Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic Wagon: Premium performance and versatility

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By Asian Journal Auto Editor

The Mercedes-AMG C43 is a stellar example of a modern compact high-performance car from the esteemed German automaker. Key components of the Mercedes AMG range are to use the most powerful engines in their class, fitted in superbly engineered chassis. A host of performance upgrades and jewel – like cabins are finished for any AMG to easily match arch rivals Audi’s S Line and BMW’s M Series.

The subject of our test was the Mercedes AMG C43 wagon, an exceedingly rare beast in this part of the world, although it’s a popular option the Europe. The C43 is also available as a sedan, and comes off a 2019 revamp, the C43 now offers optional digital gauges, a new standard 10.2-inch infotainment screen and new interior upholstery and trim choices. It looks really cool with its elongated silhouette and neat unfussy lines.

There are new lights for 2019 and a smart twin-louvre front grill. Priced at a base $76,380, the list of standard features is long, while desirable options include such AMG niceties as carbon-fibre interior trim, 19-inch twin five-spoke rims. Spoilers and aero packages. The 385 hp 3.0L biturbo six-cylinder engine, has been tuned and massaged for optimum power. Transmission is via a 9 speed auto with manual mode. Other changes include a retuned AMG Suspension system with adaptive dampers. Also standard are an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential, rear torque vectoring and dynamic engine mounts. The C 43 can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds

Step into the interior into the rather firm seats, but nigh on perfect seating position and you are greeted with a new 12.3-inch fully digital dashboard screen as standard. A chunky flat-bottom AMG Performance steering wheel outfitted in Nappa leather and Dinamica micro suede comes as party of the AMG Driver’s Package. This steering wheel, features a plethora of buttons that let the driver adjust elements within the gauge cluster display, as well as adaptive cruise control, infotainment and phone controls and voice commands. Instrumentation is via a fully digital gauge cluster and the 12.3-inch digital instrument display that can be fully optimized to display information in a number of ways. Additional customization can be adjusted on the centre console, and via rotary controller to activate the instrument display. Oh, did I forget the racy red seatbelts!

Fancy toys include active exhaust control auto-stop/start functionality, and the optional Driver’s Package that also features AMG Track Pace that via an app within the Command system allows you to monitor and store performance data during track driving, including acceleration, speed, and lap times. Other interior options include a touchpad controller, a 360-degree-camera, navigation, audiophile quality Burmester surround sound system, foot-activated power tailgate, wireless phone charging, Interior wise the ambient lighting can be adjusted among 64 colour choices. The rear cabin is roomy enough for two large adults or three kids at a push. The wagon has a 490-litre rear cargo area, expanding to 1,510 litres with all the seats folded near-flat. The rear hatch door is power operated affair with foot tap auto open feature.

On the road, the wonderful sounding 385 hp 3.0L biturbo six-cylinder engine. It’s all rally sounding pops, snarls and burbles. Acceleration is smooth, brisk, Steering was precise and direct with good feedback. The multiple drive modes allowed for Comfort, Sport, Sport +, or Individual, which allows the driver to customize their preferences for suspension, steering, and throttle response. The adaptive, multimode suspension features three-stage electronically controlled shocks.

This is no springy luxo wagon, the suspension although not race car rock hard is very firm in the sport settings, allowing for spot on handling. Switching to comfort mode allows a little more latitude. You can use a Sport manual shifting option available on the nine-speed transmission via the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. I loved the balanced handling. The low center of gravity, weight distribution and comparatively low curb weight, all mean a smooth, athletic driving experience. Sport and Sport + driving mode beef up engine response – adjusting a number of parameters, including throttle mapping, transmission shifts suspension stiffness and of course the intoxicating exhaust note. Fuel Consumption is rated at (City / Highway / Combined) L/100km: 12.4 / 8.9 / 10.8.

To sum up, the C 43 AMG Wagon and is one of the most desirable models in my opinion from the C-Class lineup. Down sides are few, the hard seats and firm ride may not be for people who like cushy, plush, soft- riding cars. But with its versatile wagon format, superb V6 engine, and delectable premium interior, the C43 is well worth the rather expensive asking price. That unique exhaust note by the way will let everyone know you have arrived!

2019 Mercedes AMG C43 4MATIC wagon. Base priced from $59,900 – $76,380. More info at www.mercedesbenz.ca