RE: Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe MY19: Driven

RE: Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe MY19: Driven

Tuesday 18th December 2018

Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe MY19: Driven

AMG's given its six-cylinder C-Class more power and a greater hunger for revs - does that make it better?



There's a lot to like about the AMG C43 coupe. Think of it as the two-door C63's slimmer, better-behaved cousin and you pretty much get the idea. Of course, to some, that's exactly why it can never compete with the top model - the full AMG experience demands a brawny V8 to do the lugging and blistered arches to flex the muscle. To others, though, the slender C43 has successfully ebbed its way into the AMG lineup as a less conspicuous alternative to the C63 and highly capable rival to the BMW 440i and Audi S5.

Still, a little more urgency couldn't hurt. In its 2018 update, power from C43's biturbo 3.0-litre V6 has been raised by 23hp to 390hp thanks to the fitment of larger turbochargers boosting up to 1.1bar. What has the potential to really excite, however, is the updated motor's greater hunger for revs. It offers its best at 6,100rpm, 600rpm later than before, suggesting the extra horses all live close to the redline. Bon appetit.


Some may still be disappointed that this added potency does not bring with it the more aggressive bodywork of the C63; the C43 continuing to look more like an AMG-Line C-Class than a red-blooded Affalterbach 'bahnstormer. There are now more prominent quad-exit exhausts, as a nod at the firepower held beneath the bonnet, but otherwise we only have the two-door C43's sleek styling to emphasise its sporting nature.

And inside? The part-Alcantara-wrapped AMG wheel certainly sets the tone and confirms that this is no regular C, and there are sporty fonts and AMG menus for the new digital instrument cluster as well - because 2018. But the rest of the cabin is more plush than racy, particularly when the optional sports seats aren't fitted, as was the case with our car. There's none of the carbon fibre trim that you'd find in a C63, for example. Although that's probably as much to give the brutish V8 some breathing space and to set a more sedate tone in the six-pot 43.


Anyway, 390hp is nothing to be sniffed at. The C43's engine catches with a decidedly six-cylinder tone that nobody would confuse for the four-pot of a regular C-Class. It's still a full symphony orchestra away from offering the drama associated with a C63 clearing its throat of morning moisture, but - as before - you know from the first enthusiastic squeeze of the throttle that this thing's got pace. You're just required to twist the Dynamic Select knob to Sport or Sport+ to give it a voice to match as well.

Low down the rev range, the motor feels equally as enthusiastic as before, which is no surprise given that there's an identical 384lb ft of torque to be found from 2,500 to 5,000rpm. It does well to mask the fact it's turbocharged, responding quickly to your right foot; it's never lacked gusto, just now seems keener to get spinning faster. There's also more reason to further explore beyond this elastic range of torque, and the nine-cog automatic certainly seems to think it worth doing so, holding onto gears for much longer in the sport settings - potentially a little too long - to keep the motor turning over close to its peak power output. Asking the engine to rev out certainly feels more rewarding than before, but perhaps that's as much to do with the higher pitched howl projected as you reach the top end rather than any substantial increase in acceleration.


At 1,750kg the C43 has never been a featherweight, yet on our often-bumpy Surrey test route it rides as confidently as ever on adjustable suspension and feels keen to follow steering inputs. It's unquestionably more naturally agile than the C63, which comes burdened with the weight of its 4.0-litre, although, with less power and all-wheel drive, the C43's advantage ends almost immediately after its satisfyingly hunkered down initial turn in. Torque from the V6 is split 31:69 front to rear, but on a dry tarmac road, you'd have to be downright dangerous to extract anything like the rear-wheel lairiness the chassis of a 63 can offer. The C43 coupe just grips and grips, with only small hints of on-throttle adjustability possible in tighter bends or greasy conditions.

You soon learn being naughty is not the focus of the C43, even in this more potent 2018 guise. It's when you're smooth and accurate that the six-cylinder coupe rewards most, with rapid progress in a relatively undramatic fashion. You rely on the snorts of upshifts and exhaust crackles on the overrun for giggles, never fully reaching the laugh out loud, elbows out driving style associated with the top-ranking AMG C coupe.


This all makes sense, of course, because it provides enthusiast C-Class buyers with two clearly defined Affalterbach products. But it means that things stand much as they were before the updates: if you can stretch to the C63 - which, when most buyers use PCP, probably isn't as big a jump as you'd think - then bloody well do it. If you can't, the C43 remains one highly talented performance coupe with cross-country pace as good as any other. It's just that those who desire delicate adjustability may still be tempted towards a certain Bavarian alternative.


SPECIFICATION - MERCEDES-AMG C43 COUPE

Engine: 2,996cc biturbo V6
Transmission: 9-speed auto TCT, four-wheel drive
Power(hp): 390@6,100rpm
Torque(lb ft): 384@2,500-5,000rpm
0-62mph: 4.7 secs
Top speed: 155mph (electronically limited)
Weight: 1,750kg (EU, with driver)
MPG: 29.7mpg
CO2: 217g/km
Price: £50,995









 

Author
Discussion

Uncool

Original Poster:

444 posts

222 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
Does this facelift still suffer from the crabbing issue that the pre-facelift did?

Master Bean

1,267 posts

61 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
Paragraph 3. The more the more. I'm here all week.

mikey P 500

1,042 posts

128 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
The crabbing issues is not that bad only really noticeable at full lock when parking but I expect it does effect it as its caused by the conversion to right hand drive and effects all c class and glc that use grippy good branded tyres. On our old glc they fitted budget tyres making far less noticeable but you can notice it on my 2018 c43 saloon. Wouldn't let it stop you buying what is otherwise a great car though. For day to day I think the c43 might be better than the c63 for many as still very fsdt for road use with better mpg and 4wd, just a shame looks a bit normal models.

rog007

5,055 posts

165 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
How many times can you say C63 in an article about a C43!?

cerb4.5lee

11,383 posts

121 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
I really love the new exhaust tips on these.
Advertisement

hondansx

3,312 posts

166 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
Are we talking about the ackermann effect? If so, don't buy a 911.

Got to say, I am a proper car geek but I was in Mercedes at the weekend with a C43 and C63 and couldn't tell the difference from the outside. No wonder people are saving themselves the money and going for the cheaper one.

Uncool

Original Poster:

444 posts

222 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
mikey P 500 said:
The crabbing issues is not that bad only really noticeable at full lock when parking but I expect it does effect it as its caused by the conversion to right hand drive and effects all c class and glc that use grippy good branded tyres. On our old glc they fitted budget tyres making far less noticeable but you can notice it on my 2018 c43 saloon. Wouldn't let it stop you buying what is otherwise a great car though. For day to day I think the c43 might be better than the c63 for many as still very fsdt for road use with better mpg and 4wd, just a shame looks a bit normal models.
Yeah, Merc confirmed it was caused by the conversion to RHD. You can see there's zero ackermann on full lock, so the inside wheel and outside wheel effectively fight against each other.

The issue in itself wouldn't worry me, but just the impact it seems to have on tyre life. The fronts barely last 10,000 miles it seems?

Gandahar

6,407 posts

69 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
This is like a cup of coffee when my wife puts too much milk in it.

I still prefer the V8 engine in my one and could tit about like this until the gearbox blew,;like these pub people are doing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsRc579bVpA


Syndrome280

143 posts

52 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
Uncool said:
Does this facelift still suffer from the crabbing issue that the pre-facelift did?
Jesus, was unaware of this issue, but I've just seen a bunch of vids on YouTube of unhappy MB customers cars, one of which included a video of an MB technician suggesting "fit some winter tyres to fix the issue". That looks really bad and even worse how MB have responded.

Looks like the steering geometry combined with the chosen MB wheels and tyres is causing havoc.
There I was thinking the axle hop on some high-power FWD VAG cars was bad.

virtualm

78 posts

49 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
Sounds like the AMG suffers from the same problem as the Guilia QF with tyres crabbing on full lock then. Switch to MPS4S soon fixes that. Anyway, my man maths say this is circa £10k cheaper than the C63 and only missisipi slower to 60. Looks great in that colour as well.

Brooking10

4,725 posts

82 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
Syndrome280 said:
Uncool said:
Does this facelift still suffer from the crabbing issue that the pre-facelift did?
Jesus, was unaware of this issue, but I've just seen a bunch of vids on YouTube of unhappy MB customers cars, one of which included a video of an MB technician suggesting "fit some winter tyres to fix the issue". That looks really bad and even worse how MB have responded.

Looks like the steering geometry combined with the chosen MB wheels and tyres is causing havoc.
There I was thinking the axle hop on some high-power FWD VAG cars was bad.
But it really is a non issue and as has been alluded to earlier has been around for ages and can be experienced in cars from various other manufacturers.

Feels and sounds far worse than it is.


Chestrockwell

1,486 posts

98 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
I had no idea these were that heavy! So how much does a C63 weigh then? Must be way over 1800kg.

I like the new C43, it looks more purposeful with the right AMG grill and quad exhausts. Judging by the review, it’s a lot more exciting as I drove the pre facelift version and it left me feeling very cold, quick but not that quick and didn’t sound very nice. I was told it needs the sports exhaust but then what’s the point in charging 50k for one and slapping an AMG badge on it?

I wonder why Mercedes haven’t fitted the new straight 6 engine from the new 53 models, without the EQ booster, it probably would have sounded much nicer while making the same power.

I’d still rather buy a 440i over this with the sound and power kit over this however I wouldn’t say no to a cheap lease deal.

fatboy b

8,119 posts

157 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
That is one gopping dash, still with a stick-on iPad.

Pure comedy.

stuart_83

396 posts

42 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
Chestrockwell said:
I’d still rather buy a 440i over this with the sound and power kit over this however I wouldn’t say no to a cheap lease deal.
Which is exactly what I ended up doing.

Mercedes wouldn't offer more than £1k discount, and I'm pretty sure at the time it was something like 5.9% APR. It's as if they didn't want to sell me a car.

BMW on the other hand dropped about 25% off without bartering, and offered it on 0%. Sorted the MPPSK afterwards.

No wonder you hardly ever see any C43's out there. Shame as it was my preferred choice.

cerb4.5lee

11,383 posts

121 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
Uncool said:
mikey P 500 said:
The crabbing issues is not that bad only really noticeable at full lock when parking but I expect it does effect it as its caused by the conversion to right hand drive and effects all c class and glc that use grippy good branded tyres. On our old glc they fitted budget tyres making far less noticeable but you can notice it on my 2018 c43 saloon. Wouldn't let it stop you buying what is otherwise a great car though. For day to day I think the c43 might be better than the c63 for many as still very fsdt for road use with better mpg and 4wd, just a shame looks a bit normal models.
Yeah, Merc confirmed it was caused by the conversion to RHD. You can see there's zero ackermann on full lock, so the inside wheel and outside wheel effectively fight against each other.

The issue in itself wouldn't worry me, but just the impact it seems to have on tyre life. The fronts barely last 10,000 miles it seems?
My GLC has all season tyres on it and they've all done 36k miles now, and they still have a fair bit of life left in them(4mm). Plus they're wearing even too, so I've been very impressed in fairness.

I was a little worried about the crabbing issue, but you only notice it when turning sharply in multi storey car parks.

Chestrockwell

1,486 posts

98 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
stuart_83 said:
Which is exactly what I ended up doing.

Mercedes wouldn't offer more than £1k discount, and I'm pretty sure at the time it was something like 5.9% APR. It's as if they didn't want to sell me a car.

BMW on the other hand dropped about 25% off without bartering, and offered it on 0%. Sorted the MPPSK afterwards.

No wonder you hardly ever see any C43's out there. Shame as it was my preferred choice.
It’s a weird one because to lease, BMW’s are a lot more expensive than the equivalent Mercs with never any stock, always a long lead time yet to buy privately they give you massive discounts and deposit contributions. Mercs on the other hand are dirt cheap to lease with lots of stock and to buy, you get no discounts at all.

I actually prefer the look of the Merc, love the plush interior with the fancy looking seats and silver buttons everywhere, but to drive and own, I much prefer my BMW. It’s a car I see myself owning for years without it eventually rattling on the inside or looking knackered quite easily. I’d lease a Merc for 2 years but I wouldn’t keep one for any longer

andrewparker

3,471 posts

128 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
Looks so much better with proper exhausts. I’m very tempted by one, albeit in wagon form.

nickfrog

9,644 posts

158 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
fatboy b said:
That is one gopping dash, still with a stick-on iPad.

Pure comedy.
There had to be someone commenting on this. I find the dash looks great so that must be subjective. I reckon it's not an iPad, I reckon it's not stuck. I reckon it's the result of precise ergonomic work and that it's functionnaly brilliant as a result even if it upsets some people who don't own one. Can't see any comedy either, pure or otherwise.

janesmith1950

2,848 posts

36 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
One of the pre-update ones passed me the other day. It sounded louder than I remember my M3 being, though the papp on the full throttle upshift just sounded pants, worse than the manufactured overrun crackles on the M3. It would drive me nuts.

carparkno1

893 posts

99 months

Tuesday 18th December 2018
quotequote all
stuart_83 said:
Chestrockwell said:
I’d still rather buy a 440i over this with the sound and power kit over this however I wouldn’t say no to a cheap lease deal.
Which is exactly what I ended up doing.

Mercedes wouldn't offer more than £1k discount, and I'm pretty sure at the time it was something like 5.9% APR. It's as if they didn't want to sell me a car.

BMW on the other hand dropped about 25% off without bartering, and offered it on 0%. Sorted the MPPSK afterwards.

No wonder you hardly ever see any C43's out there. Shame as it was my preferred choice.
I've just done the same as well on a 440i.

Personally I think the beemer looks better and handles better which also swayed the decision. Dual exhausts instead of those OTT quads. The merc interior is technically better but that tablet dash still put me off immediately.

And as you say, the 440i deals are absolutely immense right now.