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Sep10

2018 Mercedes C43 AMG Review – That’s All, People!

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It will have been good to make it to a tenth anniversary, to rejoice a full decade as a contributor to this august web site. Oh, that a man may know / The top of today’s enterprise ere it come! / However it sufficeth that the day will finish / After which the top is understood. My first contribution to TTAC appeared on December 20, 2008. That is the final one. I’m not quitting the enterprise; you’ll find me at Street & Monitor, Hagerty Journal, Watch Journal, Bicycling, Fashionable Mechanics, Zoom-Zoom Journal, and some others. It’s time to maneuver on to work on another tasks.

Oh, nicely. Let’s take pleasure in our remaining moments collectively. Include me as I open the throttle on Mercedes’/AMG’s delicate underachiever of a 3-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Thai border to Hatyai and from there to Hua Hin. The speeds are outrageous, the 7-Elevens alongside the best way are serving scorching sandwiches, and the monkeys that grasp from cages mounted to late-mannequin diesel Hiluxes are giving us quizzical appears.


Earlier this yr, I reviewed this car’s lesser sibling and was cautiously impressed. My largest complaints on the time involved the timid, clattering engine and the relative paucity of standard gear. The C43 addresses each of those considerations at a price that hovers across the $55k mark right here within the States. The issue, if there’s one, is that about twelve “stacks” extra will put you right into a C63 sedan. Why not go all the best way?

The most important purpose I can think of doesn’t apply to People. In lots of different nations, notably in Asia, there are vital taxes on engine displacement. In Malaysia, for instance, the distinction in street tax between a C43 and a C63 over 5 years would nearly match the unique distinction in sticker price. In lots of markets, the C43 is now the highest C-Class providing as a result of there merely isn’t measurable curiosity in something quicker. I suppose that’s affordable.

Not that the C43 is especially quick, at the very least not by trendy excessive-efficiency requirements. It can launch fairly exhausting from a dig, courtesy of the 2 small turbos and standard AWD, but when your stoplight opponent is driving one thing like a Camaro SS or Mustang GT you possibly can anticipate to see some taillights briefly order. Which is ok, as a result of Mercedes-Benz doesn’t admit the existence of these automobiles. The C43 is assumed to function inside the slender ecosystem inhabited by the BMW 340i and Audi S5. Towards them, it does high-quality. For 2019, USA-mannequin C43 sedans will boast 385 horsepower as an alternative of the 362 discovered on this present mannequin. It gained’t make a lot of a distinction.

The popular technique of freeway operation in Thailand goes one thing like this: Drive at ninety-110mph till you attain a cluster of trucks, then wait patiently for them to maneuver over, then flooring it to the kickdown and drive to the subsequent group. Considerably embarrassingly, the C43 proved unable in these circumstances to maintain up with the Volvo S90 T8 Twin Engine that I additionally drove over these roads. The concept an AMG-labeled Benz can’t sustain with a Volvo? Not good.

When the street started to curve, nevertheless, the C43 made up the hole after which some. This can be a rock-strong platform for top-velocity cornering, providing linear flip-in and an inexpensive quantity of suggestions from the 19-inch wheels. Default conduct is to push the nostril, as is the case with just about each different Mercedes sedan in historical past, however in contrast to lots of its predecessors this AMG doesn’t tighten the road with throttle. So that you improve the tempo till the nostril begins to slip and then you definitely’re not going to do any extra. Which is ok.

This was a proper-hand-drive car, which pointed up the comparatively tight area between steering wheel and door panel for me. It’s humorous how I didn’t discover this concern within the LHD variants. There have to be one thing in my mind that re-evaluates driver match once I’m sitting on the “incorrect” aspect of the car. Or Mercedes-Benz has moved the wheel over a bit. I doubt that. Thirty years in the past it was widespread for RHD automobiles to have wonky wheel positioning however certainly the Benz-Borg now engineers them to be separate however equal.

The Burmester sound system is serviceable however no extra; the Revel Ultima setup in a Lincoln Continental would disgrace it. Come to think of it, there isn’t a lot that a Continental doesn’t do higher than a C43. It’s simply as quick in a straight line, no much less confidence-inspiring in corners. It presents more room, extra features, and higher supplies inside. The rear seat is a pleasure, whereas the rear seat in a C43 is a little bit of a punishment. If the 2 automobiles value the identical, which they don’t when comparably outfitted, you’d be foolish to get the Benz. Why would you? As a result of it’s a “pure” rear-drive platform? What distinction does that make when everyone forces their efficiency sedans to take a heavy dose of ZZZ-Quil within the type of an overactive AWD system?

It’s disagreeable to say so, however this car actually has no enterprise being labeled as an AMG something. A easy ‘C450 4Matic’ badge would describe it properly with out writing checks the powertrain and suspension are unwilling to money. The C63 which sits above it within the lineup isn’t precisely an inspiration to the fanatic driver however it does keep it up the custom of placing an enormous(ish) engine in a small(ish) sedan. This C43, against this, is just a competitor for the higher-trimmed compact entry-luxurious choices from the opposite Germans. I’d slightly save 14 grand and take a C300, which feels extra snug in its personal pores and skin. Or I’d spend the additional cash and get the large engine simply to have that freeway head rush.

There’s nothing incorrect with the C43 AMG. The issue is that there’s additionally nothing that may encourage a possible proprietor to make private sacrifices or work longer hours to purchase one. Eight years in the past, shortly after I started my profession right here at TTAC, Mercedes-Benz modified its slogan to the evocative “The Greatest Or Nothing.” That’s not mirrored within the C43. Don’t get me improper; it’s not nothing. Nor, nevertheless, is it the best. Thanks for studying. I’ll see you round.

[Images Courtesy of Bobby Ang, EVOLTN Magazine]

– 2018 Mercedes C43 AMG Review – That’s All, People! –

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