2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe

2018 Mercedes AMG C43 40 560x373After Mercedes redesigned their C-Class sedans in 2015, we waited with baited breath for the coupe and convertible to get their new look. Now it’s here and one of the more awesome packages for the C-Class Coupe is with the C43 from AMG.

AMG is the performance arm of Mercedes-Benz and they’ve done their excellent thing to the C in the turbocharged 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43. It’s available with both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive as well as a new transmission to go with the new moniker (the C43 was previously the C450).

We spent a week in the 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe as an everyday driver, living the good life. The most compelling parts of the 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 are its new exterior design, its improved drivetrain, and the best interior you’ll find in the luxury coupe class. The 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 starts at around $56,000 MSRP.

Exterior

2018 Mercedes AMG C43 41 560x373Everything about the 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 says that it’s a luxury coupe with no qualms about its classic beauty. The prominent Mercedes logos are unmistakable for their credibility and the lightly curved lines speak volumes to the C43’s quality of movement.

The 2018 C-Class has a wide grille with aggressive under-grille intakes. The hood rises gracefully from that grille, smoothly rising up to the windscreen, leaving plenty of room for a well-engineered powerplant underneath.

Along the body, a light arc is seen as the lines flow from the front headlamps to the rear, bowing slightly to apex at the door cut before moving downwards again. This hint of an arch in the bodywork adds movement to the exterior and a strong sense of class as well as Mercedes branding. The 2018 C43 Coupe has a much lighter arc than does the longer sedan, giving the two-door a more straight-edge appearance.

The wheels on the 2018 AMG C43 are not pushed out to the edges, as might be expected on a sports coupe like this, but are instead inset a bit to give more overhang. Especially in front. This promises a luxurious, comfortable ride in the C43 coupe rather than a purely sport-centric rattle.

Interior

2018 Mercedes AMG C43 8 560x373The interior of the 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 coupe is very nicely done and matches the expectations one would have of a superbly-made German luxury car. Individually, elements within the C43 are made up of high-quality materials with fine craftsmanship. All together, they make for a whole that is a blend of old world class and modern luxury.

The infotainment in the C43 is relatively easy to use, but seems a bit out of place with its lack of integration into the cabin and somewhat dense menu-driven interface. The COMAND knob near the shifter is easy to get used to using, but can be a little hokey at times with menu selections and entries. Prompts, however, are smooth and fast, but higher-end infotainment options such as a WiFi hotspot are not available.

We do like the driver controls and their layout, though the lower-left steering column position for the cruise control is annoyingly easy to bump accidentally or toggle when reaching for the turn signal switch above it. We’d prefer that be on the steering wheel as buttons, as has become near-universal.

Probably the best aspect of the 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43’s interior, though, is the seating. The driver and front passenger are treated to some of the most adjustable, well-designed seating in the business. Bolstering is just right to handle the C43’s performance capabilities without getting in the way of more comfort-oriented, sedate everyday driving duties. The back seats are mostly for show in the coupe, of course, and offer little in the way of roominess.

Finally, those who do bring their gear along for the ride will find plenty of places to stash or store it throughout the Mercedes-AMG C43’s cabin. Trunk space is also good for this coupe.

Performance

2018 Mercedes AMG C43 30 560x385The 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that muscles out 362 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque. This enters a nine-speed automatic transmission and exits in standard rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive (4Matic) is available as an option. One can expect to see sub-5-second 0-60 times out of the C43 Coupe without much practice.

Fuel economy in the 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is rated by the EPA at 23 mpg combined, with 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Most drivers will not see those numbers, however, because they require sedate, conscientious driving on the open road. That feat requires Herculean amounts of misguided self-discipline; the kind that’s on par with going through life having always turned down cheesecake. That kind of lifeless living is not the stuff of those who would opt to purchase a machine like the AMG C43.

Instead, the 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe’s performance capabilities should be treated like a very well-distilled and barreled whiskey or finely-wrapped cigar: taken often, but in moderation so the joy is not lost with overuse.

2018 Mercedes AMG C43 52 560x373In everyday driving situations getting to and from life’s more mundane requirements, the C43 will do nicely as a comfortable, well-designed luxury coupe. It glides smoothly, carries itself confidently, and remains easy to maneuver. It’s timeless class when seen from the exterior is not lost when sitting inside the cabin.

Yet when the time is right, pressing the accelerator, winding down a highway or snaking along a canyon road will bring the AMG portion of the C43 to the fore. The C43 Coupe corners effortlessly with efficiency that makes not for boredom, but for a pleasurable tingle of control as it responds to the inputs of the driver. Throttle response, steering, and braking work in concert to welcome the driver’s hands and feet in rhythm.

Our opportunity driving the AMG C43 included both that week behind the wheel, driving every day, as well as a chance to put it onto an ice driving course on a lake in Colorado. There, we found that the C43 Coupe allows for spirited, performance-driven fun. Turning off traction control resulted in wonderful tail skids and snow-throwing glides around a gymkhana course.

Overview

2018 Mercedes AMG C43 42 560x373The 2018 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe is a beautifully-designed and engineered car that delivers both daily luxury and comfort in a package that allows for excitement. The C43 gives the confidence of daily-driving stability and control alongside the thrill of powerful maneuvering and fast-paced muscle under the hood. This is a beautiful car for those who want more than just another luxury coupe.