Words by: Jag Dhatt
Photos by: Russell Purcell
We knew it was only a matter of time before the Mercedes E Coupe was fitted with an AMG and now, we’ve got it. No, it’s not the full-blown AMG63 that you’d find in the sedan; rather, Mercedes opted to fit the 2019 E Coupe with the new inline 6-cylinder that supports an electric supercharger and turbocharger. How good is the new hybrid system? Well, it could be the perfect balance for those looking for a tamed version of real AMG performance with a much more attractive sticker price.
The first AMG I drove was a friend’s C63 and let me tell you something; until you drive an AMG, you really don’t know what you’re missing. His was matched with a 6-speed manual transmission, and for me, it’s the only way to spec that car. Yes, I love them manuals.
The 2019 E53 Coupe is a beautiful looking car. If you’ve seen the E400 Coupe, it looks very similar, except for the AMG add-ons. You’ve got the quad exhaust system (even though there’s only two pipes that are feeding the quad exhausts), an AMG lip spoiler, different bumpers, and a unique grille that’s not in your face, but still gives presence. Of course, since it’s an E53, you’ve got special two-tone wheels.
I find the E53 Coupe to be striking from all angles and sides. The black-on-black paint and interior colour scheme works for this car. Some people found it to be too black, especially on the inside, but I liked it a lot. At night, it’s just one silhouette, and it looks sexy. If I had to choose the best angle though, it would have to be from the rear three-quarter angle.
Sit inside the E53 Coupe and you’ll know it lives up to the Mercedes Benz logo. This E gets the dual digital screens that we first saw two years ago at, get this, the launch of the E Coupe. The two 12.3” displays can be customized as fit for the driver. The turbine vents are fitting for this car and fit in nicely with the interior design of the vehicle. One benefit of the turbine vents is that they can be moved to almost any angle for the best airflow.
Mercedes controls for the infotainment, climate, and setup are easy once you get used to them. The screen is not touch so everything has to be done via the central dial and touch sensitive pad. Overall, they work great and are ergonomically sound. Controls on the steering wheel are well-placed and intuitive. One of the best steering controls is the small touch pad on the right side; from this touch pad, it’s easy to control and change a number of settings without having to take your eyes off the road. The only real complaint I have with the interior is the amount of high gloss finish on a LOT of the areas – it’s a dust and fingerprint magnet, and if you’ve got small kids like I do, these areas don’t stay clean for very long.
When we speak of a coupe, most roll their eyes at the lack of space for rear passengers; but not so with the E Coupe. There is a surprising amount of leg room for rear passengers. And even though there is tapered roofline, headroom is also good. I had a full car with two adults in the rear and all were comfortable. Well, we at the front were very comfortable, thanks to the heated, cooled and massage seats. At least the rear passengers had cup holders.
So why buy the E53 AMG vs the E400? Well, because of what’s under the hood. Yes, some will argue that the E53 isn’t a TRUE AMG because the motor isn’t hand built, but rather mass produced. Yes, agreed that’s true; however, when we look at the needs of the masses, sometimes, sacrifices need to be made. But in my humble opinion, the AMG badging on the E53 is deserving of the name and here’s why.
The E53’s 3.0L inline six cylinder pumps out an impressive 429 horsepower and gets to you to 100 km/h from a standstill in just 4.4 seconds, thanks to a 22-horsepower electric motor, which Mercedes calls the EQ Boost starter-alternator. I stomped on the accelerator from a dead stop and I can confirm that it’s quick. It’s the fastest E Coupe money can buy, for now. And what’s more is that it sounds quick too. Once again, the sound is not an AMG63, but it’s better than what you hear from the E400.
Driving the AMG E53 is an absolute joy, no matter whether your cruising, dashing to a meeting, or going head-to-head with a guy in a sports car. It suits all needs and purposes and do so with style and panache.
The nine-speed transmission is a jewel to say the least. In Eco and Comfort modes, shifts are smooth and effortless. Mix that in with a great suspension system that features air suspension, and most imperfections of the road disappear. Select Sport mode and the AMG personality of the E Coupe comes to life. Suspension stiffens up, steering becomes more precise, and that engine growl becomes throatier, complete with downshift snaps, crackles, and pops.
Driving the E53 Coupe around the city was a breeze. Steering is light during daily driving and parking is effortless, thanks to a great camera system that adapts and shows various angles of the car. And if you don’t want to park yourself, press a button and the E53 will park itself. In fact, there won’t be any rim damage either! The AMG steering wheel is fitting for the car and is nicely appointed with soft leather. The paddle shifters are perfectly located for those times when you want to take matters into your hands and shift manually.
The 2019 Mercedes Benz AMG E53 Coupe has very few flaws, unless we become really picky. First, the motor is not hand-built, but I’m okay with that. Second, some may complain it’s not as comfortable as the E400, but again, this is an AMG. Finally, I wish the exhaust was slightly throatier. And finally, I wish that there was a slightly more aggressive AMG package than what you get here. That’s really all.
What it does have going for it is a lot. Here’s a coupe that offers almost pure-AMG performance at a much lower price tag. You’ve got an impressive interior that oozes luxury and performance at the same time. The styling is gorgeous. And of course, the performance from this machine will be more than what the average driver really needs or will use.
I like the Mercedes AMG 53 Coupe a lot. Personally, I would buy the E63 sedan because I just like four doors. But for anyone looking at a coupe, definitely give this car a test drive, because you will be impressed. The AMG53 Coupe starts at $86,000 and our tester, with all the bells and whistles, came in at $102, 250.
And yes, it is an AMG!