Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Breathtaking Brethren; the 'Baby' of Benz's Performance Range Is Certainly Worthy of Its Prestigious Badging

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Breathtaking Brethren; the 'Baby' of Benz's Performance Range Is Certainly Worthy of Its Prestigious Badging

Article excerpt

Grant Edwards

Value

Consider this the bargain of the hallow sporting AMG range. At $105,615 plus on-roads for the coupe (the wagon is $1215 less expensive), you can save more than $50,000 if you can go without the V8 found in the C63.

Designed as a mid-size entree to the full-bore AMG feast, the C43 has all the good stuff you'd expect like big 19-inch alloys, Burmester sound system, full leather trim and a colour screen with sat-nav.

Comfort

Red stitching on black leather. The sculpted dash with chrome vents and ash-black console materials. Then there's the flat-bottom sports steering wheel with alcantara grips. All the hallmarks of Mercedes quality are there, yet with a sporting edge.

Sampling both the wagon and the coupe, it was two ends of the space spectrum.

Rear legroom in the two-door is, as you would expect, dependent on front passenger generosity. Adults can fit, although those looking for a family chariot would be better suited to the estate or sedan options.

No matter which body you choose there are lovely figure-hugging sports seats in the front - just remember the controls are door-mounted and not on the floor.

Ride quality is impressive despite the sports suspension, although you can stiffen things up courtesy of a "dynamic" toggle for some extra fun in the bends.

Driving

Anything with a 0-100kmh sprint time less than five seconds equals enjoyment. Select Sport or Sport+ from the personality selector and it unleashes the C43 from its restrained daily duties.

Sure you can spin around in Comfort (and there is even a fancy exhaust button to improve the sound), but it's the sporting options where the twin-turbo V6 comes alive with bangs and crackles and delivers some near brutal power. Not quite as bad-ass as the V8, although not remarkably short of its brethren either.

There is a tendency for it to feel light at the front, almost like a front-wheel drive on occasions, despite the torque distribution of 33% to the front and 67% rear. …

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