Today's Test Drive: 2019 Mercedes AMG C43

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I took a CPO 2019 AMG C43 for a drive today. Herewith my impressions:

The Design:
Exterior- Definitely a M-B; the styling is neither exciting or offensive- the same script followed by the G20 3er. The extra cost Cardinal Red is attractive, but rather subdued.
Interior(overall)- Black leather with red stitching. Very attractive and well designed. A very different control structure compared to a BMW, but it would be easy enough to learn. One demerit: The "Natural Grain Black Ash Wood Center Console" looks like "100% Injection Molded Plastic".
Seating- As comfortable as BMW sport seats- maybe even a touch better. AMG offers a true sports seat akin to the ones offered in BMW M cars, but you inevitably have to special order it as dealers know they aren't AARP approved.
Instrumentation- The virtual instrument display is much better than BMW's hockey-stick design( which saddles you with a tach that runs counterclockwise). HUD is optional but this car doesn't have it. Like the M Performance cars and their M badges, the C43 scatters AMG badges everywhere(including the IP) to remind you it's almost "The Real Thing."
Steering Wheel- A flat bottom design. I learned shuffle-steering for the track and the flat-bottom makes it a pain. Nice red stripe at 12 O' Clock, though. It has a power telescoping tilt column, which I can easily do without, as in I invariably set it once and forget it.
Telematics- Essentially equivalent to BMW's setup, with the exception of the control wheel/touchpad- I much prefer how BMW combines the touchpad and control wheel into one assembly.
Shifter- I hate, HATE, H A T E the column shifter; it gives me flashbacks of the times that I was sentenced to the purgatory of driving my father-in-law's Park Avenue. Ugh.

The Drive:
Engine- Just adequate; the C43 is supposed to be quicker than my M235i, but if anything it felt slower.
Transmission- The nine speed M-B autobox can't compare to the ZF 8HP used by most every other luxury car company. I floored it at 75 mph and there was an extended pause before the transmission decided on a gear and took off. My 2er would have left if for dead.
Brakes- A bit more touchy than the BMW brakes I'm used to, but I could easily adapt. Like BMW, M-B is cutting costs and using floating calipers at the rear. I like fixed calipers at all four corners.
Suspension- I've read that the suspension is very stiff and uncomfortable. Wrong; if you find that the C43 suspension calibration to be too aggressive you are either a wimp, a wuss, or a hand-wringing bedwetter. Even at the stiffest setting both my wife and I found the ride to be more than acceptable. The car had lots of grip(credit the 19" wheel package and Continental SSR summer rubber) but it felt a bit numb. Not bad by any stretch- just not entertaining.
AWD- Sadly it's standard. I know how to drive and the car has less than 700 hp, so I would happily do without it.

Bottom Line- A very nice luxury/sports sedan. A driver coming out of a mainstream family sedan would think he/she died and went to Heaven. Me, I want something considerably more involving- with RWD and preferably with two fewer doors.
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Suspension- I've read that the suspension is very stiff and uncomfortable. Wrong; if you find that the C43 suspension calibration to be too aggressive you are either a wimp, a wuss, or a hand-wringing bedwetter. Even at the stiffest setting both my wife and I found the ride to be more than acceptable. The car had lots of grip(credit the 19" wheel package and Continental SSR summer rubber) but it felt a bit numb. Not bad by any stretch- just not entertaining.
AWD- Sadly it's standard. I know how to drive and the car has less than 700 hp, so I would happily do without it.
Do you live somewhere with good roads?

Because that's a pretty hard charging statement if your only experience with a car is on warm dry smooth roads

Nothing with the 19" wheel rides well in my area, but usage case varies
 
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IMO you need the extra 20.

The extra power takes the car from ok to hilarious.

Edit: I guess the upcoming C63 will be a hybrid, so 🤷
 

MCompact

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Do you live somewhere with good roads?

Because that's a pretty hard charging statement if your only experience with a car is on warm dry smooth roads

Nothing with the 19" wheel rides well in my area, but usage case varies
I drove it on a section of interstate that is currently under repair- with a lot of mismatched pavement. No complaints. I stand by my statement.
 
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MCompact

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IMO you need the extra 20.

The extra power takes the car from ok to hilarious.

Edit: I guess the upcoming C63 will be a hybrid, so 🤷
I wonder if the transmission had adapted to a lazy(geezer) driving style. Perhaps it can be reset like the 8HP?
 
Joined
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I took a CPO 2019 AMG C43 for a drive today. Herewith my impressions:

The Design:
Exterior- Definitely a M-B; the styling is neither exciting or offensive- the same script followed by the G20 3er. The extra cost Cardinal Red is attractive, but rather subdued.
Interior(overall)- Black leather with red stitching. Very attractive and well designed. A very different control structure compared to a BMW, but it would be easy enough to learn. One demerit: The "Natural Grain Black Ash Wood Center Console" looks like "100% Injection Molded Plastic".
Seating- As comfortable as BMW sport seats- maybe even a touch better. AMG offers a true sports seat akin to the ones offered in BMW M cars, but you inevitably have to special order it as dealers know they aren't AARP approved.
Instrumentation- The virtual instrument display is much better than BMW's hockey-stick design( which saddles you with a tach that runs counterclockwise). HUD is optional but this car doesn't have it. Like the M Performance cars and their M badges, the C43 scatters AMG badges everywhere(including the IP) to remind you it's almost "The Real Thing."
Steering Wheel- A flat bottom design. I learned shuffle-steering for the track and the flat-bottom makes it a pain. Nice red stripe at 12 O' Clock, though. It has a power telescoping tilt column, which I can easily do without, as in I invariably set it once and forget it.
Telematics- Essentially equivalent to BMW's setup, with the exception of the control wheel/touchpad- I much prefer how BMW combines the touchpad and control wheel into one assembly.
Shifter- I hate, HATE, H A T E the column shifter; it gives me flashbacks of the times that I was sentenced to the purgatory of driving my father-in-law's Park Avenue. Ugh.

The Drive:
Engine- Just adequate; the C43 is supposed to be quicker than my M235i, but if anything it felt slower.
Transmission- The nine speed M-B autobox can't compare to the ZF 8HP used by most every other luxury car company. I floored it at 75 mph and there was an extended pause before the transmission decided on a gear and took off. My 2er would have left if for dead.
Brakes- A bit more touchy than the BMW brakes I'm used to, but I could easily adapt. Like BMW, M-B is cutting costs and using floating calipers at the rear. I like fixed calipers at all four corners.
Suspension- I've read that the suspension is very stiff and uncomfortable. Wrong; if you find that the C43 suspension calibration to be too aggressive you are either a wimp, a wuss, or a hand-wringing bedwetter. Even at the stiffest setting both my wife and I found the ride to be more than acceptable. The car had lots of grip(credit the 19" wheel package and Continental SSR summer rubber) but it felt a bit numb. Not bad by any stretch- just not entertaining.
AWD- Sadly it's standard. I know how to drive and the car has less than 700 hp, so I would happily do without it.

Bottom Line- A very nice luxury/sports sedan. A driver coming out of a mainstream family sedan would think he/she died and went to Heaven. Me, I want something considerably more involving- with RWD and preferably with two fewer doors.

I took a CPO 2019 AMG C43 for a drive today. Herewith my impressions:

The Design:
Exterior- Definitely a M-B; the styling is neither exciting or offensive- the same script followed by the G20 3er. The extra cost Cardinal Red is attractive, but rather subdued.
Interior(overall)- Black leather with red stitching. Very attractive and well designed. A very different control structure compared to a BMW, but it would be easy enough to learn. One demerit: The "Natural Grain Black Ash Wood Center Console" looks like "100% Injection Molded Plastic".
Seating- As comfortable as BMW sport seats- maybe even a touch better. AMG offers a true sports seat akin to the ones offered in BMW M cars, but you inevitably have to special order it as dealers know they aren't AARP approved.
Instrumentation- The virtual instrument display is much better than BMW's hockey-stick design( which saddles you with a tach that runs counterclockwise). HUD is optional but this car doesn't have it. Like the M Performance cars and their M badges, the C43 scatters AMG badges everywhere(including the IP) to remind you it's almost "The Real Thing."
Steering Wheel- A flat bottom design. I learned shuffle-steering for the track and the flat-bottom makes it a pain. Nice red stripe at 12 O' Clock, though. It has a power telescoping tilt column, which I can easily do without, as in I invariably set it once and forget it.
Telematics- Essentially equivalent to BMW's setup, with the exception of the control wheel/touchpad- I much prefer how BMW combines the touchpad and control wheel into one assembly.
Shifter- I hate, HATE, H A T E the column shifter; it gives me flashbacks of the times that I was sentenced to the purgatory of driving my father-in-law's Park Avenue. Ugh.

The Drive:
Engine- Just adequate; the C43 is supposed to be quicker than my M235i, but if anything it felt slower.
Transmission- The nine speed M-B autobox can't compare to the ZF 8HP used by most every other luxury car company. I floored it at 75 mph and there was an extended pause before the transmission decided on a gear and took off. My 2er would have left if for dead.
Brakes- A bit more touchy than the BMW brakes I'm used to, but I could easily adapt. Like BMW, M-B is cutting costs and using floating calipers at the rear. I like fixed calipers at all four corners.
Suspension- I've read that the suspension is very stiff and uncomfortable. Wrong; if you find that the C43 suspension calibration to be too aggressive you are either a wimp, a wuss, or a hand-wringing bedwetter. Even at the stiffest setting both my wife and I found the ride to be more than acceptable. The car had lots of grip(credit the 19" wheel package and Continental SSR summer rubber) but it felt a bit numb. Not bad by any stretch- just not entertaining.
AWD- Sadly it's standard. I know how to drive and the car has less than 700 hp, so I would happily do without it.

Bottom Line- A very nice luxury/sports sedan. A driver coming out of a mainstream family sedan would think he/she died and went to Heaven. Me, I want something considerably more involving- with RWD and preferably with two fewer doors.
View attachment 114449
View attachment 114450
Sweet ride. I've Always wanted a Mercedes. I'm thinking an LT5 swap with a 7 speed manual transmission swap.
 
Joined
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Mercedes is well known for needing a transmission reset to wake up the response.

And if you need more power, there's always the C63 or E53 or E63.

Sweet ride. I've Always wanted a Mercedes. I'm thinking an LT5 swap with a 7 speed manual transmission swap.
Basically nobody does stuff like that on Mercedes. It's typically so expensive it's not worth it. Most are just engine mods or tunes for more speed, no engine swaps.
 
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One thing about BMW breaks. You have 3 different compounds available. S2NHA is one that is aggressive. It is European set up. P337 (you might have these) and base are developed for NA market for people who don’t want dust.
 
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the tct is designed for veggies you need 9 speed mct found on real amg. the old 7 speed mct was the dumbest shifting transmission i’ve ever drove and the new one really impressed me

c63 is still pretty slow out the box but easily solvable, and of course rwd only
 
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Joined
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the tct is designed for veggies you need 9 speed mct found on real amg. the old 7 speed mct was the dumbest shifting transmission i’ve ever drove and the new one really impressed me

c63 is still pretty slow out the box but easily solvable, and of course rwd only
He is also comparing to M235, and that thing is one of the best, if not the best BMW’s made in the last 20yrs. MB won’t be as dynamic regardless of engine. Fast? Yes.
 

OVERKILL

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Your review reminds me a bit of the GLC 63 AMG I reviewed:
 
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Sounds about spot on.

My wife had the AMG seats in her C300 coupe and they would not stop creaking. I probably would've suggested that she buy her car when it came off lease but I felt the suspension was just worn out at 35k miles. It is not forgiving on city streets w/19" rims and low profile RFT. Never mind that she blew through tires like no tomorrow and there was only 1 tire option (RFT Conti SSR 280 tread wear).

She has a 230i on order. Delivery date 11/22.
 
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