2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic Review: Power Play

Published on 20 Nov, 2023, 5:30 AM IST
Updated on 22 Nov, 2023, 9:18 AM IST

Pratik Rakshit
Pratik Rakshit
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2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic

The AMG C43 was always known to have that sweet spot between thrill and practicality and we're here to put it to the test.

The 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 marks a departure from its predecessor, bidding farewell to the V6 engine in favour of a turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant inspired by Formula 1 technology. Positioned as the flagship model in the C-Class lineup in India, the AMG C 43 always maintained a balanced marriage between thrill and practicality, but its price tag of over a crore in the market, makes it the most expensive offering, even more than its closest German rival. Despite this, the AMG C 43 is the most powerful C-Class that you can buy in the current market, and in an ideal world, is meant to be more than just your daily driver.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic: Engine

Beneath the 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43's hood resides a distinctive 2.0-litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, a departure from the previous 3.0-litre twin-turbo setup. What sets this powerplant apart is not only the shift in displacement and configuration but also the meticulous craftsmanship at the Affalterbach manufacturing plant in Germany, injecting a touch of heritage and authenticity into the C43.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic

Displacement

1,991 cc

Max Power

402 bhp @6750 rpm

Peak Torque

500 Nm @ 5000 rpm

Transmission

9-Speed Automatic

With a robust 402 bhp and 500 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm, the engine introduces a "boosty" feel, in contrast to the prevalent trend of turbos peaking at lower rpms. The C43 achieves its peak power at 6,750 rpm, showcasing a penchant for exhilaration at the top of the rev range. However, it falls slightly short of the C63 S E Performance in acceleration, with a subtle dip (4.6 seconds) compared to its predecessor's impressive 4.2 seconds for the 0-100 kmph sprint. Despite this, the new drivetrain brings commendable attributes to the table.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic

The optional AMG Real Performance Sound exhaust introduces a new auditory dimension to the C43, from a growl upon ignition to a wild symphony when the pedal is floored. It caters to AMG sound aficionados with an honest roar that complements the car's dynamic persona.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic: Handling & Dynamics

The C43's steering impresses with its well-weighted and remarkably precise feel. Enhanced by four-wheel steering, the sport sedan exhibits confident and poised handling, delivering an agile experience that rewards driving enthusiasts. The clever permanent all-wheel-drive system allocates torque with 31 per cent to the front wheels and 69 per cent to the rear, contributing to a neutral stance on the corner exit.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic

The braking system proves excellent and remarkably communicative, showing no signs of fade during testing and establishing repeatability as one of the car's standout attributes.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic: Transmission

While the 9-speed automatic transmission with a wet start-off clutch provides crisp shifts during aggressive acceleration, it does reveal a downside during more subdued throttle applications, particularly in traffic. The shifts can translate into noticeable jerkiness, highlighting an area for improvement to enhance the C43's daily usability.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic: Interior

Moving into the cabin, the dash of the 2023 Mercedes-AMG C43 boasts beautiful displays, but the overall interior doesn't entirely align with the upscale expectations associated with the brand. Despite stylish metallic fibre-weave trim on the dashboard, there's a notable presence of plastic, with the material enclosing the transmission tunnel standing out as subpar. The centre console's cheaper-feeling plastic imitation is another detail that doesn't quite meet the brand's usual standards.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic

But it takes all the appreciation for its light game, especially the ambient lighting and I feel that no one does it better than Mercedes-Benz.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic: Exterior

Even on the outside, the AMG C 43 doesn’t disappoint. The AMG-specific styling cues make it extra special. The silhouette turns heads wherever it goes especially in this Selenite grey hue looks extra special.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic

Overall, the exterior doesn't scream a sports sedan, though its look gives away a lot more than what it truly means to display. Like any other Mercedes, the AMG C 43 very subtlely and elegantly puts its point through, unlike the BMW M340i which doesn't believe in hiding its true colours.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic: Price & Verdict

Despite its hefty price tag of Rs. 98 lakh (ex-showroom, India), the 2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 delivers a driving experience that sets it apart. Its closest rival, the BMW M340i is priced at Rs. 71.50 lakh (ex-showroom, India) and that's some margin between the two apart from the fact that BMW employs a much more potent powertrain under the hood. Despite all this, the ride dynamics and overall potency from its smaller yet powerful F1-derived engine ensure that it outweighs the minor grievances, resulting in a long-term grin on the face. In the realm of midlevel sport sedans, the AMG C 43 distinguishes itself as one of the most engaging options, if not the most engaging experience, providing enthusiasts with a compelling blend of performance and practicality.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic

Photography By: Apoorv Choudhary

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