Mercedes AMG C43 Wagon: A True Sport Utility


Station Wagon.  I know the word is eliciting images of Chevy Chase cruising down the highway in his Ford Country Squire with Christie Brinkley in her Ferrari 308 teasing and enticing him.  Now let’s dissect that scene for a moment. Christie Brinkley was and is, arguably an attractive woman, hot some would say. Chevy Chase on the other hand, in my humble opinion and not fact does not exude that typical machismo of say, Henry Cavill or Chris Evans.  So, something clearly sparked Ms. Brinkley’s interest. Let me suggest if you would that the Ford Country Squire was the catalyst of Ms. Brinkley’s desires prompting her to present her invitations…

Outside of North America the proverbial station wagon occupies a large segment of the car buying public.  They embody the versatility of a SUV but the size and maneuverability of a sedan. It may be an autojournalist thing, but they look sexy as hell and tend to exemplify the whole sleeper movement.  The question is why don’t North Americans give more love to the station wagon. I believe a large reason for this is that wagons have tended to be very slow and heavy machines. They were historically not the most attractively designed vehicles.

Well Mercedes has taken their arguably best selling sedan and given it the AMG massage and placed an extended hatch in place of the boot.  The result is the Mercedes AMG C43 Wagon, a rip snorting, practical, usable European muscle car that once again, take my word for it, looks awesome.

Let me begin with the statistics.  Under the sculpted hood lies a twin turbo charged V6 which is good for 385 bhp and 385 lb-ft.  That translates to a nearly mid 4 second sprint to 100, plenty of get up and go for the soccer mom utility vehicle.  The sport utility is an extremely apt definition for this vehicle with emphasis on sport. The C43 wagon provides a low center of gravity and combined with AMG adaptive dampers, the C43 can carve the B-Roads with the best of them.  Add to this the ability to carry a 10×10 tent in the back, if the need arises, and you have the best of both worlds. Traction is gained by Mercedes 4Matic system with a 69% rear wheel bias.

The interior of the C43 is purpose built with highly bolstered front seats combined with red seat belts hinting of what the C43 can do.   The older Mercedes infotainment system is adequate but after being in the new A Class and CLA it makes me long for Mercedes new MBUX system and its ease of use.  The nicest part of the interior is the meaty flat bottom AMG wheel with Alcantara inserts and red accent stitching and the most striking part of the interior is the prominent carbon fiber center console.

The C43 in my eyes embodies what a sport utility vehicle should be, especially in the day to day sprawl of an urban lifestyle.  The majority of SUV car owners do not take their SUV off-roading or into the back country. However they do hit the road for trips up to to the local ski mountain or the out of town natural springs hotel.  With the right set of tires the C43 can handle anything you can throw at it and looks good doing it. I just hope I run into Christie Brinkley while cruising down the highway in a C43, something tells me I would fare better than Chevy Chase.