A sunny day for a Mercedes E53 AMG test drive
January has never been the best month of the year. It is cold, you make resolutions you end up not following, even worse the car world is almost dead with no new model and no important event whatsoever. That’s why, I decided to take you back in time with a sunny article about the mighty Mercedes E53 AMG Coupe.
So what is the Mercedes E53 AMG Coupe? A sports car? A GT? Is it a car for middle life crisis people or an incredibly polyvalent car that can suits almost everyone?
Let’s jump to the conclusion and say it right away : it is not a sports car. However it is a really interesting car for at least 3 reasons :
1- It’s the 1st AMG with an electric assistance
2- It looks absolutely stunning and elegant
3- It really usable on a daily basis while having decent performance
The Mercedes E53 AMG on paper!
As I mentioned, it is an AMG with an electric assistance and that’s in my opinion a really good thing. As you know cars manufacturers are now under pressure from governments to reduce emissions and the sad outcome of these politics is that some cars will simply disappear. For example, exit the Renault Megane RS in 2020 due to the huge 20,000 euros carbon tax. In fact, they don’t stop producing it but will stop selling it and therefore stop producing it in a few months/years. So manufacturers have to come up with solutions. One of them is electric assistance. The objective is simple. Achieve better performance while meeting new emission standards.
The E53 is equipped with a 3.0L in-line 6 developing 429hp + an electric boost of 21hp for a total of 450hp. One thing important to keep in mind : it’s not a plug-in hybrid. Actually it’s not even a hybrid because you can’t drive it fully electric. It’s an assistance and that’s awesome because it only serve your driving pleasure. Electric have obvious advantages like the on/off feature compared to a thermic engine which has an optimal power range.
In term of performance, Mercedes claims a 0-100 in 4.4sec which is really quick without being mind blowing. For example, a 2020 BMW 340i delivers the same type of performance with 70hp less.
The E53 is, as usual with Mercedes, quite heavy, 2,000kg… Well, on paper already I can see that sportiness has been compromised over comfort! AMG, whyyyy ?
It’s not a propulsion neither so forget about the crazy drifts that you can do in a C63AMG for example, it has the 4MATIC system which is good for a daily use especially in place like Montreal with icy winters.
The E53 AMG coupe in real life
The E-Class is always considered as THE MERCEDES-BENZ, it is an icon of luxury and comfort that stands out by its technology and performance ahead of its time. Especially for people like us born in the ’90s. Why? Because Mercedes launched the first E-Class (the type 124) in 1993. It was a mid size family sedan made to be driven on the german Autoban. The 2019 coupe model is no exception.
It looks stunning, probably one of the best looking full size coupe. Yes, it’s a big coupe with 4,800mm length but it’s a real 4 seater, so we forgive the fact that it’s oversized (and overweighted).
The overall line of the car is fluid, with a lot a round shapes that give it a little vintage touch. From the rear it looks sporty and classy at the same time with its round 4-tips exhaust. I love it!
Inside, the assembly quality is really high and meets your expectations in a +90,000$ car. The 12.3-inch digital instrument panel is perfectly integrated and does not look too big in the car (even if I personally still prefer old good handles over digital cockpit).
Experiencing the E53 from the driver seat!
AMG, three letters that change everything… usually!
Let me put this straight. It is a good car to drive but don’t expect any crazy sensation, you’ll be disappointed. It’s quick in a straight line but It does not feel 4.4sec for the 0-100 to be honest. I really think that the weight of the car is to blame. It feels heavy and complains when you hit the brakes hard or take a curve at high speed.
Also the E53 is surprisingly quiet for an AMG, I mean it’s nothing like the C43 which makes a marvellous melody. In fact, behind the wheel it does not feel sporty. However once you come to that conclusion you can start to enjoy the car for what it really is : a great GT.
The E53 AMG coupe is incredibly confortable. You can easily drive 800km at Autoban speed in one day without any back pain (unlike the Stelvio Quadrifoglio). The driving position is good and as per usual you feel great in a Mercedes. One thing I really liked is the steering! It’s direct, precise, pretty communicative and soft! The E53 is somewhere very polyvalent coupe with 4 seater and plenty of space : you can definitely use it on a daily basis! Commuting with the E53 shorten the distance as the comfort is total and the delicate round sound of the straight 6 suggests nothing but elegance and luxury.
The power delivery is really progressive thanks to the combinaison of thermic and electric which add to the voluptuousness feeling typical from a grand tourer. The electric/thermic mix is automatically made by the car, just drive and the E53 will do its job.
Mercedes E53 AMG : 74/100
I did have mix feelings about that car. It’s stunning and very pleasant to drive but on the other hand it does not feel like a real AMG. It’s not too much in a C63 way. It feels compromised. Compromised over what then? Comfort, politically correct. That is new for an AMG. Never before in my opinion an AMG has been politically correct. Per definition in my mind an AMG has to be excessive, it has to wake up our inner devil.
After a couple days in the car wondering what is the target customer for a +90,000$ full size Mercedes coupe I think i found the explanation to that sudden reason crisis at AMG. The target customer of the E class Coupe AMG is definitely a 50 years old person with some kind of money that want a powerful polyvalent car but nothing scary.
That being said I’ll personally go for a C43 AMG 100 times before the E53 even if both car are really different. If you want to find out what the C43 was like on the road go check out my article about it.