This 2021 Mercedes-AMG C43 Convertible might sit close to the bottom of the AMG lineup, but is possibly one of the most attractive vehicles in its class. The C43 Cabriolet packs a serious 385-horsepower punch under its sleek hood and sends its power to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission and Mercedes-AMG's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. This is a car that exudes class from the outside in, and we've fallen in love with its beautifully crafted interior. The C43 Cabriolet is relatively practical and safe too. Going up against competitors such as the newer BMW M440i Convertible and Audi S5 Cabriolet, this little bruiser might just be the best of the bunch.
The Mercedes-AMG C43 Convertible has been left mostly untouched for 2021, with the only real feature change being the addition of a 12.3-inch digital gauge display, which is now standard. Other than that, the two-door C43 Convertible remains unchanged.
See trim levels and configurations:
|AMG C43 4MATIC Cabriolet||
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
The exterior design of this German cabrio is quite stunning and turns necks wherever it goes, which is the whole point of driving an AMG soft-top Merc. The AMG C43 Convertible offers exterior design features such as 18-inch AMG five-spoke alloy wheels, a power soft top, and AMG body styling parts such as flared side sills, a deep front air dam, and a satin chrome splitter. 19-inch wheels are optional, as is the AMG Night Package, which adds features such as a deep Gloss Black front air-dam splitter and air-intake, along with Black Chrome tailpipes. Without this package, the AMG's four rounded tailpipes are finished in silver. LED technology extends to the taillights, headlights, and daytime running lamps.
The open-top C43 sports car shares similar dimensions to that of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible, although the Bimmer is over three inches longer. It has an overall length of 184.8 inches, a height of 55.3 inches, a width (including the mirrors) of 79.4 inches, and a wheelbase of 111.8 inches. With a total curb weight of 4,231 pounds, the C43 Cabriolet is not a featherweight.
Any compact convertible with an AMG badge stuck on its rear is bound to be fast, and the 2021 AMG C43 Convertible is no different. This sleek drop-top is powered by a muscular 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, which delivers 385 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, and sends its power to all four wheels via Merc's 4Matic AWD system and an AMG Speedshift nine-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain offers seemingly endless grunt throughout the rev range and is equally as happy darting through city traffic as it is cruising the highway. Plant your foot, and the 0-60 sprint will be over in only 4.6 seconds. All we wish for is a more aggressive exhaust note, which Mercedes-AMG does offer, but at a cost of $1,250 for the AMG performance exhaust system. The fun stops at 130 mph, which is when the C43's top speed limiter kicks in.
The C43 Convertible may weigh a fair bit, and without the rigidity of a fixed roof, you might think it would turn into a wobbly mess, but in fact, this two-door ragtop handles with poise and precision. Around town, the C43 Cabriolet will feel rather stiff, but not overbearingly so, and feels right at home cruising the highways of the USA. Steering is well-weighted and responsive but does not offer a whole lot of feedback. Still, with a capable AWD system onboard, traction becomes your greatest weapon: attack any corner at speed, and the C43 Convertible will hold on for dear life and spit you out the other end. Rapidly. With four driving modes on offer - Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, and Slippery - we would recommend keeping it in comfort and only reverting to the sportier options on a smooth road surface or racing track.
Two turbos, a big V6 engine, all-wheel drive, and a curb weight of well over 4,000 pounds don't sound like a recipe for low gas mileage, but the Mercedes-AMG C43 Convertible is not that heavy on the juice. The EPA estimates that this German bomber will manage a respectable 19/27/22 mpg city/highway/combined. A comparable rival, the BMW 440i Convertible, will manage 22/29/24 mpg, although these numbers apply to the previous-gen drop-top - the all-new 440i should return similar figures. The C43 Convertible's 17.4-gallon fuel tank allows it to travel around 383 miles on a single fill-up.
The 2-door C43 Convertible will seat you and three of your adult buddies in relative comfort. Those in the front are hugged by MB-Tex and Dinamica sport bucket seats that offer heating, 14-way power-adjustability, power lumbar support, and a memory system. Six-footers will be more than happy with the 42 inches of legroom in the front but will cry out in agony at the loss of a whole ten inches in the rear.
You don't buy one of these cars for its everyday practicality and ability to haul bulk amounts of toilet paper; you buy this car to take you and three other people on quick excursions to the local seaside cafe or local art exhibition. With this in mind, we can confidently say that the 8.8 cubic feet of trunk space on offer should be more than enough for the average C43 Cabrio driver, and the 50/50 split-folding seats offer a bit more space when required. With the roof down, that number is whittled down to around only five cubes, but who cares? Inside the cabin, you get a glovebox, center console storage bin, a few cupholders, and some door pockets.
With only one trim level on offer, Mercedes-AMG has been generous with the number of standard features onboard, but a quick review of the options list reveals that it is still a long one. Standard features for 2021 include 14-way power-adjustable heated front seats with power lumbar control, an Airscarf neck heating system, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, a 64-color LED ambient lighting system, keyless-go, an illuminated entry system, and a universal garage door opener. Standard driver assistance features include active brake assist, a rearview camera, attention assist, crosswind assist, and blind-spot assist with vehicle exit warning. You can inflate the base price dramatically by including tempting but pricey options such as ventilated front seats, active steering assist, a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, and route-based speed adaptation.
This Merc doesn't only know how to bang gears; it also loves to bang beats, thanks to a capable infotainment system that features a 10.25-inch high-resolution center display and a newly standard 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. This infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, Bluetooth audio streaming, dual USB audio ports, HD Radio, a six-month all-access trial to SiriusXM radio, and a FrontBass system. These features can be controlled via steering wheel controls or a touchpad controller, and sound is pumped out of a 13-speaker Burmester sound system. Optional features include a head-up display, in-car Wi-Fi, wireless phone charging, navigation, and the AMG Track Pace performance data recording system.
The C43 Convertible car has had its fair share of recalls: the 2020 model saw a recall issued for an electrical circuit inside the Emergency Call System communication module that could be damaged. 2021 cars have also been recalled for a seat belt malfunction as well as a navigation malfunction that gives false location readings to emergency services. Mercedes-AMG covers the C43 Convertible with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a four-year/50,000-mile drivetrain warranty.
Both the NHTSA and the IIHS have yet to perform an AMG C43 crashworthiness review, but its sibling, the C-Class sedan, has been put through its paces and can be considered one of the safest cars in its class with a perfect five-star rating from the NHTSA, and a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the IIHS. The C43 Convertible features standard safety systems such ten airbags, LED headlights, a reverse camera, and driver assistance features such as active brake assist, attention assist, blind-spot assist, pop-up roll bars, and active distance assist. Optional safety gear includes active steering assist, active speed limit assist, and lane-keeping assist.
The C43 Cabriolet might be an entry-level vehicle in the massively impressive AMG line, but it is genuinely one of the better models on offer. Starting with the exterior, this is one seriously attractive car: the AMG styling touches add the perfect level of aggression and dropping the top seals the deal for us. The 3.0-liter V6 bi-turbo engine offers an abundance of power, and the majority of owners will never ask for more. On the road, the C43 can feel a tad harsh at lower speeds, but this comes with the territory, and on smooth road surfaces and twisty roads, this German sports convertible truly shines. Let's not forget that the C43 Convertible is also a premium luxury car: its interior offers a stunning design, high-quality materials, and a good amount of standard features, but optional extras can get expensive. It looks good, drives great, and delivers on its promises, despite being a "baby" of the AMG lineup.
The price for the 2021 AMG C43 Convertible starts at $65,500. That MSRP does not include tax, registration, and a destination fee in the US of $1,050. The price of a decent used model should be in the $40k range, and you can always keep your eyes peeled for an incentive or special sale if buying second-hand is not your thing. Fully loaded, the new C43 compact convertible will set you back around $83,000.
There is only one model on offer, so new buyers will have to scan the options list to get a unique ownership experience. Standard features on the C43 Convertible include the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with impressive specs of 385 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, a 64-color LED ambient lighting system, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, 14-way power-adjustable heated front seats with power lumbar control, and driver assistance features such as attention assist, crosswind assist, active brake assist, and blind-spot assist with vehicle exit warning. If we were buying, we would add the $1,700 Driver Assistance package, including active steering assist, brake assist with cross-traffic assist, and evasive steering assist. For some extra attitude, we'd add the AMG performance exhaust system for $1,250, and we'd wrap things up with the AMG head-up display for $1,100 and wireless phone charging for $200.
The C43 convertible is one the sports car models that ranks near to the top of the segment, but it can be had in the more powerful C63 guise, too. These cars share the C-Class moniker and are based on the same platform, but the C43 slots in below the much more powerful C63 Cabriolet. The C63 is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo unit that produces 469 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, or over 500 hp when you go for the S trim. The C63 drop-top will sprint to sixty in four seconds and still manage a combined fuel consumption figure of 20 mpg. In terms of road holding and drive quality, these cars are basically on par with each other, and the same goes for categories such as passenger and cargo space. We would suggest going with the C43 just because it already delivers such a good driving experience, but if you're that power-hungry and nothing but the roar of a V8 will do, nothing is stopping you from adding another 20 points to the C43's name.
While most still aren't convinced about the 4 Series' looks, the car underneath those flared nostrils is rather brilliant. The 2021 BMW 4 Series is offered with your choice of two engines, but the turbocharged inline-six engine is the one we're interested in here. The M440i Convertible kicks out 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque which it sends to the rear wheels (there's no AWD option as yet). The BMW is a fast car, but the AMG Merc feels more rapid. Both are highly capable in the bends, but the Mercedes-AMG vehicle is more capable; the BMW, however, is the better long distance cruiser. On the inside, the C43 Convertible offers a superior design and feels more premium. Both cars are relatively practical, and the 4 Series can be used as a daily driver without any major hassles. You can't go wrong with either, but the Mercedes-AMG C43 offers a greater sense of occasion.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Mercedes-AMG C43 Convertible: