Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan

Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan. Picture: Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan review: ICKY thump

Hailing from East London, the Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan is as proudly South African as it is heart-stopping to drive.

Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan

Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan. Picture: Mercedes-Benz.

It takes only a few minutes behind the wheel of the all-new Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan to realise what a feat of engineering it is. A barrel-chested bulldog of a sedan, it is constantly straining at the leash with a devilish glint in its eye, that’s the ballistic Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan for you. And it’s a hybrid, would you believe it.

TRENDING: Elite Cape Town Highway Patrol Unit shows impressive results

Best of all, this modern-day Germanic muscle car has all the swagger and bravado of an AMG, but beneath that gorgeous sheet metal it is a technological tour de force. The Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan is a smiling assassin, with a criticalness to its demeanour that no one could anticipate.


Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
The new Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan built in East London is a real looker. Picture: Mercedes-Benz.

Because it is a legitimate AMG, it features a hand-built turbocharged engine behind its toothy grille. This time around it’s not a 4.0-litre V8 or 3.0-litre V6. Nope, in keeping with the times it is an engineering masterpiece. A box-fresh 2.0-litre four-cylinder with a mild hybrid system that boosts efficiency, reduces turbo lag and provides 10 kW ‘push to pass’. Before you bemoan the lack of cylinders, just understand that the performance from this Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan is simply mind-boggling.

ALSO READ: Current vs. NEW SA driving licence cards compared

Say hello to 300 kW and 500 Nm of torque. Zero to 100 km/h is dispatched in 4.6 seconds. And the way the power is delivered eggs you on to rev it out through every gear. The East London juggernaut has a fantastic launch control system which is as simple as selecting Sport+ and flooring the throttle with your other foot resting on the brake pedal. The dashboard lights up, the seatbelts tighten, and you do 4.6-second acceleration runs every time. What a spectacle!


Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan interior. Elegant, high-tech and sport. Picture: Mercedes-Benz.

It’s got all the dual-screen MBUX goodness you’d expect from the latest C-Class. There’s a carbon fibre-plastic finish to the transmission tunnel which looks great but did creak and squeak in our test unit. The digital driver’s display has countless performance indicators that you may or may not be interested in.

ALSO READ: Application to EXTEND driving licence validity denied

Live telemetry like your throttle and braking trace is probably overkill, because not even a Formula 1 driver can watch and interpret such data in real time. Live information on tyre pressure and temperatures of your standard-fit Michelin Pilot Sports is very cool though. It’s fascinating to watch how quickly your tyres warm up from a cold start.


Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan. Picture: Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-AMG know how to make great four-cylinder performance cars. Anyone who’s driven an AMG A45 S will know what we’re on about. The C43’s soundtrack is deep and mechanical with a hearty burble at idle. With revs the drama builds quickly and reaches a satisfying crescendo at redline. In Sport+ with the performance exhaust switch toggled on the multi-function steering wheel, there are some monumental cracks and gurgles when you come off the throttle. Job done.

ALSO READ: Excellent outlook for December 2023 fuel prices

The nine-speed transmission is smooth and shifts seamlessly not matter you pace. Sport+ shifts compliment the eager turbo motor. Rolling performance is mighty, so don’t worry about the paddles and just let the transmission kick down as you’re hurtled towards the horizon at a wicked pace. The Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan is 4Matic, of course, so traction is never in short supply. These all-wheel-drive systems are so efficient there’s rarely a hint of understeer. It’s just ‘arrive and drive’, in the words of the great Martin Brundle, no matter the radius of the corner.


Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan
Much more aggressive looking than a garden variety C-Class. Picture: Mercedes-Benz.

The only changes we’d like to see on the Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan, is a suppler ride quality. It really rides too harshly most of the time, and a little bit more torque. AMGs are famous for being torque machines, and as sporting and engaging as the electrified turbo four is, a few newtons more would seal the deal for us.

ALSO READ: Everything you need to CROSS borders legally with your car

Nevertheless, the Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan makes up for it with unrelenting grip, which ensures it is brilliantly surefooted. Whether you want to drive neatly and accurately or beyond the limit of traction by over-speeding into corners, you can always enjoy it and it will keep you safe. Best of all, because it hails from East London, like the mighty Boks, it’s something to be genuinely proud of in this world.


  • Best for: Quick, connected, totally unintimidating to drive flat out.
  • Not so sure: We miss the V8 soundtrack. Expensive options.
  • Figures: Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan 4Matic
  • Engine: 1 999 cc 4-cyl turbo petrol
  • Power: 300 kW, 500 Nm
  • Performance: 4,60 sec 0-100 km/h (claimed/tested)
  • Gearbox: 9-speed auto
  • Economy: 11,80 l/100 km (tested), 9,10 l/100 km (claimed/combined)
  • Tyres: Michelin Pilot Sport 255/45/R19
  • Braking: 100 km/h – 0 in 2,88 sec (tested)
  • Price: R1 625 660 (starting)

Did you enjoy this Mercedes-AMG C43 Sedan review? Be sure to click here for more car reviews from The South African.