The 2020 Mercedes-AMG C43 hits the sweet spot, nicely blending civility and athleticism. Three different body styles are offered—a sedan, coupe, and convertible—one to suit everyone’s taste. All C43s are powered by the same twin-turbo V-6 engine, which makes 385 horsepower and provides plentiful power for all but the most discerning car enthusiast.
The C43’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 is a gem. Powerful and torque rich, the 385-hp engine pairs with a new nine-speed automatic transmission that swaps cogs with both speed and precision. The boosted six has deep wells of power and never feels overwhelmed or overworked when you call upon it. Despite the boost in power from 362 to 385 horses, the 2019 C43-Sedan delivered the same 4.1-second zero-to-60-mph time at our test track at 2017. While Mercedes-AMG equips the C43 with a pair of steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, we found the nine-speed gearbox a competent enough companion when left to its own devices. Befitting its AMG badging, the dynamically adept C43 is a joy to pilot through twisty two-lanes. Credit its quick steering that’s both direct and precise, as well as its rear-biased all-wheel-drive system that allows a dollop of chassis rotation before requesting additional assistance from the front wheels. The suspension can be adjusted between Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ settings. All three modes are needlessly stiff, however, and make driving over rough pavement a bone-jarring experience.