Mercedes AMG E53 Coupe (2016-2020) review
The Mercedes AMG E53 Coupe is a sportier-looking alternative to the E53 Saloon that comes with the same engine. As a result, it’s just as fast, but not particularly practical
What's not so good
Mercedes AMG E53 Coupe (2016-2020): what would you like to read next?
The Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe is a seriously elegant luxury sports coupe that’s more powerful than an Audi S7 and comes with a flashier cabin, too. This high-performance AMG-tuned E53 version is also available as a four-door saloon, a more practical estate and a drop-top cabriolet.
Unlike the Mercedes E-Class saloon and estate – which you can have as raucous E63 V8-powered models – the Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe is the fastest, and loudest, version of the E-Class Coupe you can buy. In this respect, the E53 Coupe is a bit like listening to your favourite band through a pair of uber-expensive headphones rather than listening to them live.
Inside, the Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe gets plenty of sporty tweaks to help it stand out from the already eye-catching E-Class Coupe. You get lashings of leather, brushed metal and a flat-bottomed steering wheel alongside red contrast stitching and some more supportive sports seats with real leather upholstery – unlike the standard E-Class, which gets man-made trimmings instead.
The standard E-Class Coupe’s 8.4-inch infotainment display has also been dropped ditched, in favour of a pair of 12.3-inch displays. Together, these form an almost seamless widescreen that replaces conventional analogue dials and makes the E53 feel every bit as modern inside as the more expensive E63.
Electrically adjustable seats also come as standard, and there’s plenty of headroom in the front so you’ll have no trouble getting comfortable in the Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the back seats. Sure, the front seats slide automatically forward to help passengers climb in, but the coupe’s sloping roofline means there’s significantly less headroom than you get in a Mercedes-AMG E53 Estate or saloon.
You only get two back seats instead of the saloon’s three, too, and there isn’t a great deal of room to lift in a bulky child seat. At least you get two pairs of Isofix anchor points as standard, though.
Loading the boot isn’t particularly easy, either. A set of golf clubs will just about fit, but the tall boot lip and narrow opening don’t make unloading heavy luggage particularly easy. Thankfully, the Mercedes AMG E53 Coupe’s back seats fold down in a three-way split so you can carry some passengers and some very long luggage at once – unlike in most luxurious coupes. It’s not all good news, however – even with all the back seats folded down you’ll have to remove a bike’s wheels before it’ll fit.
The Mercedes AMG E53 Coupe’s interior is a very swanky place to spend time – well, besides the slightly gaudy red seat belts, that is…
With a 435hp turbocharged petrol engine to play with, however, you probably won’t be too keen to take the bike out for a spin. The Mercedes AMG E53 Coupe will blast from 0-60mph in less than 4.5 seconds – thanks to the grip afforded by the standard four-wheel-drive system – and on to a top speed of 155mph.
Doesn’t sound like enough? Well, pay extra for the AMG Driver’s Pack and Mercedes will kindly bump this up to 168mph. Handy on the Autobahn, perhaps, but less useful when you’re stuck in traffic on the M25 during rush hour. If that sounds like your usual commute, you’ll probably appreciate the E53’s standard nine-speed automatic gearbox and air suspension more than its outrageous acceleration.
The latter also lets you stiffen-up the E53 Coupe’s suspension to help it cope with a series of tight corners without leaning a great deal. Even in its firmest setting, however, the Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe doesn’t feel quite as agile as the smaller C43 and C63 Coupe. It’s still nimble enough to dispatch a few miles of winding road, but it feels more comfortable carving through gentle sweeping curves than sprinting from hairpin to hairpin.
Once you’ve finished having fun and just want to get home, you’ll be glad to hear that the Mercedes-AMG E53 Coupe comes with cruise control and automatic emergency braking – to help prevent low-speed collisions – as standard. It’s just a shame that lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring cost extra.
Despite this, the Mercedes AMG E53 Coupe is a very fast executive coupe that’s certainly worth considering if how a car looks – both inside and out – is just as important to you as its turn of speed.