Home > Cars >  

DRIVEN: 2021 Mercedes AMG GT 43 [Review]

Mercedes Delivers a Coupe That is Tantalizingly Good At Everything

If I could only have one car for the next 5 years, it would be the 2021 Mercedes AMG GT 43. Hands down. It does everything well. The AMG GT 43 is a sedan -which Mercedes calls a 4-door coupe- with a rebuttal to every “but.” You know the usual list of cons: not enough space, too inefficient, can’t fit child seats, uncomfortable, etc. But the GT 43 checks all the necessary boxes: spacious, comfortable, practical, efficient, and fun.

Although Mercedes named it the AMG GT 4-door, it’s not built off the AMG GT platform. It’s not the similar-looking CLS platform either. It’s actually built atop an E-class chassis, with a wider and lower body. And just because it’s not actually a 4-door version of the AMG GT, doesn’t mean it’s lacking in fun.

AMG’s are well-known for being beautiful German muscle cars. I thought I’d be raving about the driving experience and looks. And while I am, I’m also staggered at how much technology is in the car. And then there’s how perfect it is for a luxurious, fun, yet somehow still entirely practical daily driver.

2021 Mercedes AMG GT 43: By The Numbers

The GT 43 is the 6-cylinder variant of the AMG GT 4-door. It comes standard with AWD (Mercedes 4matic). The bi-turbo inline 3.0L engine uses “mild-hybrid” technology and pushes out 362 hp and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. Zero to 60 mph happens in under 5 seconds, AND it gets a combined 22 mpg, which means you can go up to 527 miles on a single tank. Don’t be surprised if you get closer to 13 mpg though — it’s addicting to get on the gas at every light.

You can opt to get the GT 43 with either 4 or 5 seats. Its main competitor? The tenured Porsche Panamera. And if you like the looks, but feel the GT 43 lacks power, don’t worry. The GT 53 and GT 63 are still around with 429 hp and 577 hp, respectively. The fuel economy does drop to 18.5 mpg on the GT 63, although we’re guessing at that point, that’s not your main concern.

The 2021 Mercedes AMG GT 43 starts at a respectable $89,900. As equipped with a few upgrades, my test ride had an MSRP of $107,000.

Stylish With Cargo Room To Spare

You may be asking, “Since when do AMG and practicality go together?” Well, I’m glad you asked.  The major differentiator of the AMG GT 4-door from the E class and CLS is in the rear. Thanks to the roofline swooping down past the rear seats, 2 adults can fit comfortably in the back. The back of the driver and passenger seats have indents in the molding allowing for more rear legroom.

The 2021 Mercedes AMG GT 43 is basically a hatchback, which means you get crossover-size cargo capacity in a sleek sedan/4-door coupe. As a studio photographer, I found this added space was crucial, as I was able to fit multiple camera bags, light stands, tripods, and a lunchbox in the trunk with no trouble at all. The GT 43 that I test drove had the 4-seat configuration which meant the rear row did not fold. If I were to buy a GT 43, I’d get the 5-seater with folding rear seats for even more cargo space. At 199.2-inches long, you’d be able to fit a snowboard, skis, or other larger cargo in the five-seat version with ease.

A Quick, Responsive, Do-Everything Sedan

When asked what my dream car is, I often say I don’t have one particular car but rather have a dream “two-car solution” — one sports car and one practical car. But I found that the 2021 Mercedes AMG GT 43 is one car that can do it all.

It feels faster than it is. It feels lighter than it is (though it does feel long). The difference between Individual mode and Sport+ mode is night and day. When you see the GT 43 from the rear, you know this car means business with its 315 mm rear tires. And all this in a sedan that would still be comfortable as a family hauler.

First, let’s talk straight-line speed. Thanks to Mercedes 4matic, it launches to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, yet it feels faster than that. The 9-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly and is extremely smooth. You can flick either paddle for near-instantaneous shifts.

The dynamic mode selector adjusts steering weight, suspension, engine power, and transmission speed. I set up Individual mode with reduced engine power. It might seem backward, but I’ve found that having a slow, cruising mode is a nice option too. This made the car feel like a Camry for my groggy morning trips to the coffee shop, during which I also enjoyed the GT 43’s “kinetic seat movement.” This is not a full massaging seat, but rather a slight seat movement mode to get your blood flow going, which would be helpful on long road trips.

And when you want to haul through the gears, simply put the GT 43 in Sport+ mode, and you’ll instantly feel a boost in power and steering response. The steering weight is perfect and makes carving corners a blast. And if you’re passing through a tunnel and want to hear the exhaust crackle, there’s no need to switch modes. Mercedes has been kind enough to install an exhaust button on the steering wheel. Tap it with your thumb, put your foot down, and your ears will perk up instantly.

Though this is the lowest powered AMG GT 4-door, it’s still got plenty of horsepower. I never felt like I needed more. For most drivers, the GT 43 should be more than enough — unless you’re used to 600+ hp cars like the GT 63, in which case, you’ll have to upgrade to the V8 for your thrills.

You wouldn’t know from driving it, but the sedan weighs a surprising 4,350lbs. But that weight seems to disappear as your speed increases. It’s porky on paper but stuffed with enough luxury goodies and power to offset the weight.

Inside: Next Level Tech

From the driver’s seat, it is hard to tell whether you’re in a car or in the TV aisle of a Best Buy. The GT 43 sports two 12.3-inch displays up front, forming the gauge cluster and center screen. The digital gauges are fully customizable and split into three sections with two round dials on the sides and information in the center.

You only need to fiddle with the system once; then you can save templates (known as “themes”) and easily swap between them. That way you can easily change between a track-oriented display with the essentials or full-screen navigation right in front of you.

The system is a lot to take in at first. I consider myself tech-savvy, and I spent 3 hours in the driveway figuring out each feature. For instance, the GT 43 has brake hold but no button for it. You simply double press the brake pedal at a light to enable it. If you thought Tesla had the most tech, think again.

The optional MBUX Voice Control works well. It’s so advanced that the microphone detects which seat the command is coming from. If the passenger says, “Hey, Mercedes, turn on the heated seat,” the car will enable the heated seat for that passenger.

Additionally, the driving technology systems that really matter work well too. The Driver Assistance Package is a must. With it, you get Distronic Plus radar cruise control and the active lane-keeping assist, which both work phenomenally, on par with Tesla’s autopilot. On both city streets and freeways, I didn’t have a single scare. Los Angeles traffic was no longer a burden from the cocoon of the GT 43.

Any Dealbreakers? We Don’t Think So

Though the 2021 Mercedes AMG GT 43 isn’t the most budget-friendly option on the market, if you’ve got the cash to spend, we don’t think you can find a much better choice when it comes to an all-around, high-performance sedan.

The AMG GT 43 is the lowest priced of the AMG GT 4-door series starting at a base price is $89,900. The options price sheet is admittedly a bit of a hit to the stomach — all the optional bells and whistles will start to add up. But if you’re looking for one car that can do it all, stop looking. Go drive a 2021 Mercedes AMG GT 43.

Find your local Mercedes dealer and virtually build out your dream 2021 Mercedes AMG GT 43 HERE.

If the AMG GT 43 isn’t quite big enough for you, or you want a bit more ground clearance, have a look at the Mercedes AMG GLE 53 coupe, which is really a crossover. Mercedes vehicle naming is confusing!

(Photos by Dave Cox & Tyler Clemmensen)

About Ben Revzin

I am a 2x Miata owner, current Fiat 500 Abarth driver and lifetime car enthusiast. My portrait photography business led me to video creation and now the car video review creation has led to writing this for you to read here on Autowise! If it looks cute and feels quick, I wanna drive it!