The Mercedes-AMG C43 we’re running as a long-term test car has what you might refer to as a ‘punchy spec’. And by that, I mean we got carried away and added a fifth of the car’s base price on as optional extras.
After some time on the configurator, we inflated the £51,200 on-the-road cost of a C43 estate to £62,065. Yep, getting on for £11,000 in options, which is surprisingly easy to do on a premium car like this.
We’re mostly happy with the options we’ve added, but if we did it again, there would be a few adjustments to rectify the mistakes we made. Which were…
These £595 black 19s look fab paired with the Designo White Metallic paint, but there’s a problem: the ride. Granted, we haven’t had a chance to compare to a C43 on 18-inch rims (an incoming test on a C63 with 18s will give us some sense), but the ride is more brittle than expected, and I suspect the bigger wheels are the main culprit, with the run-flat tyres potentially being a factor too. They’ll look great for our photos, at least…
There’s nothing particularly wrong with this - the interior of the C43 is a very nice place, and black Artico (man-made leather) seems like a natural choice. But I’ve since been back on the configurator and realised what I should have done is specced it in ‘Saddle Brown’. Doesn’t it look resplendent specced thusly?
As you might have noticed, our car doesn’t actually have this - although we asked for it, Mercedes’ PR people said no, fearing it’d push the price with options rather close to a base C63. They had a point, and in any case, the car looks great without it, so I’m really not sure it’s worth splashing £1260 on, particularly when this is supposed to be the more restrained AMG’d C-Class.
I know, I know, bucket seats on something like a C-Class estate is - like a load of carbon stuff - a bit silly. This is another option Merc talked us out of, and I’m glad - the memory seats we have instead are wonderfully comfortable and still plenty supportive.
A no-cost option which is selected as default in the configurator, which I now wish I’d have unticked. They’re just a bit uncouth in a car like this, aren’t they?
Like the seats, I’m not unhappy with the way this option makes the cabin look. But in hindsight, the open-pore ash wood option (above right) is just a little classier and more befitting of the car’s character. At £195 vs £700, it’s also a considerably cheaper option.
The priciest single item on the menu is the £4995 Premium Plus pack, and it’s worth the outlay - a C43 with this added won’t leave you wanting for much. It includes a parking package, the brilliant Burmester sound system, keyless entry, a panoramic sunroof, mobile phone connectivity, and much more besides.
A driver assistance package was added for £1695, bringing this like autonomous emergency braking and steering assistance into the mix. An AMG performance exhaust was £1000, while the paint is £895 - sounds a lot for white, but it does look great in the metal. Rounding off the spec is £385 for privacy glass, handy in my case as the car will often have a four-year-old sitting in the back who’d rather not be blinded by the sun.
What do you think of the way we optioned this C43? Would you do anything differently?