excessive amount of of 1 good factor

The Mercedes-AMG C43 is an extremely succesful sports activities sedan, with robust energy and sharp dealing with. It is also loaded with cutting-edge tech, which begins to make the automotive really feel extra well-rounded, however the terrible journey and loud inside just about cancel out any of its inherent luxurious. 

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