Four cylinders instead of V6, but 18 PS more. Is this downsize a minus? With 408 PS, the Mercedes-AMG C 43 AMG 4Matic combines decent sporty performance with top-class comfort, thanks to the excellent adaptive suspension.

Photo: Adrian Barbu, Răzvan Măgureanu

Compared to the old AMG C 43, the new generation has an inline 4-cylinder engine (M139l – l for longitudinal installation) instead of a V6 and is a 100% AMG model, whereas the old model was part of the AMG Performance sub-division, briefly set up by Mercedes in response to BMW M Performance. But it’s not just the engine configuration that’s different, it’s also the turbo that’s electrically driven. A small, only four cm-thin motor driven by the 48V mild hybrid system, is integrated on the turbo shaft between the turbine wheel on the exhaust side, running up to 175,000 rpm, and the compressor wheel on the intake run. The result is a direct and linear response across the rev range.

Refined and spontaneous

With 408 PS compared to 390 before, the differences in performance are small (0-100 kph in 4.6 seconds compared to 4.7) but the new electrically driven turbine engine is much more refined and linear. There’s not the slightest delay in power delivery, whether we’re talking about starting from a standstill or accelerating from 100 to 160 kph, for example. The engine twists and turns as smoothly as an electric one, and the spontaneous response makes you believe it has more than 408 PS on display.

The 9-speed automatic gearbox doesn’t quite live up to the engine, though. It has a long gear ratio between first and last gear, which helps with economical highway driving where you can get 9 l/100km at highway speeds, but in Comfort mode, it has some breaks in shifting, and in Sport mode, it’s sometimes indecisive. However, its indecisiveness is hidden somehow by linear torque delivery in all conditions, but not all the time.

Although it has only four cylinders, the engine has a full, bassy, typical AMG sound that can be further enhanced by the engine’s flappy exhaust system, not artificially through the speakers, and you can adjust the tonality of the engine from a knob on the steering wheel. The exhaust is real even though there’s a single exhaust pipe on each side that terminates in two pipes.

Ideal steering

The AMG C 43 version comes standard with variable, all-wheel steering with the rear wheels angled in the opposite direction to the front wheels by 2.5 degrees up to 100 kph and in the same direction by 0.7 degrees over 100 kph, and AMG Active Ride Control adaptive suspension. All-wheel drive with a 69/31% predominantly rear-wheel distribution is also standard.

The driver has Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual programs at his disposal, which are operated from the rotary knob on the lower right of the steering wheel, but he can also individually adjust the drivetrain dynamics, suspension, and engine response either from the touchscreen of the multimedia system or from the second rotary knob on the steering wheel on the lower left.

With the suspension in Comfort mode, the AMG C 43 rides smoothly and comfortably, decently damping even short bumps and bridge ruts, with the moderate 18-inch aero wheels shod with 245/45 R18 tires contributing to the very good ride comfort.

On the Sport+, the suspension visibly stiffens and is a major difference from the Comfort, with roll reduced significantly. This chapter is exactly where the AMG C 43 excels, as the suspension makes a big jump between Comfort and Sport+, satisfying very different requirements.

At the limit, the car is slightly understeerable, and with only a lighter 4-cylinder engine located longitudinally, positioned half behind the front axle, the understeer effect is moderate. The variable and integral steering is precise and direct and, unlike the BMW, it doesn’t have that nervousness around center point, being more linear. In Sport mode, the steering force is increased and is optimal for sporty driving.

review Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC 2024

The interior is the familiar C-Class but adorned with AMG-specific elements. In addition to the two rotary knobs for controlling the driving modes, we find the AMG Performance steering wheel flattened at the bottom, covered in nappa leather, perforated in the grip area, with imitation aluminum pads, AMG sports pedals and AMG seats covered in artificial leather upholstery and a kind of black Alcantara with red stitching and red seat belts.

The digital instrument cluster has two additional attractively designed layouts – Supersport and Track Pace (includes a library of the world’s top race tracks and records over 80 parameters). Unfortunately, thanks to the aero, almost closed rims, you can’t see the silver-painted AMG calipers that assure a top deceleration as quickly as acceleration. The AMG Performance seats are positioned very low, have not very hard upholstery, and offer very good lateral support for the backrest and average for the cushion.


Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic offers a superb compromise between two worlds: it’s super comfortable in Comfort mode and sporty in Sport+, and the engine with electric turbo is refined and spontaneous in response. The graphics offered by the digital instrument cluster are attractive, and the price is 30,000 euros below the AMG C 63. Is everything perfect? It would have been if the gearbox had also risen to the level of the engine.

  • Linear engine response throughout the rev range
  • Comfortable suspension on Comfort mode
  • Small roll in Sport+ mode
  • Gorgeous graphics for the digital instrument cluster
  • Variable integral steering and adaptive suspension as standard
  • Reasonable price compared to the performance and the top AMG C 63 model
  • Authentic AMG sound, even if it is only a 4-cylinder


  • Indecisive gearbox in Sport mode and with pauses in changes in Comfort mode
Model Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic
Engine type L4, turbo
Displacement (cc) 1,991
Max.power/revs (PS/rpm) 408/6.750
Max. torque/revs (Nm/rpm) 500//5,000
Electric engine (mild hybrid 48V)
Max. power (PS) 14
Max. torque (Nm) na
Traction 4wd
Transmission 9G-Tronic
L/w/h (mm) 4,791/1,824/1,450
Wheelbase (mm) 2,865
Boot capacity (l) 455
Kerb weight (kg) 1,840
0-100 kph (s) 4.6
Top speed (km/h) 250
Fuel consumption (l/100 km) 8.7
CO2 emissions WLTP (g/km) 197
Mercedes-AMG C 43 AMG 4Matic (euro, with VAT) 84,246

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