It’s easy to overlook the Mercedes AMG E53 Saloon when the brawnier E63 is stealing the limelight. However, it’s nearly as quick and costs less to buy – if just as much to run
It’s easy to get confused with the sheer number of Mercedes AMG model these days, but put simply, the Mercedes AMG E53 saloon sits between the range-topping E63 and the rest of the Mercedes E-Class range. This high-performance AMG-tuned E53 version is also available as a Coupe, more practical estate and a drop-top cabriolet.
Inside, the Mercedes AMG E53 Saloon gets plenty of sporty tweaks to help it stand out. 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.
Speaking of which, the standard E-Class Saloon’s 8.4-inch infotainment screen has been ditched in favour of a pair of 12.3-inch displays. Together, they 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 should have no trouble getting comfortable. There’s loads of space in the back, too. The rear doors open nice and wide and even passengers over six-feet tall will have plenty of leg and headroom to stretch out, and it’s a breeze to fit a child seat using the clearly marked Isofix anchor points.
And you’ll have no issues carrying your passengers’ luggage, because the E53’s 540-litre boot is identical to the standard E-Class’ and comes with three-way (40:20:40) folding rear seats as standard so you can carry long luggage in the boot and still have space for two people on the back seat.
For many, the Mercedes AMG E63 will be a financial step too far. The E53 is cheaper, but doesn’t feel it inside, and offers very nearly as much performance
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 Saloon will blast from 0-62mph in just 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.
Cruise control also comes as standard, and you get automatic emergency braking to help prevent low-speed collisions. The E-Class earned a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in 2016, so you can rest easy knowing this high-performance model will offer very good levels of protection in a crash.