Wagons, also known as station wagons or estates, are not very common in North America; however, across the Atlantic ocean, there is quite a variety of estates/wagons available in the market place. At one time in American automotive history, these types of vehicles were very popular. Then the minivan came along and pretty much put an end to this body style of cars, but thankfully there are still a few wagons still on offer.
In Canada, there are only a handful of true wagons available to consumers, all by European manufacturers (and we’re grateful for that). One such wagon is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon, which is not offered to the south of the border, it is offered in two trims; the C 300 4MATIC and the C 43 4MATIC Wagons; last week we were handed the later for our weekly review.
Wagons are like unicorns in North America, you won’t find many on the road, but when you do, they’ll be surrounded by guys; for some reason a majority of guys are very attracted to this special form of the sedan. I’m not sure what the reason behind the love of wagons is, because I also personally love wagons, especially powerful ones like the Mercedes-AMG C 43 wagon. The reasons could be the fact that wagons are very practical like SUV/CUVs, but they still handle like sedans and are more fuel efficient than SUV/CUVs, and of course they’re so cool looking. Over the past week, I had many guys approach me in parking lots, just wanting to talk about the C 43 Wagon.
The base 2019 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC Wagon (these are offered with AWD only in Canada) has a starting price of $47,400, which can reach the $70,000 mark with all the available packages and accessories added.
The C 43 AMG 4MATIC Wagon has a starting price of $59,900 and can reach a price well into the $80k+ range with all packages. Below is a list of all the packages that can be added to the 2019 Mercedes-AMG C 43 Wagon:
- AMG Night Package $700
- Gloss black exterior accents
- AMG Performance Seats $2,300
- Red seats belts $250
- AMG Carbon Fiber $1,500
- Premium Package $5,900
- Integrated garage door opener
- Active Parking Assist
- Rear side window sunshade
- Touchpad controller
- 360-degree camera
- COMAND Online Navigation
- SiriusXM Radio
- Burmester Surround Sound System
- 10.25” high-res center display
- Foot-activated tailgate
- EASY-PACK power tailgate
- Wireless phone charging
- Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
- AMG Driver’s Package $2,000
- AMG Nappa/DINAMICA Performance steering wheel
- AMG Performance Exhaust System
- 19” AMG twin 5-spoke wheels
- AMG Track Pace
- Technology Package $1,900
- Active MULTIBEAM LED Lighting System
- Adaptive Highbeam Assistance
- 12.3” digital instrument cluster
- Intelligent Drive Package $2,700
- Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC
- Active Steering Assist
- Evasive Steering Assist
- Active Blind Spot Assist
- Active Lane Keeping Assist
- Active Lance Change Assist
- Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function
- Active Emergency Stop Assist
- PRE-SAFE PLUS
- Route-based Speed Adaption
- Traffic Sign Assist
- Extended Restart in Stop-and-Go Traffic
As you can see from the packages above, there are a lot of different features you can add to your C43 AMG Wagon. If I was buying one of these vehicles, which there’s a possibility in the future, I’d definitely add the AMG Driver’s Package and AMG Performance Seats, and possibly the Premium Package.
Like the CLS 53 AMG, the C 43 AMG Wagon doesn’t come with a hand-built V8 engine, found on “real” AMG cars. Instead, it’s equipped with an “AMG-enhanced” 3.0-liter biturbo V6 engine, which produces 385 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 384 pound-feet of torque between 2,500 and 5,000 rpm. Power is sent to all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission, with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. According to Mercedes, the C 43 AMG Wagon does the 0 – 100 km/h sprint in 4.8 seconds, but I felt faster than that to me.
However, if you must have a hand-built AMG V8 engine in your C-Class, Mercedes does offer the C63 and C63 S versions of this car, but only on the sedan and coupe in Canada. The C63 and C63 S AMG Wagons are available in Europe, fingers crossed those two versions of the car make it to North America.
According to Mercedes-Benz, the C 43 AMG Wagon should consume 12.4/8.9 L/100 km in city/highway driving, on premium fuel. For our weeklong test, the onboard computer showed 13.0 L/100 km in city driving, with a good amount of “spirited” driving.
Driving any AMG vehicle is always going to be fun, whether it has a hand-built V8 or not. The C43 AMG Wagon is no exception, it’s a great driving car that also happens to be very practical. The 3.0-liter biturbo V6 has an amazing sound, especially with the optional AMG Performance exhaust system. It’s loud, but not obnoxiously loud, even in the Sport+ setting.
The Mercedes-AMG C 43 Wagon comes with five driving settings: Slippery, Individual, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. For normal city driving, with traffic lights, stop signs, and lots of traffic, I mostly drove the car in the Comfort mode. The Comfort mode is perfect for city driving, and is the most fuel-efficient mode to drive in. This mode isn’t slow by any means, but the computer does slow down throttle response, the transmission upshifts at lower rpms, and the exhaust is in much quieter (it can manually be put in the louder mode at the push of a button).
The Sport mode makes things a bit more interesting by giving you a bit more of everything, but still not the maximum. To get the most out of the C43 AMG, the Sport+ is the mode you want to be in. When I wasn’t driving in the Comfort mode, the Sport+ mode was my go-to mode. In this mode the turbocharged engine gives you all of the available power, the transmission holds gears much longer and shifts are crisper, the suspension feels stiffer, and the exhaust is fully open to give you some spine tingling sounds (exhaust can be quieted down in this mode at the push of a button). I enjoyed this mode a lot, the C43 wagon feels very sporty and it’s really quick. I think the C43 AMG might just have a perfect balance of power and weight, the C63 wagon (available in Europe) might be a bit too much of a car for daily driving.
In the Sport+ mode, the exhaust makes a good amount of popping and crackling, especially if you’re shifting gears at or near redline. The power and sound are very addicting, and here I was led to believe turbocharged cars don’t sound good.
The suspension is on the sporty side, I thought the damping was on the harder side when I first picked up the car, but that was after driving the Mercedes-AMG CLS 53, which is grand touring car. But after driving it for a day, the suspension/damping felt just right. Even on rough roads, the suspension isn’t bone jarring and it behaves perfectly in tight corners. The steering has a nice weight to it, which is common on Mercedes-Benz cars. The steering wheel itself, which is an option and part of the AMG Driver’s Package, is a piece of art. I loved this steering wheel on the CLS 53 AMG and loved it on the C43 AMG Wagon, it has the perfect amount of thickness and is very comfortable to hold thanks to partially being covered in Alcantara.
Driving around in city traffic, you wouldn’t know this is a performance-oriented car. It behaves very civilized and can be very sporty when you put down your foot. Highway passing is a non-issue, however, in Comfort mode, you do need to floor the accelerator peddle to accelerate quickly, or dropping a gear or two via the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters accomplishes the same thing.
I have been a fan of the current generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class (W205) since it was first introduced in 2014. It’s hard to believe it has been five years since the car was introduced, yet it still looks very fresh. The C-Class wagon, to me, looks even sportier than the sedan and with the minor differences in styling with the AMG version, it looks absolutely fantastic.
Like I said earlier, wagons are not too common in this part of the world, so guys seem to appreciate them a lot. The C43 AMG Wagon was turning heads wherever I went, I had guys come up to me just to talk about the car. However, not a single girl gave the car a second look. I guess they don’t know what they’re missing or maybe assume it’s a family hauler, little do they know of the power under the hood.
The interior on the 2019 Mercedes-AMG C 43 Wagon looks very familiar if you’ve spent any amount of time in a modern Mercedes-Benz car. You’re greeted by three air vents below the infotainment system, the bigger CLS53 AMG had four of these vents with a different style for “blades” that decide the direction of the airflow.
Like the CLS, the C43’s interior is very simple and clean looking, but behind all this simplicity, there are a lot of menus and there’s a good amount of customization available. Having just spent a week with the CLS53, it took me no time to get familiar with all the features of the C43 Wagon. Unlike the CLS53’s large one-piece infotainment and gauge cluster screen (which was an option on our review car), our C43 Wagon had two separate areas for the gauge cluster and the infotainment system. The base C43 Wagon comes with analogue gauges, while the Technology Package adds a 12.3” digital instrument cluster, that is customizable to display different styles of gauges and can display various types of information.
Our review car came with the optional AMG Performance seats, which are a must have, in my opinion. First of all, they look really cool; they look like they came out of a race car, or a super car. They hold you in place like they were tailor made just for you, thanks to the infinite amount of adjustability. They are quite comfortable for daily driving and if you do happen to take your C 43 Wagon to the track, they’ll be perfect. The seats are a bit on the harder side, so they might not be as comfortable on longer drives; I’m thinking drives of over 3 hours.
The interior is quiet and there is a good amount of room for the front and rear occupants. The trunk area, which makes wagon so practical, is huge. We were able to stuff a double stroller, baby gear, and groceries with room to spare. Folding down the rear seats, as expected, gives you even room; there was enough room back there to lay down. Who needs an SUV when you can have a wagon?
As you can see from the packages available, the Mercedes-AMG C 43 Wagon can be loaded up with quite a lot of tech, convenience, and safety features. These features are easy to access and it took me no time to get familiar with where every feature was placed, thanks to a week with the CLS 53 AMG the previous week.
The infotainment screen displays maps from the navigation system, video from the cameras, radio/media, car settings, and climate settings. The graphics are crisp and the video output from all the cameras is high quality. The infotainment system can be controlled via the touchpad on the center console, the large knob under the touchpad on the center console, and with the little touchpad on the right side of the steering wheel. Using the touchpad on the steering wheel is the best way to access different menus of the infotainment system, as you don’t have to take your hands off the steering wheel, making it much safer. The small touchpad on the left side of the steering wheel controls the functions on the “gauge cluster” side of the big screen. Here you can change the layouts of the gauges and what information you’d like to see on various parts of the gauge cluster, the gauges themselves have three main settings.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a great little car, throw in the AMG treatment and it becomes quite desirable, make it an AMG Wagon and it’s an extremely enticing package. The C 43 AMG Wagon is a car that’s definitely on my shopping list because of its uniqueness in the Canadian market, sorry American friends, it’s powerful enough to be called an AMG, it’s practical, it’s fun to drive, and last but not least, it’s super cool. The Mercedes-AMG C 43 Wagon is a perfect blend of practicality and performance and I loved it.
If you are looking for a smaller CUV, you might want to check out the C-Class Wagon. You’ll be surprised the amount of space on the inside and it will definitely give you more smiles, if you’re into having fun while driving, if not, by all means buy a CUV.