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I'm thinking of a C43 Estate and will likely trot off to a dealer to see what the boot space is like. I don't just go by numbers as they are a bit bogus. The wife's Outback has a 559l boot but is a lot bigger than the 605l Golf Estate boot. 

 

Having had 5 Series estates for 20 years, the idea of a 3 Series estate doesn't really float my boat (having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if I had to change tomorrow if I ended up in a 340i!). Audi's never floated my boat, but actually a RS6 might!!

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Yeh there a couple of nice little touches that come with the premium packs that elevate it even more for sure. The RS3 was ruled out for me because I just thought prices were too high, but I agree the interior on the current/previous models are a bit dated. I think the driver display probably stands up well to the test of time but the pop up screen is definitely dated. 
 
As far as mpg I've been pleasantly surprised. I don't do a lot of motorway miles or long distance stuff, with most of my driving being a mix of town and A/B road stuff and I've averaged 26mpg. As said though this is skewed by a short daily commute. I did take it for a blast yesterday with some more spirited B road stuff (especially when I got into some fun with an Exige) and at the end I had 27mpg (remembering I'm staying below 4000rpm). The only long distance I did was the 250 mile return journey from picking it up. That was pretty much almost exclusively motorway between 60-70mph and finished up with 38mpg, only 1mpg less than I got in the R driving up. 
 
If you decide to skip on the RS3, as said, be sure to test both the M340i and C43. With everything considered they are pretty much level in my eyes. 
 
 
Edit - forgot to mention servicing. It's not too unreasonable I'd say. I was expecting a hefty bill but the service plan is £35 a month so only £120 a year more than the R.

£35?? That’s good! What time length is that over, how many services etc? Did you negotiate that with a salesman or do it online?


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15 minutes ago, camelsac2002 said:


I reckon the nine speed gearbox helps on the C43!


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My 750 had the 8 speed ZF Auto.  How about this for amazing economy and it included some urban driving at both end of the journey and quite a bit of dual carriageway as well as motorway and it wasn’t an economy run as you can see from the average speed.   Incredible car in so many ways, I really miss it but needed more space.

 

EFB81C3E-2275-4EAA-9593-0565EB7F8C1B.jpeg

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1 hour ago, camelsac2002 said:


£35?? That’s good! What time length is that over, how many services etc? Did you negotiate that with a salesman or do it online?


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No negotiation, I think it's just a set price. It's based on a mileage of up to 15,500 per year and I've done mine as 4 services in 4 years and paying monthly over said 4 years. You can pretty much tailor it how you want though. For example you could do 3 services over 3 years but pay for them all in just one year or two. Or you could pay for the whole plan up front if that's your preference. Either way there is no interest charged so it will always work out as £420 per service. 

 

For comparison an A45 would be £40 a month and C63 £52 a month. I think the age of the car does affect it slightly though. So if you were to go for a 1 or 2 year old car the price might go up a touch I believe.

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1 hour ago, Martin2 said:

My 750 had the 8 speed ZF Auto.  How about this for amazing economy and it included some urban driving at both end of the journey and quite a bit of dual carriageway as well as motorway and it wasn’t an economy run as you can see from the average speed.   Incredible car in so many ways, I really miss it but needed more space.

 

EFB81C3E-2275-4EAA-9593-0565EB7F8C1B.jpeg

 

Yeh that is impressive. I'm not sure I'll ever see those kind of numbers but then a lot of that will be down to driving style. 

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That included a comprehensive victory int the M6 Toll Booth GP and I never really pottered around, it sounded too good thanks to the optional M Sports exhaust.  It was just ticking over at 80mph and the suspension lowered plus thanks to a carbon core it weighed a lot less than you’d think 

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2 hours ago, Msportman said:

What are the brakes and suspension like on the C43?

 

They do look good and premium and a great alternative as there aren’t that many on the road in amongst the masses of TDI Audi’s and BMW’s.

 

From the long arse text:

 

Suspension was covered in this part:

 

'The cars various drive modes are more of a contrast to each other than the 3 series or R’s. In comfort the suspension softens right up and I’d say it can actually feel a bit like MB of old where they were a bit… dare I say wallowy? It’s by no means bad but it’s certainly softer than anything I’ve experienced. This has its pluses as there is no crashing over pot holes and it irons out road imperfections well. It also stays fairly balanced in the corners as well, not that it matters of course because when you see the corners coming you’ll throw it into sport or sport+. If I tried to put my finger on it, I’d maybe say it’s more wallowy feeling front to back rather than side to side. Like there is more weight transfer when breaking as an example. Sport I’d say is about equal to a non-DCC R or fixed M Sport suspension and then sport+ a step up on that again being quite harsh but very flat and controlled. Thankfully you can pick and choose your set up at will so Sport+ gearbox, comfort suspension, powerful exhaust, mix and match etc.'

 

Brakes in this part:

 

'Cornering ability is surprisingly good. As said, it stays nice and flat in the bends and gets the power down well. It’s a permanent 30:70 rear bias but I think you’d have to be trying hard to get the back end out. You can feel you are being pushed rather than pulled, but the car is as planted as the R in most conditions. It’s also really agile as well. I’ve thrown it through some quite tight bends at decent speed and it just grips and goes. At one point I thought I was starting to feel some understeer but when I turned in tighter it followed the line rather than wash wide. The longer wheelbase (2840mm to the Golf’s 2630mm) does means it doesn’t feel quite as nimble as the R and doesn’t turn in quite as hard, but its certainly no slouch with the rear bias really helping rotate the car. The brakes by the way are incredible. I know the mk8 has addressed the problem but the 7.5 was really lacking here. Despite the C43 being a fair bit heavier I’d bet it stops sooner. This is largely down to the huge 360mm discs up front matched with 4 piston callipers. You’ve then got 320mm in the rear and together they are really responsive and keep things in check nicely. The discs are also cast with holes in rather than cross drilled so they handle heat pretty well and I didn’t notice any fading. Mileage may vary if you take it on track of course. '  

 

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Nice write up, its one car on my list to potentially replace the R.

 

Boot is smaller than the R estate, I'm fairly certain of that - it doesn't go as low as the R estate (boot floor) either.

 

Biggest thing that puts me off merc is the part prices. My mates had to replace his front tyres on his A220 (petrol) 2.0 with 197 bhp I think it is, £140 a corner. I know its small differences, but hes only done 14k miles, and I know for a fact he isn't a fast driver, most driving is motorway. Now these are continentals so not a rubbish brand either.

 

the golf r does have the merc c43 beaten for running costs, but just like your review, the c43 absolutly 100% beats the golf r for engine sound, and if I am honest - just like yourself, I am too after just a bit more drama in terms of a v6 noise while we can, i too have ruled out the C63 as much as I would like a v8, quite honestly theres just no point for my driving.

 

I'm not a fast drive, I don't consider myself a driving god, but i cannot wait to get to mercedes benz world and try out the c43 on the handling circuit etc, whener that will be.

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10 hours ago, gazza5 said:

Nice write up, its one car on my list to potentially replace the R.

 

Boot is smaller than the R estate, I'm fairly certain of that - it doesn't go as low as the R estate (boot floor) either.

 

Biggest thing that puts me off merc is the part prices. My mates had to replace his front tyres on his A220 (petrol) 2.0 with 197 bhp I think it is, £140 a corner. I know its small differences, but hes only done 14k miles, and I know for a fact he isn't a fast driver, most driving is motorway. Now these are continentals so not a rubbish brand either.

 

the golf r does have the merc c43 beaten for running costs, but just like your review, the c43 absolutly 100% beats the golf r for engine sound, and if I am honest - just like yourself, I am too after just a bit more drama in terms of a v6 noise while we can, i too have ruled out the C63 as much as I would like a v8, quite honestly theres just no point for my driving.

 

I'm not a fast drive, I don't consider myself a driving god, but i cannot wait to get to mercedes benz world and try out the c43 on the handling circuit etc, whener that will be.

 

Thanks.

 

Not sure how tyre replacement relates to part prices... unless those are two separate statements.

 

I've got 225/45 R18 on the front and 245/40 R18 on the back. Michelin Pilot Sport 4's on the front would be £150 a corner with no discount and £130 a corner on the rear. Compare that to the R which was running 235/35 R19 all around and was £150 for the same tyre. I also found that I had to replace my P Zero's on the R after about 13-14,000 miles from memory and I'm not a fast driver really either.

 

Really the main running cost differences between them will be servicing (an extra £10 a month), yearly tax (C43 will have the luxury tax addition) and fuel (although this is marginal based on my driving so far). Insurance was actually only £20 more for the C43 for me. The big one would be parts prices outside of warranty though as you said. Not something I'll have to worry about.

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1 hour ago, camelsac2002 said:

Just out of interest, have you seen the ASR module that allows you to manually control the opening of the exhaust flaps?


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Yeh I saw this on youtube. Not sure if I'd get it as so far I haven't ever thought to myself (this needs more sound). Especially after coming from the R. I also believe it is a relatively minor change bordering on not that noticeable. 

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Yeh I saw this on youtube. Not sure if I'd get it as so far I haven't ever thought to myself (this needs more sound). Especially after coming from the R. I also believe it is a relatively minor change bordering on not that noticeable. 

Tbh, I think it’s just for lower speed driving as even in Sport+, it doesn’t open 100% until you pass a certain amount of revs. I’ve heard the coupe, which has the sports exhaust as standard, start up and even though the exhaust isn’t fully open, it does sound quite fruity!


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8 hours ago, camelsac2002 said:


Tbh, I think it’s just for lower speed driving as even in Sport+, it doesn’t open 100% until you pass a certain amount of revs. I’ve heard the coupe, which has the sports exhaust as standard, start up and even though the exhaust isn’t fully open, it does sound quite fruity!


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Yeh I've heard this. There is a noticeable difference between "Comfort" and "Powerful" on the exhaust, but as you said I think it opens up more at higher revs. I'll have to give it a try at some point to see if there is a sudden increase in noise or if it's gradual. 

 

Depending on the age of the coupe they may have been using "emotion start". On facelift cars, if you hold one of the paddles when you start it, it starts with the exhaust 100% open with a few extra revs to give it more grunt. Normally get a few crackles as well. Might piss of the neighbours first thing in the morning though...

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