2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 India Review, First Drive

Enchanting –

  • Coupe with Sports Car Aesthetics
  • Superlative chassis, brakes, engine
  • Adequate ground clearance

Unsatisfying –

  • Low boot space
  • Ride choppy over bad roads

The three letter word, AMG excites every enthusiast’s soul in the world. It fills the heart with adrenaline and it fills your head with the thunderous sporty and throaty soundtrack with its savage V8 motor. However, that is for some too wild to handle. For them, AMG has gone down by two cylinders and offered a V6 some time back. Infact, AMG now makes the most powerful four-cylinder as well.

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For now, let’s stick to the job in hand which is the C43 AMG Coupe that has arrived to us for wet and wild run. As Mumbai gets all the water it needs, the wild AMG horse also needs a stick. We just did that by spending three days with the car. How good is downsizing when considering the AMG the brand name is at stake? Let’s find out!

Design

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The C43 AMG is based on the C-class but is a coupe so it loses the two doors, sit more lower than usual and adopts 18-inch alloy wheels, which were on our test car. 19-inch would suit the car, but it won’t suit our deteriorating roads. The front gets the two slat grille, the rear profile looks flush and clean with well integrated large LED tail-lamps. The best part is the side profile with the fastback design and the red-maroonish color on offer was quite basic and common, get it in white or blue or the European black’s and this will look entirely business.

Interior

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The interior is also borrowed from the C-Class but here it is all black with red stitching everywhere such as the steering wheel, dashboard and seats. The seats are bucket sporty seats with Alcantara and leather used. We are not a fan of the dashboard design but the center console with wood and high quality switches make up for it. The screen in between isn’t touch and is controlled by the touch pad and knob. The clock and the vents always add a luxury touch to the new Mercedes-Benz cars. The flat bottom steering wheel looks great and is perfectly well contoured to hold too.

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Quality is good around, the seats at the back are best for kids and to get in all you need to do is flip the lever and the front seats electronically go ahead. There are A/C vents as well. The speedo dials are now old school but the touch pad and high quality buttons on the steering wheel make the combination rather easy to use features such as trip, navigation, telephone and Multimedia.

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Heated and electric seats, two zone climate control, sunroof, ambient lighting, 360 degree parking sensor and cameras, android auto, apple carplay, start-stop button are on offer along with the usual connectivity and convenience features. It misses out on keyless entry and go but it does get remote locking. The C43 also gets multibeam headlights which are ideal for our roads which doesn’t blind oncoming traffic and provides segment best illumination and spread.

Engine

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Driving the Bi-turbo 3.0 litre V6 AMG motor that makes 390 BHP and 520 Nm of torque is like driving a very fast diesel engine. However, since this is a petrol motor, the sound it makes is fantastic with a sporty and throaty roar. Sports mode enhances and uplifts the sound to make it even more louder. The diesel engine torque in a petrol motor makes this C43 very driveable in the city with torque coming in a bit late, around 2200 RPM and then going like stabbed rat once you mash your foot into the carpet that has sporty pedals on it.

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The 9-Speed gearbox is great for most part of it, but it can be quite jerky at low speeds that our congested cities has to offer, even in comfort mode. Sport mode surprisingly solves the issue, but the instant responses in that mode make you shift back to comfort mode. The fast and free revving engine is sheer enjoyment and masks all of those aspects. The four wheel drive 4matic propels you ahead with the drama coming aurally through those quad exhausts.

Ride and Handling

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The dynamics are great with very stiff suspension on offer which can make you feel your daily smooth roads are after all imperfect. The C43 has a tendency to toss you around a bit with its sporty suspension. The ride quality is poor over most things even in comfort mode, but still there is a bit compliance and the fantastically comfortable seats mask all of that aspects quite well. The steering wheel is precise, quick and feedback rich and weighs up just about alright at higher speeds. More of everything from the steering could make things better. Ground clearance is great for most part until unless you encounter a humongous one where you will have to cross over it in a zig-zag instead of going through straight and plain.

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However, that is enough for daily driving where the ease of use from the steering makes things easier. The brakes are overly engineered in most situations on the road. The C43 can go from 250 km/hr to 85 km/hr in no time with all four disc brakes and large calipers on offer. Changing directions you do realize the heft, just a bit, on offer and it doesn’t feel supremely direct or fast. However, the aural drama and rush from the engine makes the overall driving experience truly sporty.

2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 India Review, Verdict

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The Mercedes-AMG C43 in our books is a great alternative to a lot of outright sporty cars that you might be considering. Its fast enough for our roads, it looks distinct and has the Mercedes badge which promises more practicality and engines that live up to the mark. Sure, it still isn’t entirely perfect in most cases but it still is a great compromise over most overtly done cars around the price bracket and that makes a lucrative choice in this class.

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