Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 : Explosive Performance

The Mercedes-AMG retails at INR 77.4 lakhs (Ex-India)


What is the 43 AMG?

Intended as an entry-level and stepping stone toward the full-fledged AMG 63 experience, AMG 43 models come with subtle engines, as well as a much subtle price tag.

All the cars also share the same drivetrain, a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 mated to the latest nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, and 4Matic all-wheel-drive system – although with power split 31% and 69% to the front and rear to inject some life into the handling department. The engine sounds great. The V8 in the AMG 63s may skyrocket your adrenaline, but the V6 is good too. Especially considering the VFM proposition it’s just bang for the buck $$$


After the comprehensive review of the GLC 300 last year, it was time to get my hands on the almighty-powered GLC 43 AMG:

Disclaimer: Outmost care was taken, and no plants were harmed during the photoshoot of the car.



+ The design department scores 100 marks. Period.

+ Offers an overall package of style, luxury, performance and quality. Great fit & finish of the interiors

+ Excellent power on tap. Probably the best performance car you can buy this side of INR 1cr

+ The Adaptable suspension is a boon to Indian driving conditions.

+ The sweet exhaust note at higher RPM especially on the “Sport” mode is really addictive


–  No “one man, one engine” philosophy as AMG V-8s and V-12s

– You don’t get stuff like keyless-go, a touch screen system and auto parking function which has become a norm even in cars that costs half as much

– Due to the coupe design, rear passengers may feel claustrophobic over long journeys

– Brakes felt a little soft for the size of the vehicle

What’s on the outside?

An AMG body kit and an attractive grille packed with pinpoints make this GLC look a bit more aggressive but not too flashy:DSC_0006

AMG badging on the front grill:DSC_0095

ORVM’s with turn indicator is blacked out to add to the sporty character: DSC_0066

Bi-Turbo powered V6:DSC_0067

Footrest helps in ingress/egress and also retains the sporty character:DSC_0071

Massive 19-inch alloys with AMG inscribed calipers:DSC_0072

Affalterbach alloy wheels that stand out and give the car a taste of elegance:DSC_0074

The simplistic and not-too-loud design of the rear will be preferred by many:DSC_0079

The V-6 storms to life, amplified by an AMG exhaust system that delivers the kind of adrenaline rush expected from performance cars:DSC_0080

it’s from the rear that this coupe-SUV looks really alluring as the sloping roofline ends in a bulging spoiler and tailgate with striking LED tail lamps:DSC_0083

The GLC Coupe has struck the right balance between looking unique while not seeming out of proportion when viewed from most angles:DSC_0093

Especially, the front:DSC_0097

Three-pointed star is proudly housed in the center:DSC_0099

The LED headlamps not only add to the subtle touch & overall appearance but offer great throw at night. DSC_0105

Lights ON:DSC_0184

Low Beam:DSC_0343

High Beam:DSC_0342

A closer view of the integrated DRL: DSC_0106

The 3 most powerful letters: DSC_0108

For starters, the three-pointed star represents the automaker’s drive towards motorization with its engine dominating the land, sea and air: DSC_0114

Air dam:DSC_0116

The Bi-Turbo badging is also present on the right panel: DSC_0118

the GLC Coupe is based on the C-Class and shares many of the GLC SUV’s body panels, though a sweeping roofline makes it look sportier:DSC_0119

The rear quarter window with the coupe design completes the sporty package: DSC_0120

One of the few cars that was a definite head-turner in the media drive:DSC_0122

Unfortunately, Keyless-Go is sorely missed:DSC_0126

Worth the $$$DSC_0127

A parting shot:DSC_0157

The coupe looks best when viewed sideways:DSC_0168

Another shot:DSC_0172

Ready to roar:DSC_0176

Notice how the grill curves inwards:DSC_0181

However, it would have done wonders if the spoiler was covered with carbon-fiber or at least blacked out like the ORVM’s:DSC_0308

Switch the car into reverse and we have the superbly integrated reverse camera neatly hidden behind the Three-pointed star ready to shoot: DSC_0320

Headlamps + Turn Indicators ON:DSC_0183

The LED tail-lamps look great from dusk to dawn:DSC_0188


What’s on the Inside?


And the GLC43’s cabin like that of the standard GLC300 feels ahead of the competitors in terms of quality. With the overall layout and most controls taken directly from the C-class, You feel like home, pretty soon.  Thanks to the excellent fit and finish and well-chosen materials.

AMG’s updates include sports seats and red contrast stitching as standard. The stop-start system, which stalls the engine when you come to a halt to save fuel, isn’t the smoothest because when it thrusts the engine back into life the whole car kinda shudders. That’s something you won’t be happy with a car of this $$$. Better, to leave the start-stop at rest.

Like all other Merc’s you get a 7″ color screen mounted high up on the dashboard, which is controlled using a rotary dial and touchpad between the front seats.  Honestly, If I had to omit one feature from this beautiful beast, without a doubt, it would be this!  You’re better off sticking with the dial most of the time.  it’s quicker and easier to use on the move than the gimmicky touchpad. A touchscreen would have done the trick:


8-way-adjustable seat with memory function and massage feature: DSC_0203

AMG tweaked the GLC43’s steering, which livens it up a little over the admittedly  slow setup in the GLC300:DSC_0205

The 3-pointed star is housed in the center of the steering, although you’ll have to stretch your thumb a bit to reach the horn pad:DSC_0214

Aluminum AB pedals. Notice the red border of the floor-mat. yeah! Small yet significant things make wonders:DSC_0222

AMG inscribed skid-plates which are back-lit. You could drool over it all the time:DSC_0228

With the sweet exhaust note, you won’t need them often. Hmmm: DSC_0229

Paddle-shifters  in Manual mode will add to the aura but they aren’t as quick as the Auto-box:DSC_0235

The GLC’s front seats slide back a very long way, so even seriously tall drivers won’t complain about the amount of legroom on offer. You could drive all day & night and still not a complaint about the fatigue:DSC_0243

Both the rear tail-lamps are equipped with LED reverse light:DSC_0256

In-spite of being a coupe, the doors open wide enough so that you don’t complaint about the ingress/egress:DSC_0263

The GLC’s load bay is widest at the very back of the car, which means you can slot in long, narrow items, such as a set of golf clubs, easily enough. Folding down the rear seats leaves a virtually flat extended load bay

All models come with powered tailgate, retaining nets on the boot floor and a lockable compartment under the floor itself.


Some may miss the panoramic sunroof, while others may rejoice the wind-in-the hair experience: DSC_0274

The red-stitching on black leather feels great. Also, interesting bits like the Red color of seatbelts make a significant difference. Well done, Mercedes. DSC_0275

How does it DRIVE?

Read on to find the answer to the biggest question. Instead of shooting for the stars with only big V-8s, AMG is now having its 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 into just about everything in the lineup. Around town, the GLC is running its 3.0L V6 at low rpm, like any normal V6. However, the one thing you can’t really hear around town is the engine. All you can hear is the exhaust.

On the matter of actual driving experience, the GLC43 harnesses and deploys its new power wisely. We loved the GLC300’s chassis, and the GLC43’s power hasn’t ruined it. AMG’s done a fantastic job of integrating the more powerful engine into this car, and it doesn’t just put up better numbers. The GLC43 remains highly composed in corners and puts its power down well. The body rolls a little as you first turn the wheel, but rather than floppy, it feels controlled and calculated

There’s a sweet spot at idle from the quad exhaust tips that stay muffled but still pleasant in the Eco/Comfort drive mode, and changes to a superb thrilling note  with the sport-plus setting engaged:DSC_0280

You get to choose between 5 driving Modes: IMG_20180214_200454

In Sports+ and Sports modes, the exhaust makes delightful noises on overrun with occasionalcrackles whilee the engine note itself is a pleasing growl. In the Comfort & Eco modes, the quick-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission also adopts the sportier behavior, downshifting as you brake for a corner and delaying upshifts until you’re right at redline.


Turbo-lag? Kinda, but not really an issue due to the car’s more relaxed attitude. Torque comes on strong and the auto does a good job of shuffling itself between the nine gears.  And yes, there is a plain ‘Sports’ mode, but you would rarely use that. Under heavy throttle, the GLC43 just sprints to 100 in no-time. The AMG tune to the AWD system sees the rear drive bias rise from 55 to 69 percent and the nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission is fast enough to keep things moving.

The rear passengers do not get climate control, but the vents do a decent job of cooling:DSC_0288

Despite its relatively sporty styling, there’s plenty of space in the back to accommodate a “couple” of six-footers. There’s a chunky transmission tunnel on the floor that a middle seat passenger has to straddle, so this isn’t the best choice if you need to carry three adults in the back on a regular basis:DSC_0295

A closer look at the twin-pod exhaust and neatly-integrated rear parking sensors:DSC_0311

Ride & Handling:

The sports suspension fitted to AMG Line models –is a little less forgiving over bigger obstacles, such as speed bumps, but overall it’s actually the more comfortable set-up. It brings a more controlled ride with less pitch and more effective damping over potholes and broken surfaces. That’s true even if you choose to upgrade from the standard 19in wheels to the optional 20s.

The adaptive suspension does an impressive job of smoothing out imperfections. Drive the Coupe in Comfort mode, and you’d find a car which is unbelievably quiet, and ever so willing to cruise on its 9th gear.

The most interesting feature comes at the end. Loved every bit of the adaptable suspension. What more? Set it at a higher GC and the car automatically lowers itself in high speeds. A big boon in those corners of our expressways or occasional track days.IMG_20180214_200509-1-01

Better safe than sorry:

All GLCs come with a collision prevention system that can automatically apply the brakes to help prevent you running into the vehicle in front. There’s also a tire-pressure-monitoring system to alert you early if you have a slow puncture. All versions have seven airbags and a system that can detect if you’re getting drowsy on a long journey, too.

This all helped the GLC score impressive marks in its Euro NCAP crash test. It was awarded the maximum five-star overall rating, along with scores of 95% for adult protection, 89% for child protection and 82% for pedestrian protection. The GLC43 has no rain, snow, or off-road mode to speak of, putting it at a disadvantage to the competition.


If you want a thrilling driving experience, the GLC 43 AMG is your best bet. It’s good fun when you’re driving briskly, although push really hard and you’ll find the car’s electronics holding back the engine’s power and stopping you accelerating out of slower corners

Diwali night? You bet:IMG_20180214_195834

You can switch to the digital speedo to focus on the road more than the speedometer:IMG_20180214_195855

Allows you to adjust the timing of the external lights once the car is turned off:IMG_20180214_200600

Odometer & Tripmeter being displayed along with plethora of symbols:IMG_20180214_200023-1-01

Wow! Loved the 360-degree camera:IMG_20180214_200344

Should I Buy One?


With a price tag of Rs 74.80 lakh (ex-showroom), it’s the least expensive Mercedes-AMG 43 car out there. With 367 PS and over 500 Nm of torque, there’s little you could ask for in terms of performance. The GLC43 is a practical, usable and entertaining Coupe, that has just the right amount of value to set the benchmark. Mercedes could have got it better with better ergonomics on center console while being more tech-savvy and right blend of note from engine & the quad-pod exhaust.

Nothing is perfect, but this is the closest you can get to a compact performance car that can do everything. Well, almost everything!

Composed by Zahoor Hassan

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