2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG C 43: a driver’s car with looks

You, too, can become a member of the entry-level Mercedes-Benz AMG club at the bargain admission price just south of $75,000.

It’s a somewhat exclusive club, to be sure, but the 2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG C 43 coupe is nothing, if not a driver’s car that directly targets gear heads across the globe.

Let’s cut directly to the chase. The AMG C 43 is powered by a 3.0-liter, V6, bi-turbo engine paired with a fast-reacting, rear-biased, AMG performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive transmission.

The numbers don’t lie. The C 43 accelerates from 0-to-62.137 miles per hour (metric conversion) in 4.7 seconds. It delivers a peak 383 lb.-ft. of torque in a broad speed band from 2500 to 5000 rpm. Top speed is electronically limited at 155 miles per hour.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk looks. As in “if looks could kill.” The ladies in the office almost lost it upon first glance – I’m talking the C 43 – not me. Let’s just say the C 43 was black and beautiful.

From the front, the AMG radiator grille with twin louvers in matt iridium silver stands out. From the side, the aerodynamically optimized AMG light-alloy wheels catch the eye. And from the rear end, it’s two round twin tailpipes in high-gloss chrome that serve as eye candy.

The optional AMG styling package creates highlights which are even sportier: the more expressive front splitter, standard-fit spoiler lip, broader side skirt inserts and flics in the rear bumper are finished in high-gloss black.

The C 43’s interior conjured a retro style, with clean lines and luxurious trim. Optional AMG performance seats provide optimum lateral support when adopting a dynamic driving style, thanks to the special design of the seat side bolsters of the seat cushion and backrest. As an option in conjunction with cranberry red and black leather upholstery, the seat side bolsters can be perfectly adjusted by means of built-in air cushions.

There is seating for four, but the back seat is cramped, just ask my brother. Sitting behind a 6-foot-4 monster in the front seat, and a steeply raked roofline, was a bit confining. The trunk, however, was large enough to fit three golf bags, with part of the rear seat folded flat.

Whether with touchpad and controller, touch control buttons on the steering wheel or via voice entry, the operating system of the C 43 4MATIC is just as versatile as it is flexible. All options are aimed at enabling the control tasks to be carried out as conveniently, quickly and appropriately to the situation as possible in this sporty environment.

Creature comforts that I enjoyed were Apple CarPlay, which allowed us to listen to Hank Crawford on Spotify en route to Gold Mountain Golf Course, the panoramic moon roof, heads-up display visible to the driver through the windshield, heated steering wheel, Burmester surround sound system and XM radio. But that list just scratches the surface.

The car’s driver assistance package ($1,800) delivers active distance assist, active steering assist, active lane keeping assist, active blind spot assist, active brake assist with cross traffic alert, active emergency stop assist, active speed limit assist and route-based speed adaptation. Unbelievable.

Base Price: $58,445

Price As Driven: $75,075

Base price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.

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