2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 4MATIC

Behold the Mercedes-AMG E43, the E-class Mercedes that sits between the four-cylinder Benz E300 and the 603-hp AMG E63 S. This ’tweener comes only as an all-wheel-drive 4MATIC and only as a sedan. It’s another derivative of the new, shapelier E-class delivered last year as part of Benz’s top-to-bottom overhaul of a car lineup being infused with the softer styling heralded by the new S-class a few years ago.

2017 Mercedes-AMG E43

Pick this version with its 396-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 and you’re already in for a big spend. The $73,325 base price brings a lot of standard kit besides all-wheel drive and a 4.2-second zero-to-60-mph ability. Air springs, leather seats, navigation, a 13-speaker Burmester superstereo system, parking sensors, and blind-spot monitoring are just a few of the included amenities.

All the Extras

You also are handed an engraved invitation to spend a whole lot more. For example, the only standard colors are black and white; anything else, from Dakota Brown Metallic to the matte-finish Selenite Grey Magno, ranges from $720 to $3950 extra. A couple of packages bring in more comfort and safety features—but at prices from $3700 to $7300. Thus, it’s easy to see how the Cardinal Red example we tested totaled out at $91,175, including $4550 for an even super-dupier Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound System.

Check our recent comparison test that included this car for details on how we would have pared almost eight grand from this E43’s bottom line without altering its essential goodness one bit. Still, we would have kept the $1100 Acoustic Comfort package for its tangible suppression of cabin noise and vibration.

By making the E43 so good at being a velvet-wrapped hammer, AMG frees up the new, even crazier E63 to be the extremist’s machine at the extremist price expected to be around a hundred grand. And that’s fine with us.

The E43 felt the most modern of five competitors in the aforementioned comparison test of the class, and that’s because of an enviable harmony that Mercedes has created between the power, the chassis, the steering, the nine-speed automatic that always seemed to have the right gear at the ready in the various driving modes, the particularly supportive and luxuriant bucket seats, and the ride. It works as a complete luxury machine with profound sport capabilities, and that is all we’ve ever wanted from AMG.

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