More often than not, our closets will be full of clothes that are made for various occasions.
At the same time, there will also be that one shirt which can be used for any occasion, the one that comes to the rescue when we just can’t decide what to wear.
This is usually one’s favourite football club jersey, or a nice and comfortable T-shirt with a cool quote which can be worn to the mamak, the office (for some jobs), parties, family gatherings, the club, a date, or even the gym.
Similarly, the Mercedes-AMG C43 sedan which we’re looking at here is also a bad boy who is fit for all occasions.
Now, don’t let the C43 moniker fool you because as much as it sounds like a performance oriented model, it is genuinely a jack of all trades.
Here to fill in the gap between the C350e AMG line and the manic V8 powered C63 AMG, the C43 AMG 4MATIC made its Malaysian debut in CBU form in May 2017 at an asking price of RM499,888.
Mercedes-Benz Malaysia then took many of us by surprise a year later by announcing that the model is now being assembled locally in Pekan, Pahang.
Thanks to the CKD initiative, the C43 AMG’s price dropped by a massive RM91,000 to RM408,888.
On the upside, we now have a more affordable model from Affalterbach, but on the downside, this model didn’t really receive the nod of approval from AMG purists because the 43 series’ engine is not hand-assembled like the V8s in the 63 series.
Instead, the 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 engine comes off a regular production line, just like any other engine made by Daimler.
Paired to the mass-produced engine is the 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic torque converter gearbox which sends the power to all-four wheels via the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, which distributes torque in a 31:69 front-to-rear ratio.
Despite the reduction in price, the list of standard equipment in the CKD model remains the same as the previous CBU unit, comprising:
At a glance, one may mistake the C43 for an AMG-kitted C250 or C300, but look closely and you will find the few things which set the 43 apart, giving it a slightly bolder look than its four-cylinder siblings.
First in that list is the honeycomb grille upfront which takes most of the attention. And then we have the Night Package, comprising a blacked out front lip, panoramic roof, and wing mirrors which give the car the bad-ass look it has.
Move to the side and you will notice the 19-inch AMG two-tone five-twin-spoke alloy wheels, the huge brake discs, and the AMG brake calipers that send out one message clearly – this car means business.
Last but not the least; we have the AMG quad mufflers that constantly bring out the best tunes the 3.0-litre V6 engine has to offer.
Despite all the sporty add-ons, the C-Class’ curvaceous silhouette makes sure that elegance is always there the mix.
Not only is it classy enough to be used as a wedding car, but it is also sporty enough to earn the owner some credit if he or she decides to drive it straight to a car meet or a track day.
Upon opening the doors of the C43, we were greeted by the black Artico man-made leather seats and the designo red seat belts. The black and red theme is carried over throughout the cabin with a generous dosage of piano black trim, and contrasting red stitching across the dashboard, on the seats, and also on the steering wheel.
As in other C-class models, the C43 AMG features a beautifully finished contemporary dashboard which flows into the centre stack where there is a deep storage compartment and a pair of cupholders, ideal for storing objects like our mobile phones, the Smart Tag, house keys, and what not.
Further up we have the 8.4-inch infotainment display which provides all the information we need about the car, the music, and also the surroundings.
All commands are completed using Mercedes’ COMAND controller and a touchpad that is positioned above the controller. The system is seamless, quite straight-forward, and easy to use.
Where space is concerned, the C43 AMG, like other C-Class models, is ideal for four adult occupants.
There is more than enough head and legroom in front but the rear is cramped up. It can still fit 3 people but it is not going to be a very pleasant experience.
What we love the most about the C43’s cabin is how it comes to life at night. The moment it gets dark, the ambient lights take charge. Complemented by the panoramic roof and the Burmester premium audio system, it was quite an experience to be in the C43, cruising around town while jamming to our favourite tunes.
The C43’s 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 engine might not have been hand-built traditionally but its performance and behaviour is unmistakeably AMG.
Paired to the competent transmission, the 4MATIC AWD system, the sharp and precise steering, and the capable suspension system, we have a car that is super quick, super responsive, and super composed.
The C43 comes with a selection of different drive modes, including Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual, all of which modify the settings for the engine, transmission, suspension, and steering.
There is also the AMG Ride Control feature which comes as standard, which electronically adjusts the stiffness of the dampers. The user can modify the system settings manually using a switch on the center console, choosing between Comfort, Sport, and Sport+.
With so many options available at our fingertips, we could have the C43 in a very well behaved manner, almost as comfortable as the C180 when we were driving around town.
When things were getting a little mundane, all we had to do was push the “Dynamic” switch up a couple of notch to Sport and Voila! All hell broke loose.
With the 4MATIC AWD system constantly keeping thing in check, providing all the grip we need and instilling confidence to keep going, we just couldn’t get enough of the C43 AMG.
In case you’re thinking, “Haiya, big engine, twin-turbo some more, fuel consumption sure f**k kaw high,” let us remind you that we clocked an average of 10.2 l/100 km after driving the car through a combination of city traffic, B-roads, and highways.
To put things into perspective, that is better fuel economy than what you get from a Proton Inspira 2.0P.
The current C-Class sedan is a model that has proven itself in the market over the past couple of years with its design, equipment offered, reliability, and also comfort.
Even in the forms of the C180 Avantgarde, C200 AMG Line, C250 AMG Line, and the C350e AMG Line, the model was well received among Malaysians, but more power is always good news, isn’t it?
So, if you’re someone who has been looking for a decent German compact premium sedan but feel that the power and performance level of the regular C-Class and its direct rivals just don’t cut it, the C43 AMG is the model to look at.
But as powerful as it is, the C43 AMG is also a car which you can use on a daily basis without any qualms as it can be quite comfortable, has a huge boot for your grocery runs and what not, can sit a family of four without any issues, and offers decent fuel economy for a 3.0-litre V6 twin turbo engine.
So, just like the Manchester United jersey which you like to wear to the shopping mall, to parties, to work, and also to the gym, the C43 AMG is a car which you can drive to work, to the supermarket, a car meet, and also to the race track.