C43 AMG 10 Week Review

ShaneyB

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Oct 11, 2016
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159
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Middlesex
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C43 AMG Premium Plus
Hi all,
Just thought I’d give my initial thoughts on owning a C43 Coupe for a couple of months. These are my views only so don’t shoot me down if you disagree
with my opinion. Not the shortest thread but bear with me, I’m no journalist.

Spec - 66 Plate - C43 AMG Coupe – Obsidian Black - Premium Plus – Full Leather – Night Pack – Intelligent Lighting – 360 Camera – 19” Twin Spoke AMG Wheels

Cars since 2000 have been Audi S3/4’s & RS 4’s and more recently I spent 4 years in an E92 M3. I test drove a 2015 RS4 Avant, M4, M3 and new C63 before going for the C43 but wanted something a little different and AWD. Not as powerful as the others but quick enough to lose my license pretty quickly.

I have historically been anti MB but I can’t quite work out why. I always thought it was a marque I would get into when I was in my 60’s for some reason (no offence). I never seemed to like the interiors, the ‘clock’, or the body shapes. I really liked the look of the C43 Coupe though, quite understated and the reviews were all good at the time. It ticked a lot of boxes, quick, fits 4 people and my golf clubs in and doesn’t look too ‘flash’ when I take clients out. This is really important to me and I did consider the saloon for this reason but just preferred the look of the coupe.

Collection – Saturday 5th November
On collecting the car from my dealer I was quite surprised to find it was all covered in a black shroud with a bloody great big silver bow on the front. The wife loved it but me and my son didn’t know where to look. The ‘unveiling’ was embarrassing to say the least with random people taking pictures in the middle of the showroom – very easily pleased I guess. The handover went well and the sales guy was good but I would rather have had a longer tutorial going through Comand On Line and the other gadgets but on the flip side I also like to find things out for myself.

First Impression
Once the cover was removed and I saw my car for the first time all three of us really liked the look of the car. All black, looked sleek and understated which I like. I hadn’t seen the wheels in the flesh before and I have to say I think they look fantastic and for me 100% the right choice. They are the 19” AMG twin-spokes. Big tick in the aesthetics box from me and I was really looking forward to the drive from Essex to Watford. Score – 10/10

Cabin
Apart from the red seatbelts I absolutely love it. I won’t lie, I would prefer black belts but I now barely notice them and they work with the rest of the interior. I’ve also grown used to the afore mentioned clock! Initially I wasn’t sure about the Comand OnLine screen being permanently ‘out’ but again I love it now. Very clear, easy to read and it works really well. I would really like to understand the Comand system better as I don’t think I’m getting anywhere near full use from it. I’m sure there must be some way of adding shortcuts to get to menu’s faster but I’m struggling to find it. As mentioned previously nearly all switches, stalks, buttons are where they should be. Love the Pan roof which was a must on whatever car I bought and looking forward to the summer. Getting used to having the gear selection on a stalk was weird at first but getting used to it…slowly. Also not having the option of a real ‘manual’ gear lever still feels odd and I do miss that from the E92. Linguatronic isn’t great IMO and I have been through all of the Voice Recognition steps a couple of times. I will keep trying to get it right. Burmester system is excellent with really deep, rich sounds. The rear seems a bit of a squeeze for people actually getting in to the car but once in they have all been happy and comfortable so far. It has very good sized storage in the armrest along with 2 x USB slots and an SD card slot. Glove box is a good size but a weird deep shape – plenty of space though. Boot is bigger than the M3 and had a great little surprise I haven’t seen since my B7 RS4 – CURRY HOOKS! I think they’re handy for getting a little shopping home without everything spilling out in the boot. The cargo net was a welcome surprise too. I thought the hands free boot would be useless but I’ve used it loads so it’s turned out quite handy. Parking sensors could be better. I don’t get why they don’t make a noise when you first start reversing? You’re right on top of what’s behind you before they beep. Yes there are warning lights in the headlining above the rear seats but if I’m tight to a kerb I’m not looking in my rear view mirror to see them, I’m looking in my wing mirrors. Rarely use the camera, can’t seem to trust it. Really like the MercedesMe app. Score – 9.5/10


Comfort
I would have loved a nice 60 mile journey home through sweeping A and B roads but it wasn’t to be. Due to an accident the M25 was partially closed so I ended up having to cut through north London and spent 3 hours mostly sitting in traffic and fiddling with anything I could get my hands on. When I did eventually get back on to the motorway I found the car really comfortable compared to my old M3 and obviously the drive felt much tighter. Dunlop Sportmax was the tyre of choice which I was disappointed with as I’ve never been a fan. I had the older version of these on my B5 S4 and I hated them. I was concerned cabin noise may be an issue as it was previously but I was pleasantly surprised. The cabin was a really nice place to be with hardly any road noise at all. Seats felt plush and all switches, knobs and stalks felt right. Score – 10/10

Drive and Handling – Pre Run In
Even though it’s on finance (my first finance purchase) I still respect any car I drive and wanted to adhere to the manual and run the car in properly. I’d forever kick myself if I decided to keep it after 3 years but knew in the back of my mind that I’d ragged it from day one and it wasn’t quite running as it should. I did 1300 miles in Comfort, didn’t go over 4500rpm or 85mph. To be honest I quite enjoyed it and it is a great car to just leave in auto/comfort and cruise around in. It drives really smoothly, gear changes are slick, power delivery is good and responsive & the brakes seemed up for the job. I find there is quite a bad blind spot when taking right handers where the driver’s side wing mirror/diagonal of the door are. I’m only 5ft 8 but find myself sitting up and peering through the gap between the wing mirror and door frame to see kerbs etc. Crabbing Issue - I have to say I didn’t notice it at first but since the weather’s got wetter it does happen on full lock. All of my Quattro’s did it so I’m sort of used to it. I’m not saying it isn’t a problem but it doesn’t bother me as much as it does others on the forum. If I ease off of full lock a little it doesn’t happen. My dealer is aware. Score – 10/10

Drive and Handling – Post Run In
To say it’s a different car after 1500 miles is an understatement. The sound is fantastic. It’s not the V8 I’m used to or the roar of a C63 but it is a really distinctive, cracking sound none the less. The car still feels tight although I have noticed an intermittent clunky/sudden gear change when coming down from 5th to 4th. This only happens when changing down manually, not when the box does it automatically. Acceleration is excellent, pulls right up to the redline and use 'Hill Hold' if you want a quick getaway - very useful. Give it some in any gear then get straight off the gas and the popping from the overrun puts a smile on my face. On the up-shifts at speed I have seen a few pedestrians almost get whiplash when changing up going past them. Quiet it isn’t and chances of getting anywhere unnoticed are slim. Not pushed the brakes too hard yet as I'm still only doing a 14 mile stop start commute each day but they seem more than powerful enough for the car. As mentioned previously I really hate the tyres and when pushed I wouldn't trust the level of grip they offer. I will change these in due course but not sure what to yet. MPSS maybe? Having said that the grip was quite good when we had snow/ice and far better than the M3 when on the power. I generally now commute in Sport but more often than not can’t resist flicking into Sport + & manual box. Throttle response and sound is amazing and the traction when putting your foot down in the wet is impressive. Again comparing it to my E92 I think it would leave the Beemer standing in these conditions. Same also applies driving around the A & B roads in my area, traction when on throttle feels far superior and at high speed and much more stable. I’ve not really played too much with the suspension but I can say it only feels slightly harsher when you select the more sporty settings but the roads aren’t too bad where I am. I’ll find out more in the warmer weather when I can really push it. Score – 8.5/10 (scored down for clunky intermittent down-changes and crabbing.

Overall Verdict
Tough one to gauge for me as the weather is hardly perfect to push a car to my max but I am very impressed with it. It does feel a fair bit under powered/torquey (obviously) compared to its big brother but point to point, real world driving it is a bloody fast car. Sometimes I think it’s too loud for it’s speed….but then I look at the speedo and have to back off. I’ll always want more so I may consider a few mods later but at the moment I’ll enjoy it for what it is. Good looking, subtle, rapid and great fun to drive. Score 9.5/10

This probably isn't too useful for many and my writing skills aren't great but thought I'd post my opinion anyway :thumb:
 
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HB

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I really think this and the E43 are amongst the best real world cars Mercedes make. I would really like a C/E43 to replace our 350cdi when the time is right.
 

dejongj

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Sep 10, 2016
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GLC43 AMG
Nice and fair review. Personally I'd mark it down further for the crabbing but I agree with it otherwise.
 

Riverside Red

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Must say that looking at the tyre manufacturer was about the second thing I did when I picked my C63, thankfully they weren't Dunlop SportMaxx as I had them on my S5 and thought they were rubbish.

Mind the C63 has MPSS fitted and they are probably the worst tyres I've had when cold since my Honda S2000 days, the car always slides out of the junction at the end of our road if the surface is slightly damp.

The last couple of Mercs Ive had have had Conti 5Ps fitted, and have been excellent tyres wet or dry and pretty good in the cold.

By the way my C63 crabs slightly when reversing off the drive........

RR
 
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ShaneyB

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Joined
Oct 11, 2016
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159
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Middlesex
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C43 AMG Premium Plus
Must say that looking at the tyre manufacturer was about the second thing I did when I picked my C63, thankfully they weren't Dunlop SportMaxx as I had them on my S5 and thought they were rubbish.

Mind the C63 has MPSS fitted and they are probably the worst tyres I've had when cold since my Honda S2000 days, the car always slides out of the junction at the end of our road if the surface is slightly damp.

The last couple of Mercs Ive had have had Conti 5Ps fitted, and have been excellent tyres wet or dry and pretty good in the cold.

By the way my C63 crabs slightly when reversing off the drive........

RR

Glad you said that about MPSS as that's what I used on the M3.Never tried Conti's but open to trying them.
 

Riverside Red

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The MPSS are decent in the dry however and have plenty of "feel" in the wet once they're warm.

RR
 

DuncS3

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Sep 26, 2012
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Surrey, UK
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2017 C63S Coupe, 2005 E46 M3, 1988 Audi quattro
Good write up - like the C43, in fact I saw a 66 plate today that had the S badge, I assume they have done that themselves as there is no C43s (yet)...

I had sport max on my saloon, didn't really push them but was not convinced by them either - have got conti 5Ps on the new car and had them on my 507 - very happy with them. Funny as Dunlop Direzzas are probably the best track day tyre you can get, so Dunlop do make good tyres.
 
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ShaneyB

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Oct 11, 2016
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Middlesex
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C43 AMG Premium Plus
Good write up - like the C43, in fact I saw a 66 plate today that had the S badge, I assume they have done that themselves as there is no C43s (yet)...

I had sport max on my saloon, didn't really push them but was not convinced by them either - have got conti 5Ps on the new car and had them on my 507 - very happy with them. Funny as Dunlop Direzzas are probably the best track day tyre you can get, so Dunlop do make good tyres.

I'm not sure but could it be they are just a harder compound than others?? May explains why they are good track tyres and sh*te/harsh on the road?
 

DuncS3

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Direzzas are road legal but really track only, so completely different compound compared to a sport maxx
 

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