2017 Mercedes AMG C43 Coupe is a Not So Smooth Operator (Review)


2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is a not-so-smooth operator THE GOOD

The C43 Coupe looks just aggressive enough, and its turbocharged V6 will never stop being fun THE BAD The ride is never not harsh, leading to an uncomfortable experience on less-than-ideal road surfaces The infotainment system feels old, too THE BOTTOM LINE

The Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is absolutely worthy of the AMG badge it wears, but you'll want to keep a chiropractor on call I wasn't the first person to jump up with excitement when Mercedes-AMG announced that it would be incorporating a second, lower tier of performance vehicles AMGs, to me, have always stood as wild variants of otherwise-sedate luxury cars with immensely powerful engines When AMG announced the -43 lineup, packing turbocharged V6 engines, I clutched every pearl I could get my hands on But then I drove one, and I grew out of that phase

While they may not pack the same outlandish sound and feel as the -63 lineup, the AMG -43s are still boatloads of fun, offering just-crazy-enough performance with similar trimmings at a lower price point Sounds good on paper, and feels good in meatspace Aggressive, but not trying too hard Just as the C43 is a mid-tier AMG, its aesthetics are slightly aggressive, but not overly so Compared to a standard C300 Coupe, the C43 has angrier front and rear bumpers, black mirror caps and black window surrounds

Our tester had the $200 Night Package, which blacks out the front wing, rear diffuser insert and tailpipes, too, which was a nice touch for not a lot of dough Our tester also carried an excellent shade of white paint — Designo Diamond White — but it comes with a $1,515 premium For white paint that's only slightly different than the free white paint Hustle worthy of the badge, but the ride The real gem of this car is its engine — a 3

0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 putting down 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque All-wheel drive is standard, as is a nine-speed automatic All three of these components work together in harmony, providing more than ample traction as the V6 grunts and snorts its way down the street, flicking through the gears smoothly enough as to be nearly imperceptible If you aren't going to row through the gears yourself with the shift paddles, leaving the transmission in Comfort mode is probably best, unless you like unnecessarily high revs at commuting speeds — Sport is okay, but Sport+ holds revs for far too long in normal driving situations Hit-or-miss tech

Mercedes-Benz has a wide variety of technical gadgetry, and your experience will largely depend upon how much money you feel like throwing at your dealer Our tester had what I would consider the middle ground of tech The optional $2,650 Premium 2 package gives the C43 SiriusXM-based traffic and weather, a touch-capable infotainment controller, power folding mirrors, an electronically operated trunk and ambient lighting If safety systems are your hang, you'll have to shell out $5,550(!) for the Premium 3 package, which adds adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and all that good stuff How I'd spec it

The C43 Coupe starts at $55,900, but you probably won't stop there Nor should you, if you want your car loaded with some degree of creature comforts And I'm a weirdo, so my personal C43 carries some extra frippery that I feel enhances the experience I opted for $720 Dakota Brown paint, saving a bit of money over the more expensive Designo Diamond White our tester had I'd stick with the aesthetically pleasing $200 AMG Night Package, too

Inside, a $325 black ash wood trim upgrade gets rid of the annoying-to-me gloss black trim I'd also replace the red seatbelts with black ones, because red is too flashy for me Down to brass tacks The C43 is a mid-tier sports coupe, and thus, only really competes against automakers who created similar offerings It's perhaps closest to the Audi S5 coupe, which is a little cheaper at $54,600

The S5 has more power but less torque, and it also comes standard with automatic braking It's more efficient in both city and highway driving, too Its other chief competitor is the Infiniti Q60 Opt for the top-tier Red Sport 400 trim, and you get a 400-horsepower V6 and all-wheel drive for a starting price of $54,000 It's nearly equal in terms of fuel economy, but it falls short of the Mercedes when it comes to interior quality and infotainment

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