Saturday, August 18, 2018

2018 Mercedes Benz AMG E43 AWD : The Brand's E Class Entry Level Performance Model

Highlight: The E43 is AMG’s entry level midsize luxury performance sedan.

E300 RWD Base MSRP: $53,945

E43 AMG AWD Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $92,235

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard E300 Safety Features: ABS; air bags; a rearview camera; an electronic stability system; a brake hold feature; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard E300 Equipment: 18-inch wheels; 2.0-liter/4-cylinder engine; a 241-horsepower engine; rear wheel drive; a dynamic select drive mode; natural grain brown ash wood trim; a push button ignition system; analog gauges with high resolution multi function display; an eco start/stop gas-saving feature; a power sunroof; power front seats with memory; a dual zone ventilation system; power folding side mirrors; a 12-inch infotainment system; a navigation system; Apple CarPlay; and Android Auto

Standard AMG E43 Safety Features: 19-inch, 5-spoke wheels; 3.0-liter/6-cylinder; 396-horsepower; AWD; a dynamic performance drive mode; a sport suspension; a performance braking system; a sport exhaust system; AMG body styling; a chrome grille; gloss black exterior accents; AMG sport steering wheel; AMG instrumentation; AMG menu with Racetimer; red seat belts; galvanized shift paddles; LED daytime running lights; LED headlamps and tail lamps; a blind spot assist system; an active park assist system; a rear traffic alert system; heated front seats; pseudo-leather; a keyless entry system; an electronic trunk closer; hands free access; a premium surround system; and a wireless in-car charging system

Optional Features On Test Vehicle:

Congestion emergency braking; adaptive high beam assist; an air balance fragrance system; an air purification system; a power rear sunshade; an active blind spot system; an evasive steering assist system; a lane change assist system; a lane keep assist system; a speed limit assist system; a brake assist cross traffic function system; a stop emergency assist system; a surround view system; a heads up display system; a rear window sunshade; double sun visors; 20-inch wheels with black accents; a panoramic roof; beige Nappa leather; and AMG Carbon Fiber trim

Other Trims

E300 AWD
E400 AWD

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an  AM/FM/HD
CD with satellite

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder/362-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: The E43 is a carryover. The AMG E class joined the line up during the 2017 model year.

Why: For those seeking to spice up their E class, adding more power, the E43 with its 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder, bi-turbo engine is one means of steeping into an AMG package.

The well-mannered E43, which is power by an all wheel drive system, offers a variety of driving characteristics. Even with the additional power spewing from underneath the hood, the driver can select from eco, comfort, sport, sport plus and individual modes, merely by adjust the stalk.

Added to that, the suspension, which is driven by 19-inch styled wheels, can be adjusted too. The driver can alternate between comfort, sport and sport plus. As is the case with most Mercedes Benz vehicles these days, it is all about personalization. The E43 is great for tooling around the city, highway drives or scenic mountainous routes.

Inside the vehicle, Mercedes Benz well tuned, luxury sedan has pushed the limits in terms of glitz. There are lighting effects as well as a central control system to operate the infotainment center, which easily resembles being in the cockpit of an airplane.

Overall, the seating is quite comfortable and there are a number of features that can be added to enhance the look and feel.

But: Our E43 lacked a standard heated steering wheel and an automatic hold brake feature. We also had concerns with the tech driven interior, which lacked the subtleness and contemporary theme that once represented the brand’s more subdued image. Some buyers might think that Mercedes Benz has pushed the interior design with the lighting to its brink, making it look suitable for an arcade game.

We also wish Mercedes Benz would consider changing the placement of the gear shifter stalk. It’s a little confusing. Most non German drivers and owners don't expects the gear shift selector to serve as a substitute for the turn signals. This can be quite confusing.

Verdict: The price of entry to spice up one’s E class, with the AMG performance package doesn’t come cheap. At a price starting in the low $70k range, one can add approximately 30 additional horsepowers. However, that alone won't be enough to dress out this E class. Our test vehicle included approximately $20,000 in options. 

For those seeking more punch and to really step up the ante, Mercedes-Benz just added a E 63, which spews out a whopping 603-horsepower.

Competition: Audi A6 3.0 Sport

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