Mercedes-AMG C43 Es­tate

It may not shout quite as loudly as the C63, but then our lat­est Fast Fleet ad­di­tion is all about go­ing ‘un­der the radar’

Evo - - FAST FLEET - Adam Towler (@Adamtowler)

SAY HELLO TO THE NEW­EST MEM­BER of the evo Fast Fleet, and pos­si­bly one of the most use­ful, too. Com­pact yet spa­cious, fast what­ever the weather, smart but at the same time rather dis­creet – yes, the Mercedes-amg C43 Es­tate has an aw­ful lot to of­fer.

Nat­u­rally, who wouldn’t de­sire the drama, per­for­mance and sound­track of its 469bhp, V8-en­gined C63 big­ger brother? But in the real world you’d also have to be will­ing to put up with the sub-20mpg fuel con­sump­tion, and while light­ing up the rear tyres is en­ter­tain­ing, so the thought of the C43’s ef­fec­tive four­wheel-drive trac­tion is also very ap­peal­ing. In fact, the C43 Es­tate feels like it could be a real sweet spot in the AMG line-up, and that’s what we’re look­ing to con­firm or quar­rel over dur­ing our up­com­ing six months with the car. Anec­do­tally, it seems the C43 fam­ily of mod­els are sell­ing well, with re­ports from deal­er­ship floors sug­gest­ing an in­creas­ing num­ber of cus­tomers who would have cho­sen a large-en­gined diesel C-class turn­ing to the C43 as an al­ter­na­tive. With its of­fi­cial com­bined fuel con­sump­tion of 34.9mpg, the C43 doesn’t ap­pear too thirsty on pa­per (time will tell on that one) and the lure of 362bhp and a stonk­ing 383lb ft from the twin-turbo 3-litre V6 is cer­tainly a draw in it­self.

Or­der­ing time was, frankly, ex­cit­ing, be­cause when is spec­c­ing a new car, real or imag­i­nary, not? For our car, I wanted it to look as dis­creet as pos­si­ble. Af­ter all, a daily work­horse es­tate armed with more than 360bhp – that’s a car ide­ally suited to

be­ing un­der the radar while go­ing about its po­ten­tially very fast busi­ness.

So I went for metal­lic black – I’m al­ways a bit un­sure about black es­tates for their fu­ne­real qual­i­ties, but the choice is lim­ited – and did with­out the win­dow tints and big­ger wheel op­tions to tone down the ag­gres­sion and im­prove the ride qual­ity. Es­sen­tially, I wanted it to look like a hum­ble diesel-en­gined ‘AMG Line’ model but with a real sting in the tail, and hav­ing seen one of those in the same colour the other day I can con­firm it fooled me. Sadly, I wasn’t al­lowed to de-badge our car, but that would have com­pleted the sub­terfuge.

Mercedes were keen for us to try the £1695 Driver As­sis­tance Pack­age, but I have to say, I’d rather keep that sort of cash in my pocket. You probably won’t be sur­prised to hear it in­cludes much of the lat­est safety tech, such as Blind Spot As­sist and steer­ing as­sis­tance. I’ve switched much of it off so far; maybe I’ll be con­verted over the com­ing months.

We’ve got the Pre­mium Plus Pack­age (£2995) on there as well, which in­cludes the Burmester sur­round sound sys­tem and a panoramic roof, but I’m more in­ter­ested in the stuff we re­ally wanted: the £825 head-up dis­play, the £545 LED In­tel­li­gent Light Sys­tem and the £1000 AMG sports ex­haust.

The head-up dis­play is sim­ply a nice thing to have, but the LED lamps are won­der­ful. Not only are they pierc­ingly bright, but they can also morph their beam ac­cord­ing to on­com­ing traf­fic and the road it­self. Nor­mally I’d in­stinc­tively shy away from any­thing that took away from a driver’s in­puts, but I have to ad­mit that once you’ve used this par­tic­u­lar piece of tech it seems point­less go­ing back.

As for the sports ex­haust, there’s a bit more to that par­tic­u­lar tale. Be­fore our de­fin­i­tive Fast Fleet C43 turned up, I had the use of a vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal car for a pe­riod. Iden­ti­cal, that is, apart from the ab­sence of the sports ex­haust. If you’d asked me then as to whether that was a box worth tick­ing, I’d have said ‘keep the grand and at­tract less at­ten­tion at the same time’. How­ever, not only do the AMG pipes give you a laugh­ably rude ex­haust note with the valves open, but with them shut the tone is much sweeter than the bland tone of the stan­dard back boxes. I’d now say don’t buy a C43 with­out it.

For more pearls of Amg-based wis­dom, and to see how we get on, look out for fur­ther re­ports in the com­ing months. In the mean­time, if you’re run­ning a C43 let us know how you’re get­ting on via the usual chan­nels.

‘I wanted it to look like a hum­ble diesel- en­gined “AMG Line” model with a real sting in the tail’

Dateac­quired Jan­uary 2018 To­talmileage 1660 Mileageth­is­month 1474 Cost­this­month £0 mpgth­is­month 25

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.