When Mercedes-AMG launched thein 2018, the US got two GT63 models with a V8 engine and a superb straight-six engine . Europe also has a cheaper, less powerful one it didn’t seem to make sense in the United States. But for 2021 the GT43 is now available in the US, and it looks like a real AMG … mostly.
- Four-door coupe style
- Enchanting chassis and ride quality
I do not like
- The engine is not special enough
- The more powerful GT53 isn’t much more expensive
On its own, the GT43’s powertrain is phenomenal. It’s the same 3.0-liter inline-6 turbo with a lightweight EQ-Boost hybrid system, like the one you’ll find in theis , with 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic is the only transmission and all-wheel drive is standard. Mercedes says the GT43 will hit 60 mph in a lively 4.8 seconds, which is faster than the E450 and matches the CLS450.
The GT53, meanwhile, adds an electric supercharger on top of that I6 turbo. It produces 429 hp and 384 lb-ft, an increase of 67 hp and 15 lb-ft over the GT43, and maximum engine torque is available over a wider rev range. Mercedes claims the GT53 will hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, almost half a second faster than the GT43.
In the city it is difficult to notice a difference between 43 and 53, except when actually paving it from a traffic light or while entering the motorway. But the lack of an electric supercharger in the GT43 really becomes evident when you take it on a winding road. Coming out of corners, the GT43 doesn’t have enough strength. Even if I drop a gear or two and do it to the ground, it lacks a lot of the somewhat manic character of the 53. At least the 43 sounds great when equipped with the $ 1,850 variable performance exhaust.
Thankfully, the GT43’s handling makes up for the engine’s flaws. AMG’s recent trend of offering satisfying electric power steering continues, and its level of feedback and overall feedback is just as crisp as the GT53. My test car has a $ 3,450 set of huge 21-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires (dimensions 275/35 in front and 315/30 in rear), which offer a tremendous amount of grip. The GT43 feels much more nimble and compact than its 4,530-pound curb weight and 199.2-inch length would suggest.
Typically, you’d think 21-inch wheels would ruin the GT43’s ride, but that’s not the case. In fact, it is just the opposite. The GT43 is super composed and comfortable, it does not break down or tremble even on the roughest surfaces and holes. The ride is noticeably better than that of the Class E. is CLS, and the GT43 comes standard with adjustable shock absorbers.
The GT43 looks identical to the GT53 which means it looks excellent. My test car wears a $ 720 Brilliant Blue metallic paint and has all the standard chrome trim intact, which looks great with the 21-inch forged wheels. (If it were my money, I’d pick the $ 3,950 matte version of this paint.) The GT 4-door six-cylinder has less aggressive front fascias than the GT63, and I actually prefer the slimmer look. Its hatchback rear also makes it much more practical than a CLS or E-Class.
The GT43’s interior has Mercedes’ ubiquitous dual-screen setup, a large dashboard, and a high center console with two rows of touchscreen buttons. For 2021 the 4-door GT will have Mercedes’ fantastic MBUX infotainment system, which brings a redesigned touchpad, voice assistant, navigation and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This GT43’s combination of the $ 2,850 auburn brown leather and no-cost ash gray matte wood trim looks great, and the interior design is different enough from a regular E-Class. Despite the sloped roof, there’s quite a lot plenty of head and leg room for full-sized rear passengers. The rear seats are fixed, however, and the only way to get foldable backrests is to pounce for the $ 3,550 Executive Rear Seat package, which also adds three-zone climate control, heated and cooled rear cup holders, two rear USB ports , a touchscreen and wireless charging pad for rear passengers.
As with styling and powertrain, the GT43 is identical to the GT53 in terms of feature content. Standard elements include LED headlights, an active rear spoiler, heated front seats, MB-Tex upholstery, remote start and keyless entry, electric tailgate, sunroof, interior ambient lighting, Burmester stereo with surround sound, dual climate control zone, parking sensors, blind spot monitoring and automated emergency braking.
My GT43 has $ 17,045 in options for a sticker price of $ 107,995 and isn’t fully loaded yet. The key additions are the $ 450 ventilated front seats, the $ 2,100 fixed panoramic sunroof, the $ 500 360-degree camera, the $ 400 drive mode buttons on the steering wheel, an augmented reality navigation function from $ 350 and the $ 1,950 Driver Assistance Package which adds features like adaptive cruise control, lane change assistant, lane keeping assistance and rear cross traffic warning. If it was my money I would also add the $ 1,320 massage front seats, $ 4,550 3D sound system, $ 1,100 head-up display, and $ 1,100 Acoustic Comfort package to really up the luxury factor.
At $ 90,950 to start (including $ 1,050 for the destination) the GT43 costs $ 10,050 less than the GT53, which isn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of things – see how easy it is to add nearly twice as much in options. Then there is the question of 2021, which has a starting price of $ 82,600 and gets the AMG engine that the GT43 lacks. Or at least it did; the AMG CLS53 is , leaving only the much cheaper CLS450, giving the GT43 some breathing room.
The real reason the GT43 exists in America is that AMG has a direct competitor to the base Porsche Panamera 4, as the GT53 goes up against the Panamera 4S. But with the Panamera 4 costing $ 93,150 and the 4S starting at $ 106,350, the Porsches have a bigger price difference between them, plus the all-wheel drive Panamera 4 is already $ 4,600 more expensive than the rear-wheel drive version. They also have different engines, standard features and driving characteristics, and the Panamera 4 is a better case for itself.
After spending a week with the GT43, it still doesn’t make much sense. That doesn’t mean it’s not amazing to look at, excellent to drive, and great to be inside, though. Even with this modest powerplant, the GT43 feels worthy of the AMG name. It’s more than enough car for people who want GT looks without a sky-high price tag or more turbulent behavior. But if you really enjoy driving, the GT53 is worth the extra cost.