Caraganza First Drive Review 2019 Mercedes AMG C43 Cabriolet: A warm brownie sundae

(Mercedes)

(Mercedes)

I love a good brownie sundae; a warm one with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serve it with a nice expresso and I am in heaven. It’s nirvana in a bowl. In fact, I love this combo so much that I would do anything if it was the reward. Heck I’d stage a bloodless coup in Venezuela just so the madness there will end, but only if a brownie sundae were waiting in Caracas.

That’s how much I like anything Mercedes.  Put an AMG badge on it and it’s like adding a steaming cup of expertly prepared expresso.  So then it was why I started salivating when I was delivered a 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 for a recent week. And as if to add a cherry on top, it was the cabriolet.

Getting a top down model of anything here in Florida can be a very good thing. As long as it’s the right time of year.  In the summer having a convertible is useless; opening the roof in the middle of a Florida summer nearly guarantees you’ll be roasted to death. The only time you see a convertible actually being converted in the summer in the F.L. A. is on the side of the road, a charred body in the seat and a suicide note attached. Or by a tourist who doesn’t know any better.

But in the winter, when the average temp hovers in the low to mid-70s, there are few things better than driving a convertible in Florida.

Well played Mercedes.

(Mercedes)

(Mercedes)

The C43 is a step up in the C series from the C300; like a C300 but on steroids.  The C series is technically an entry level, but it doesn’t feel like anything but an entry into the goodness that Mercedes brings to the world.  You can get it as a Sedan, Coupe, or Cabriolet.

There have been some updates for 2019; there is a new twin-louver radiator grille, front bumper, and rear bumper. Inside is a dash you can add a “fully digital cockpit” that incorporates a 12.3-inch screen as the instrument cluster. That optional dash can be configured to be Classic, Progressive or Sport. And the interior looks and feels just as nice as the upper range.

The AMG adds a more powerful engine, 18-inch wheels, brushed aluminum pedals, an AMG drive mode selector, AMG adaptive suspension, AMG performance brakes, AMG Sport exhaust, an AMG sport steering wheel, red seat belts, heated front sport seats, leather upholstery with suede inserts, a 7.0-inch instrument panel screen, and a 10.3-inch central screen with a controller.

Under the hood the C43 gets the AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo delivering 385 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque to the road through the 4Matic nine-speed automatic transmission.  As part of the 2019 changes the engine has 23 more horsepower than last year’s car.

The thing is when you have a Mercedes convertible sitting in your driveway, you wake up in the morning see the sun shining, the temp of 70 and know that today you will drive.  Nothing else matters, you actually don’t mind taking the wife to the grocery and you’ll find reasons to explore those roads never traveled.  Those roads more easily traveled, by the way, thanks to the standard with all-wheel drive and put down a 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds.

Yes, like most Mercedes the addon’s can drive the price up, but the C43 cabriolet is one of those cars that I would have, if I could.  For now, I’ll have to settle for a brownie sundae and a cup of expresso. And for Venezuela to get their stuff together before I have to come down there and straighten ‘em out.

The 2019 Mercedes AMG C43 Cabriolet
MSRP: $63,650
MSRP (as tested): $78,105
Engine: AMG-enhanced 3.0L V6 biturbo, 385 hp @ 6,100 rpm, 384 lb-ft @ 2,500-5,000 rpm
Transmission: 9-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel Mileage (EPA): 18 city, 25 highway, 21 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested, mixed conditions): 22 mpg
Curb weight 4,231 lbs

Exterior Dimensions
Wheelbase 111.8 in
Overall length 184.8 in
Overall height 55.3 in
Overall width 79.4 in (with mirrors)

Interior Dimensions
Headroom (front) 38.8 in
Legroom (front) 42.0 in
Shoulder room (front) 54.8 in
Passenger capacity 4
Headroom (rear) 35.6 in
Legroom (rear) 32.0 in
Shoulder room (rear) 51.7 in
Trunk capacity 8.8 cu ft (w/top up)

Warranty
Basic: 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain: 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion: 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance: 4 Years/50,000 Miles

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Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.

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