The Mercedes-Benz E-class is elegant, but doesn’t provide enough excitement. The AMG-tuned E53 fills that gap with more performance and a more stylish design. It is also a top pick on our Editors Choice list. Its unique grille and other exterior details distinguish it from its more pedestrian cousins, the cabriolet and coupe. The standard all-wheel drive and turbocharged 6 cylinder engine of 429 hp each deliver excellent all-weather traction as well as a quick acceleration. The E53 family continues Mercedes’ luxury heritage with an attractive cabin featuring cutting-edge technology. The 2021 Mercedes-AMG E53 is a remarkable addition to a class that is full of talented competitors.
What’s new for 2021?
Mercedes-AMG has given the E53 a slight makeover in 2021. These changes will be shared by the four-door sedan as well as the coupe and cabriolet. The changes include new front and rear ends, improved infotainment systems, driver assistance, and an updated powertrain. This hybrid system combines a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-6-cylinder engine and a 48-volt hybrid.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
The drop-top cabriolet is our recommendation. The standard features include all-wheel drive, adjustable air suspension, fully digital dashboard and an infotainment system. You can also choose upscale options such as the head-up display and massaging front seats.
Engine, Transmission, & Performance
Each E53 is powered with an AMG-tuned turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine. It produces 429 horsepower and 384 Lb-ft torque. It is available with either a 9-speed automatic transmission or a 4Matic all-wheel-drive. The paddle shifters at the steering wheel allow for manual swapping of gears. In 4.1 seconds, the last E53 coupe that we tested was able to go from 0-60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. Standard air suspension allows for the seamless transition from twisty-road monster to freeway cruiser. The sedan’s road-damping attitude is subtly altered by switching between drive modes. However, it doesn’t become too punishing or pillowy. As with all other dynamics, the steering is crisp, responsive, and well balanced. It blends feedback and precision. E53 can be driven on standard 19-inch wheels, or optional 20 inch rollers.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
The E53 sedan gets 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. However, the coupe and convertible models received lower estimates during the EPA’s testing. The convertible and coupe received ratings of 21 MPG city. However, the coupe was rated at 28 MPG highway, while the convertible is rated at 27 MPG. We will be able to evaluate the real-world mpg once we have had the opportunity to test it on our 75-mph highway fuel efficiency route. The E53 sedan that we last tested was rated at 32 mpg highway. This is 4 more than its government rating.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
The E53 is a top-rated aircraft for its interior quality and ability to make passengers feel like they are in a high-end Paris pastry shop. A selection of standard and optional luxury features complete the sporty, elegant cabin. Although the standard interior is very fancy, those with deep pockets can enhance their experience by adding exotic wood trims, fragrance atomizers and massaging front seats. Although flashy red seatbelts come as standard, they can be swapped for black belts at no cost. We would opt to do so. We were most annoyed by the column shifter. It is difficult to use, feels fragile, and looks strange in a sports sedan. Even though the E53 sedan is the smallest in trunk volume, we were able to fit five bags in it. Convertible and coupe models are less practical. The interior storage space is much more spacious than competitors, thanks to a large underfloor trunk and a comfortable center console.
Connectivity and Infotainment
Standard equipment includes a 12.3-inch touchscreen and support for the latest MBUX infotainment systems. The unit can be controlled through myriad functions that include a touchpad on the center console, steering-wheel-mounted controls, and voice commands. These functions are meant to be an intuitive replacement for traditional switchgear. However, our experience has not proven their innovation. Every E53 comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.