AMG C43 vs. The World: Does It Really Deserve All the Hate?

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Big power, premium features and the AMG badge don’t earn the C43 proper respect. But some beg to differ. 

While Mercedes-Benz obviously has the final say in what is and is not an AMG model, there are some members of the automotive community who will insist that certain vehicles “aren’t AMG” enough, and the C43 is one of them. Forum member AMG C43 3LV6 recently posted a thread in the C450/C43 subsection discussing the undue negativity surrounding his Mercedes-Benz, asking the community why some people have such a distaste for the 362-horsepower coupe.

Introduction

When the OP started his thread on the hatred for his high-performance Mercedes, this was his question for the group:

“This is something that has perplexed me a lot I have read a lot of articles about the C43 and the surprising comments that seem to come up a lot is just how ugly the car looks. Im not a fan of the sedan mind you, but thats because I wanted a coupe to start with. But a lot of negative comments about the C43 either sedan or coupe really surprise me, whether that be the style of the car or the interior often being referred to as cheap as plastic. I have honestly never thought of it like that even once. If anything I was overwhelmed of how gorgeous it looked.

When I first saw this car it was love at first sight. I was initially looking at the E300 but I felt it was a bit too slow for my liking and a bit too big for a coupe. The C43 was the perfect sweet spot. In Australia the C63s is like $60k more and for me it was never an option. Not to mention that once you start getting into that area there is a lot of cars to consider. For the price of my C43 it wasn’t a hard decision at all.

Surely a lot of you posters that have read reviews that have come across comments in the section really bashing this car down. I’m just not sure why?”

He also included a link to an article reviewing the car, in which the vast majority of the people commenting had nothing but negative things to say about the AMG C43. Later in the thread, he shared a picture of his white C43, shown above.

Mercedes-Benz AMG C43

Community Replies

The first person to reply was waisoserious who pointed out some ways in which the AMG C43 is similar to past AMG models.

“It’s mainly snobs/AMG-‘Purists.’

Nevermind that the C32 or E55 was just a C320 with a supercharger or the E55 was a bored out 500 with a SC. People always gotta find a reason to say why they’re better than you etc.

Edit: Also the C32 and CLK55 had brakes off a S430/S500, with AMG printed on them. Barely anything from AMG is really really “bespoke”. The whole 1 man 1 engine thing is just marketing.”

Owner ryanSTL shared mixed opinions on his car, while having an overall positive view:

“I agree the AMG C43 gets too much hate considering the all-weather performance, PE sound, and ability to configure the car with luxury or stripped down (value) specs. i have a stripped down C43 coupe that I negotiated down to $52k. It sounds lovely, is plenty fast, and still offers a nicely appointed interior well above most / all BMWs.”

I don’t think the car visually looks great from the dealer. There are certain perspectives of view where both the coupe and sedan are a bit ugly. I feel my silver color makes it even more bland. Wheel choices from the factory are boring. The lack of choice in aftermarket splitters, sills, etc is a big disappointment for me (coming from BMW).”

Though he believes most of the hate is skin deep with the car, he believes this phenomenon is essentially keeping the prices low on the vehicle. He is resolute with getting a new model C43 in the future with some fascia upgrades, or with slightly bumped up specs at a great value.

“Nothing else interests me at $50-$60k price point. I keep checking dealer inventory hoping to see more.”

Netboy took a humorous approach to answering:

“It’s ok. they mistaken the C43 as a CLA. haha
actually it happened to me.”

As did 503C43 ////AMG

“Using ‘1 man 1 engine’ as what constitutes if it is an AMG or not is laughable. If AMG saw fit to put an AMG badge on it, then it is an AMG.

I wonder if the same people would think that Nike’s weren’t Nike’s if they weren’t sewn together by hand by kids in China. 1 kid 1 Nike.”

AMG V12 Biturbov

NYC365 chimed in as an owner with some negative input of his own, essentially disqualifying most of the modern AMG models:

“I currently own a C450/C43, and even I think the biggest issue with the car is throwing on the AMG badge when the car is not 1) “1 man, 1 engine”; 2) V8 biturbo OR V12 biturbo; 3) Not made in the Affalterbach AMG factory. Other than that, the car looks and drives great. It has been a blast and I have no complaints.”

Despite his cynicism, NYC365 believes the AMG C43 serves its purpose well, for what it’s worth. He tells the OP that he shouldn’t worry about what others think and enjoy his car to the fullest. But being a purist typically means that just because you make concessions on a vehicle’s power, handling and comfort doesn’t mean you’re comfortable with putting a coveted brand logo on just anything.

“The fact is, it is not a real AMG, no matter how you try to work your way around that. I’m sure you can consider it to be partly an AMG – in a YES or NO question of whether it is an AMG, to qualify as a full blown AMG it must be 100% AMG, and you can only get that with a 63 or 65 today.”

However, forum member Munis offered the following rebuttal:

“I will keep it short and simple. Does it say AMG in the rear? It is an AMG then. Customers do not get to name the car, the manufacturer does. This is not even an argument. You can keep rambling on what kind of a recipe makes an AMG, but it is a moot point. AMG can make 3 wheeler tomorrow with a 2 stroke engine and call it an AMG. They decide what the term AMG entails.

Munis continues the sharp rebuke by saying you can’t argue the merit of the AMG badge and what car gets it based purely on engineering. So it makes no sense to compare higher-end models like the C63 biturbo V8 to the AMG C43 V6, as they are clearly in different classes.  

“Look down upon the C43 at your own peril though. Real life scenarios differ. At least that is what I saw at the track. As long as you avoid trying to race a 43 from a dig, you should be fine.”

Click here to head into the forum to read the input on others pertaining to why the AMG C43 is or is not a proper AMG model, as well as offering your own insight on the topic.

Join the MB World forums now!

A lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years, Patrick Rall is highly experienced in the automotive world. He has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now auto journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

“Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500,” says Rall. “He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car: a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16. Meanwhile, I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

“Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group,” adds Rall. “While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

“Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never ‘work’ a day in your life. I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

“My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

“Being based on Detroit, I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.”

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